New I9 Form Released By U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services

Earlier this week the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The form is available for immediate use by employers. Employers who need to make necessary updates to their business processes to allow for use of the new Form I-9 may continue to use other previously accepted revisions (Rev.02/02/09)N and (Rev. 08/07/09)Y until May 7, 2013 date. After May 7, 2013, all employers must use the revised Form I-9 for each new employee hired in the United States.

The revised Form I-9 has several new features, including new fields and a new format to reduce errors. The instructions to the form also more clearly describe the information employees and employers must provide in each section.

English and Spanish versions of the new form are available online at Click on the following link to access the new I9 Form.

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FIDA Webinar, Wednesday March 13 at 11:30 AM

The NY Medicaid Redesign Team will be conducting a Webinar about The Fully Integrated Duals Advantage, better known as  (FIDA) on Wednesday, March 13 at 11:30 AM. The Webinar will discuss the program updates and the status of the FIDA Program application process. To participate in the webinar, please register at .

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM EDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. Space is limited.Reserve your Webinar seat now at:




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Next Week Events to Consider Attending:

DOH Webinar – 1PM-2PM

The New York State Department of Health and Division of Finance will be conducting a webinar.
Topics to be discussed include:

  • 2011-12 Medicaid Global Cap results
  • 2012-13 Global Cap Model, Enrollment Trends
  • Challenges in Managing the Medicaid Program

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

DOH All Day Conference – 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH is convening a panel of national experts to discuss and explore how to enhance health care providers’ access to capital in New York State.

Save time by pre-registering! The pre-registration form is attached for your convenience.

Contact Fern Fletcher at with any questions.

Registration will also be taken at the event. The conference will take place at Proshansky Auditorium, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street in Manhattan.

Queens Networking & Business Luncheon 11:30AM- 2:30PM

Keynote Speaker: Jason Helgerson, New York State Medicaid Director

Jason Helgerson highlights the changes that will be brought about in the financing and delivery of healthcare services as a result of the Medicaid Redesign and the Affordable Care Act.

The event will take place at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach. Tickets are $65.00 each.

Call (631) 669-5355 extension 1102 to purchase your tickets.

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HHA eXchange In The News!

HHA eXchange is proud to be featured as a headline story in the August 8th Home Care Technology Report. In an interview with Rowan Consulting Associates, Raphael Nadel – founder and President of HHA eXchange, discusses how our revolutionary software bridges the gap between payers and home care providers.

As appearing on

Liz Seegert's interview with Raphael Nadel

Click here to see Liz Seegert's interview with Raphael Nadel.

Beating Silos Into Bridges: An HCTR Interview with the CEO of HHA eXchange
By Liz Seegert

Communication and data, vital elements in creating functional partnerships between certified home health care agencies and licensed home health subcontractors, only offer their advantage when computer systems talk to and share data with one another. When they do not, the door is open to potential fraud, waste, and inefficiencies.

Read More…

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Undercover Litmus Checks for Home Care Agencies

Are Your Coordinators Putting Your Business on Death Row??
Many owners and administrators underestimate the critical role a Coordinator plays in the day-to-day operations of an agency. Coordinators participate in many important agency functions including: scheduling, payroll, billing, patient relations, human resources and recruiting. Even more importantly, Coordinators perform key marketing and sales responsibilities on a routine basis. Yes they do! They are your front liners and the ones who receive inquiries concerning new referrals from contracts and potential private pay clients. The majority of Coordinators must be commended for their hard work; however, there are the others who leave much to be desired. The mediocre Coordinator, commonly referred to as “not so bad”, is often an extreme detriment to your business operations. In fact, they are often far worse than your WORST Coordinators in that they camouflage their inadequacies, and you may employ them longer than you should because they didn’t really “do anything wrong”.

Employing internal undercover techniques can unearth invaluable information about a company and the performance of its employees. The popular retail and food chain industries learned this a long time ago – exposing a laundry list of loss prevention and customer service issues as a result of their clandestine operations. The Zagat Guide has been very successful, in part due to the undercover efforts of the food critics. Even the largest national corporations have benefited from covert practices, as seen on CBS’s prime time hit series “Undercover Boss”. So, the question is, why haven’t home care agencies done so yet? Act now to check if your coordinators are helping or hurting your business!

Operation Undercover:
One should not feel guilty or deceitful incorporating the forthcoming techniques into routine business practices. This is YOUR Business and it is your business to be in the know. Good Luck!

Send someone to pose as an applicant: Were they treated in a professional manner? Were the agency policies & procedures followed? Did anyone cut any corners?

On Call Checks: Leave a fictitious message on a Sunday morning with your answering service, to uncover the call back time. You may want to consider calling as a potential new patient, applicant, or contract.

