Public Policy Forum at the VNAA Annual Meeting: Experts and Members Share Vision of Future
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

On April 12 at the VNAA 31st Annual Meeting, legislative and regulatory experts shared insights to future changes in home health and hospice. In addition, VNAA members shared their advocacy experiences and innovative ideas to spark conversation.

Neleen Rubin, President of the Rubin Health Policy and strategic consultant for VNAA discussed key issues affecting home health and hospice including sequestration, the President’s FY 2014 budget and new cost sharing proposals in Medicare. To review Neleen’s PowerPoint presentation, please click here.
Kathleen Sheehan, VNAA Vice President of Public Policy gave a regulatory update on the extensive work VNAA has been doing to lead policy around home health rebasing and hospice payment reform. One of VNAA’s key strategies is to maximize its impact through partnerships with the National Association of Homecare and Hospice, LeadingAge, the American Hospital Association and other national and state organizations. 
VNAA is a member driven organization and to that end, members who have participated in advocating on behalf of nonprofit home health and hospice as well as those involved with innovative demonstrations were invited to speak and share their experiences with all members. Those who spoke included:
  • Tim Veach of Intermountain Homecare in Salt Lake City, UT and Brent Jones of Community Nursing Services in Murray, UT spoke about their meeting with Senator Orrin Hatch’s staff to discuss the Senator’s cost sharing proposal.
  • Margaret Franckhauser of Central New Hampshire VNA and Hospice in Laconia, NH, Ellen Rothberg of VNA HealthCare, Inc. in Hartford, CT and Tim Veach discussed a February meeting with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Medicare post-payment claims reviews from Medicare Administrative Contractors, Recovery Auditors, Zone Program Integrity Contractors,  and Comprehensive Error Rate Testing contractors.
  • Lynn Jones of Christiana Care VNA in New Castle, DE, Mary DeVeau Concord Regional VNA in Concord, NH and Bob Rosati of VNSNY in New York, NY informed members about a recent meeting with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) on multiple issues including the VNAA and VNSNY Vulnerable Patient Study and upcoming home health rebasing.
  • Lynn Jones and Bob Rosati discussed a recent meeting with top policy makers at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Joanie Kush of Visiting Nurse Association of Omaha, NE and Georgia Rock of Pathways Home Health and Hospice of Sunnyvale, CA, co-chairs of the VNAA Hospice Roundtable, outlined priorities for 2013 including hospice payment reform and new quality measures and encouraged members to get involved.  
  • Mary Zagjeski of Dominican Sisters Family Health Services in Ossining, NY gave an update on her agency’s new Community Care Transitions grant.
  • Mark Oshnock of Visiting Nurse Health System in Atlanta, GA spoke about his agency’s involvement with the CMS Independence at Home demonstration.
  • Norene Mostkoff of Visiting Nurse Service of Iowa and Margaret Franckhauser gave an update on the new VNAA Rural Interest Group and outlined priorities for 2013 including ensuring that policymakers understand the challenges and opportunities faced by nonprofit home health and hospice providers in rural areas.
Each member shared a unique perspective of the VNAA experience and encouraged more members to get involved with advocacy efforts and innovation.
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