KanTime, Nevvon, and Viventium, Tech Titans in the healthcare industry, hosted a webinar that tackled post-acute care challenges that many agencies have faced. They dove into a deep discussion about regulatory and financial changes, compliance in continuing education, as well as loan updates for agencies. If you missed the webinar or want a refresher, below are the key takeaways.
If you’re more of a visual person, you can find the link to the recorded webinar here.
Staying Regulatory Compliant
Regulatory changes are always updating, however, due to the pandemic, these changes are updating in the blink of an eye. Agencies need to stay on their toes and be ready for constant regulatory changes.
Some recent regulatory changes are:
- Emergency Preparedness
- No-Pay RAP
- New Home Infusion Therapy (HIT) Services
- CMS Claims
The best way to keep up with these constant changes is to be proactive.
A few ways to stay in the know are:
- Have a membership in state and national associations
- Attend conferences and webinars
- Subscribe to email updates from CMS, MACs, and other regulatory sites
- Have a specific staff member monitor the changes
- Educate yourself, your employees, and others
Compliance in Continuing Education
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is an important aspect in the post-acute care industry. In particular, those agencies billing Medicaid and Medicaid MCOs are required in accordance with the CURES Act to start using EVV January 1, 2021. Although implementation has varied by state, EVV provides clinicians an easy way to keep track of their hours, when to clock in and out, and is a necessary item to achieve compliance moving forward.
Some examples of what the training entails are:
- The provider’s system and workflow
- Electronically collect EVV data using the provider’s system and devices
- Electronically collect EVV data when there are multiple caregivers
- Electronically collect EVV data when there are multiple beneficiaries
- How to and when to collect EVV data manually and what to document
- Documenting live-in caregiver information
- Sending data to provider’s system
- Information to share with Medicaid beneficiaries and their families about EVV
Secondly, in person home health aide training was put on hold when the pandemic hit last year. Agencies now have the opportunity to provide hybrid training courses. However, before agencies can allow their students to start the program the agency must go through an extensive compliance approval process for the online courses.
Training is vital when working for a home health care agency. The caregivers and back-office staff work together to provide quality care to patients. Therefore, they need to be in unison while also being efficient and compliant.
Financial Changes in HR & Payroll
Agencies have to keep track of payroll while also making sure they are complying with Federal, State, and Local regulations which can vary dramatically.
3 of the biggest payroll compliance challenges are:
- 7th day Overtime: In some states, employees who work 7 consecutive days have to be paid overtime on the 7th day.
- Daily Overtime: Employees who work over a certain number of hours in a day require overtime (usually over 8 hours).
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): blended rates within the same workweek or retroactive pay when employees record overtime after their shifts is also required in some states.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, employees must be working 40 hours a week to be considered full-time employees. It can be challenging for agencies to keep track of employees’ hours when they are working many different shifts. Having the right software helps agencies stay compliant and pay their employees the right amount.
Third, new HR forms are coming out (a new W4 form came out in 2020) and agencies need to stay alert, as well as make sure they are properly documented. In addition, agencies need to be aware of the new paid leave laws.
Loan Programs Implemented in 2020 due to COVID
- Employee Retention Credit (ERC): created under the CARES Act, employers can claim a percentage of their employees’ wages as tax credits. In 2020, the tax credit was up to $5k per employee per year up to 100 employees. In 2021, the retention credit was expanded to $7k per employee per quarter up to 500 employees.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): was created for eligible businesses to receive forgivable loans to help them keep afloat during the pandemic.
- Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA): provides employers who applied for loan forgiveness greater flexibility, simple applications, apply for a second loan, and more applications available for businesses.
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): requires employers to provide paid sick/family leave due to a Covid-19 reason. The federal government is financing it and also gives employers a refundable tax credit that equals paid leave.