Make Anonymous Calls: Call the office during business hours, posing as an applicant, patient, patient’s family member and prospective client. Make sure to call at various times throughout the day and on different days. Here are some things to consider when doing so: Was your called received in a pleasant and responsive manner? Was the person knowledgeable and respectful? Did they seem interested or was there a level of indifference? Did they rush to get you off the phone? Were you placed on hold, and if so, how long was the hold time? Were you asked if you would like to hold or were you given the option to leave a message?

Were you transferred more than once and were you given the name of the person you were to be transferred to? When transferred, does your call go to voicemail? Did they get back to you when they said they would? Finally, did they provide correct information and comply with your agency’s policies?

Unannounced Visit: Do this on a day or time your staff does not expect you. What is the staff doing? Did you catch them off guard? Were they adhering to the proper dress code and lunchtime schedule?

Random patient & aide surveys: Go to the source. They will definitely not sugarcoat anything.

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1115 Waiver Amendment

So What Would You Do With 10 Billion Dollars?
Would you buy a yacht and sail the high seas or perhaps relocate to a tropical island? Well, the Empire State has slightly different plans. As you know, the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) initiatives were established to introduce fiscal discipline into New York’s Medicaid Program – the largest Medicaid program in the nation. It has been quite successful. Significant federal savings have already been realized during the first phase of these initiatives, and substantial savings are expected to accrue as a result of the implementation of the entire action plan. Out of the 18.3 billion dollars in anticipated savings, New York wants to reinvest 10 billion into its healthcare infrastructure and to drive key MRT reforms. The state also hopes to use this money to prepare the provider community for national health care reform.

What is an 1115 waiver? Here’s the scoop……
According to the NYS DOH, a waiver is an agreement between the State and the Federal government which allows the State greater flexibility to administer the program and/or invest savings to implement innovations that improve care, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Generally, 1115 waivers are approved for a five-year period. Waivers must be “budget neutral,” meaning that during the course of the project, federal spending will not be more than federal spending without the waiver.

Why is this important?
Governor Cuomo’s MRT action plan is the most sweeping Medicaid reform plan in state history, and potentially, the nation. The state needs money to fund all of its desired projects, but cannot just change the contract it has with the feds. It must seek permission from the federal government (CMS) to amend the existing 1115 waiver. It hopes to be granted authorization to reinvest 10 billion dollars, as have other states in the union.

How does the state propose to spend this money? Here’s how….
There are thirteen proposed reinvestment categories; key elements are highlighted below. Ironically, despite the strong emphasis on home & community health models, the waiver plan does not include any major provisions for investment in home care.

Primary Care Expansion: Capital funding will be provided for health care providers to modernize and expand facilities. Special focus will be given to expanding access to high quality primary care and to the conversion of existing hospital capacity into new ambulatory settings.

Health Home Development: Development & operational funding will be provided for Health Homes. Health Homes are creative new partnerships to align care management with prioritized housing for New York’s sickest, most vulnerable and most costly patients.

New Care Models: The state wants to break away from traditional approaches and invest in the launching of new innovative care delivery models, such as ACO’s, hospital/nursing home partnerships that better manage transitions in care, and telehealth initiatives.

Public Hospital Innovation: Funding will be provided for a new demonstration program for “pre-emergency” Medicaid services to the uninsured. The state hopes to reduce the costly emergency Medicaid service costs by establishing a primary care benefit. Funding will also be allocated to track results and savings of this project.

Medicaid Supportive Housing Expansion: NY wants to invest in the expansion of supportive housing for high needs / high cost Medicaid qualifying recipients. The state hopes that this will reduce chronic homelessness and avoidable institutionalized care.

Managed Long Term Care: Funding will be provided to modernize nursing homes as they prepare to fully integrate care management, as well as expand access to other long term care settings/programs.

Capital Stabilization for Safety Net Hospitals: Funding will be allocated for New York’s most vulnerable not-for-profit safety net Hospitals. These facilities are highly in debt and antiquated. The state wants to invest in their financial health, as well as provide monetary assistance for the transition from an inpatient setting to both an inpatient/outpatient care center.

Hospital Transition: The state wants to direct funding to assist hospitals in the future health care delivery transformation, including patient centered outcomes, a formal network of services which emphasize prevention, wellness, primary care and outpatient services, global budgeting and reduction in hospital/emergency room utilization.

Workforce Training: The state wants to invest in training its health workforce and in the creation of a health workforce data repository to track and analyze data. The state also wants to expand the DANY program (Doctors Across New York) and the PCSC program (Primary Care Service Corps), a program that targets non physician clinicians in medically underserved communities.

Other proposed reinvestment categories include an expansion of the safety net provider program, regional health planning and an MRT and waiver evaluation program. If you are interested in learning more details please refer to the DOH website.

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Annual HCA Conference Review & Afterthoughts

HHA eXchange was delighted to participate in the recent HCA Conference in Saratoga Springs and demonstrate our continued support and commitment to the NY State Home Care Association and the providers of New York State.

