Four Wage and Hour Takeaways for Employers Following Recent Nevada Supreme Court Decision

In a victory for employers in wage and hour class actions, on August 11, 2022, the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of HG Staffing, LLC and MEI-GSR Holdings, LLC, d/b/a Grand Sierra Resort.  In Martel v. HG Staffing, LLC, the named representatives in the class action appeal were former employees of the Grand Sierra Resort who alleged violations of Nevada’s minimum wage and overtime laws.  In a unanimous opinion, the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision and announced rulings on four issues of first impression regarding Nevada’s wage and hour laws.

Read more @ Littler

Supporting patient wishes for death at home

Wherever we call home, most of us long to be there.  No matter the condition of the floors, or the quality of the curtains–perhaps no curtains, that is the place we want to be at the end of the day. But what about at the end of our lives?

Home may look different from the traditional images in our mind’s eye.  In the 90s I had a hospice patient whose address changed every fortnight.  She would call me and give me her new location.  The law in Los Angeles was that you could not park a vehicle for more than 14 days before having to move.  She lived in a small RV-like vehicle.  She was officially considered homeless, but this is not the way she saw it. This was her home; this is where she wanted to be, and in the end, this is where she longed to be, as she died in the hospital.

I have cared for people in strange non-traditional homes.  I have been to many a “flop-house”, I have changed wound dressings in the men’s room at a Salvation Army (the men were not allowed back to the sleeping area during the day), and I have stepped over glue traps at the front door of a house with a mouse wriggling to save its own life as I cared for the dying occupant inside. These people were where they wanted to be and were dying the way they had lived.

Read more @ The Palliative Provocateur

Hospices Use Education, Career Incentives to Grow Clinical Workforce

More hospices are building up their clinical ranks through education, training and programs like tuition reimbursement.

Investing in these education and career-building programs could yield big returns when it comes to hiring and keeping personnel, according to Phillip Heath, board chair of New Jersey-based Samaritan Life Enhancing Care. Heath will become the organization’s CEO effective October 1.

“Whether a hospice establishes some kind of scholarship bond, tuition reimbursement or training program, it’s creating an opportunity for people to continue to grow and learn with you,” Heath told Hospice News. “It’s investing in people who will in turn give you their time for sustainable services. As demand grows, we know we’ll need more resources from different avenues, with the bulk needed in our operations.”

Read more @ Hospice News

Payers to CMMI: We Need a Standardized Definition for Palliative Care

The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) recently facilitated discussions between CMMI, health plans and other private payers on ways to integrate palliative care services into existing payment models.

More than 60 participants discussed strategies to lay the groundwork for sustainable pathways to palliative care within existing health plans and payment models.

Read more @ Hospice News

Enhancing Care Coordination Can Give Hospices An Edge in Value-Based Models

As more health care reimbursement migrates towards value-based payment models, providers will need to master the art of care coordination.

Seriously ill patients can easily fall through the cracks in a fragmented health care system, leading to poorer outcomes and costly hospital stays and emergency department visits. Closing these gaps is a rising priority in payment model demonstrations by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

“The health system must recognize and meet people’s medical needs by considering their preferences, values, and circumstances, should strive to keep people healthy and independent, and help providers coordinate care seamlessly and holistically across settings in a manner that puts people at the center of their own care,” CMMI indicated in a document released last year that outlined shifts in the center’s strategic direction.

Read more @ Hospice News

Publicly Traded Hospice Execs See Signs of Improvement in Labor Market

Some hospice company leaders have signaled the labor market may be showing signs of stabilization.

Executives from 13 publicly traded home-based care companies participated last week in Jeffries Financial Group’s annual Nashville Healthcare Services Bur Tour, including contingents from Addus (NASDAQ: ADUS), Amedisys (NASDAQ: AMED), CVS Health (NASDAQ: CVS), Signify Health (NASDAQ: SGNY), and Enhabit Home Health & Hospice (NYSE: EHAB), among others.

A number indicated in their remarks that they saw improvement on the labor front, according to a research note by Brian Tanquilut, equity analyst for Jeffries Financial Group, and Taj Phillips, equity associate.

Read more @ Hospice News

Quality Data Crucial for Hospices in Value-Based Reimbursement

Understanding payer priorities in defining the scope of quality is vital for hospices to thrive not only in traditional Medicare, but also in today’s value-based reimbursement climate.

The nitty gritty details of data tracking and management matter when it comes to ensuring both a healthy bottom line and quality patient care. This includes performance on quality measures required by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Hospice Care Index (HCI), the Hospice Item Set, and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys.

Read more @ Hospice News

Hospice Multiples Unlikely to Drop

A turbulent economy and slight cool-down in deal activity early in the year have led some to question whether the record-high valuations for hospice assets will start to tumble.

Like most business sectors, health care has felt the aftershocks of global economic trends such as rising inflation, supply chain disruption, and the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to reports and prognosticators, the nation’s crystal balls are swirling with images of a looming recession.

In the midst of this, hospice and home health M&A continues to outpace other health care sectors in deal volume despite the large price tags, propelled by favorable demographics, rising demand for care in the home, and the promise of cost savings.

Read more @ Hospice News

High Turnover in Hospices Correlates to Lower Margins

Elevated turnover rates are nibbling at hospices’ profit margins.

A recent, nationwide BerryDunn survey of home health and hospice providers found that those who have experienced high turnover rates also sustained significant blows to their bottom lines. Providers with a turnover rate of 10% or less among staff reported seeing margins rise on average by 18.94%. Meanwhile, those with turnover rates ranging from 21% to 30% saw margins drop by about 1%.

Out of 1,000 providers polled, 249 were hospice agencies. The data were part of BerryDunn’s National Healthcare at Home Best Practices and Future Insights Study.

Read more @ Hospice News

CMS Approves Renewal of Vermont’s 1115 Demonstration

On June 28, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a five-and-a-half-year renewal of Vermont’s Global Commitment to Health (Global Commitment) Section 1115 demonstration. The Global Commitment demonstration covers nearly all of Vermont’s Medicaid program; Vermont provides Medicaid services and supports to more than 200,000 Medicaid enrollees—nearly 30 percent of the state’s population.1 In addition to authorizing five home- and community-based services (HCBS) programs and providing flexibility to design and implement innovative payment reform initiatives, the Global Commitment demonstration has permitted several flexibilities that are unique or unusual among states. These flexibilities include the ability to strengthen its health care system and social safety net by using accrued savings to fund a diverse set of “investments” in public health, health care, and health-related services and coverage expansions for Vermonters with disabilities and/or serious mental illness (SMI).

Read more @ Manatt