The conference was kicked off with an opening reception and Awards Dinner, where Allen Rosen & Joan Altamonte, formerly of YAI, received the Giraffe Advocacy Award for their unwavering dedication and relentless efforts to place patients at alternate agencies prior to the closure of the YAI CHHA program. Annemarie Rahi, Director of Compliance at HHA Exchange had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Rosen at the conference. Mr. Rosen told her that he refused to close the doors at YAI until every last patient was properly placed at a suitable agency. Mr. Rosen is now the Executive Director at Gentiva located in downtown Brooklyn. Congratulations Allen!

In addition, Carol Raphael, former President and CEO of Visiting Nurse Service of New York, received the Ruth F. Wilson award – a prestigious honor bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated exceptional dedication and made a significant contribution to home care over a period of time. Eli Feldman, President of MJHS, made a powerful speech during the Awards Dinner, stating “…Carol has brought great insight, value and wisdom in shaping health care policies at both the federal and state levels”.

On Thursday morning, HCA President Joanne Cunningham delivered her President’s Address concentrating on the changes ahead in home care, and that change is most often accompanied by opportunity. Ms. Cunningham’s address was followed by an animated presentation by Joe Flower, titled “Health Care Beyond Reform: Doing It Right for Half the Cost”. A variety of other informational presentations and educational sessions were scheduled throughout the afternoon, and a classy wine and cheese reception was a fabulous wrap-up to the day.

On Friday morning, conference participants bade their farewells during breakfast and headed off to the final conference workshops. As for us, we packed up our booth and headed home.

Our special thanks to the HCA staff members for putting together a fantastic event. We are already looking forward to next year’s conference.

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Managed Care on the Move

The initial phase of the State’s roll out of mandatory managed care enrollment for New York City clients already receiving community-based long term care services is scheduled to commence on July 2nd. The initial start date of April 2012 was pushed back because the State did not receive approval from CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). The State expects to receive that approval in the very near future, and does not anticipate another delay.

The transition to a Managed Long Term Care Program (MLTCP) will be phased-in by service type, borough, and zip code. In the first phase, Manhattan residents south of Central Park will be targeted. Letters will be sent out and existing clients will have sixty days to choose a MLTCP or be auto-assigned to a plan. According to the DOH, vendors may verbally tell their patients which programs they have contracts with. However, the DOH strongly advises against distributing any type of written correspondence. Take a look at the anticipated roll out schedule listed below.

  • August 1, 2012: Continue personal care cases in New York County
  • September 2012: Continue personal care cases in New York County and begin personal care in Bronx County; and begin consumer directed personal assistance program cases in New York and Bronx counties
  • October 2012: Continue personal care and consumer directed personal assistance program cases in New York and Bronx counties and begin Kings County

Phase II: Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties – Anticipated January 2013
Phase III: Rockland and Orange Counties – Anticipated June 2013
Phase IV: Albany, Erie, Onondaga and Monroe Counties – Anticipated December 2013
Phase V: Other counties with capacity – Anticipated June 2014

Phase I: New York City – For New Patients

  • Beginning July 2, 2012, any Dual Eligible NEW PATIENT, fitting the mandatory population definition, residing in New York City (New York, Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties) will be identified for enrollment into a Managed Long Term Care Program (MLTCP) and referred to the Enrollment Broker for information, assistance and enrollment activities. A “NEW” Patient is defined as any first-time Medicaid recipient or any current Medicaid recipient applying to receive or deemed to require community-based long term care services at the time of the mandatory enrollment phase-in.
  • The Enrollment Broker for New York City, and a majority of counties throughout the state is Maximus. They can answer questions about the enrollment process and will provide the client with educational material, a list of MLTCPs and, if requested by the client, assistance in contacting a plan. The MLTCP will conduct an assessment to determine if the client is eligible for community based long term care. The MLTCP will be responsible for transmitting the enrollment information to the Enrollment Broker.
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Reminder: Wage Parity Certification Forms are Due!

HHA eXchange would like to remind our customers that the state required Wage Parity Certification Forms are due on June 1, 2012!

As many of you already know, Licensed Home Care Service Agencies and other entities that Contract with Long Term Home Health Care Programs (LTHHCPs), Certified Home Health Care Agencies, and/or Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are required to submit certification forms on a quarterly basis to their contractor, certifying that they are in compliance with the State’s Home Care Worker Wage Parity Law for defined certification periods and on a prospective basis.

This will be the second round of the certifications, and will cover the period of June 1 through August 31. Just to clarify, these forms are to be sent to the Contractor NOT the Department of Health. All providers are reminded that these records must be maintained for a minimum of ten years, and that they must be made available to the Department upon request.

HHA eXchange continues to provide software AND SERVICE – keeping our valued customers in the loop about industry news and regulations.

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See Us at the HCA Show!

HHA eXchange will be exhibiting at the upcoming HCA Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs to take place May 9th through 11th. Make sure to stop by our Booth #P16 in the 1st Floor Meeting Room to say Hello! Raphael, Desmond and I look forward to greeting you.

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