WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 15, 2021)—The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a signature accomplishment of the new Office of Burden Reduction & Health Informatics (OBRHI). This final rule builds on the efforts to drive interoperability, empower patients, and reduce costs and burden in the health care market by promoting secure electronic access to health data in new and innovative ways.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 15, 2021)—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is announcing today that it will be amending the reporting timeline for the Provider Relief Fund Program (PRF) due to the recent passage of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. HHS has been working to provide updated reporting requirements that comply with this recently passed legislation.

BOSTON (January 15, 2021)—CareAcademy, a homecare and home health workforce empowerment platform, announced a strategic partnership with Wild Iris Medical Education that will further expand the company’s offering to include accredited nursing continuing education. By leveraging Wild Iris Medical Education’s American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) accredited and approved courses, CareAcademy will add more than 70 courses, representing more than 300 contact hours.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 14, 2021) -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Tuesday that propels innovative technology so Medicare beneficiaries have access to the latest, most advanced devices. The action is designed to help smooth the Medicare coverage pathway for innovative products, resulting in faster access to new devices for America’s seniors.

DANIA BEACH, Fla. (January 14, 2021)—Special Needs Group/Special Needs at Sea (SNG) announced  that the company has entered into a supplier agreement with TZMO USA for the sale of their Seni USA brand adult incontinence products. SNG—a full-fledged medical equipment and supply company—is dedicated to fulfilling the special needs requirements for persons who want to travel but may need mobility aides, oxygen or other equipment. 

MINNEAPOLIS, (January 14, 2021)—Nonin Medical announced the appointment of four new members to the company's board of directors. Each of the new directors brings unique industry experience and passion for innovation in the medtech and healthcare sectors. Together, they will provide Nonin with strategic guidance and support the company's continued growth. The new board members are:
 

WATERLOO, Iowa (January 14, 2021)—VGM Group, Inc., has merged three of its businesses into one and created Moxie, a powerful new force in the world of marketing and events. Hellman, a well-established marketing agency acquired by VGM in 2018, has joined with VGM Marketing and VGM Events to bring a team of close to 30 professionals together for the benefit of internal VGM clients and external clients alike. 

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (January 13, 2021)—Best Life Brands, LLC, a family of companies focused on the well-being of clients along the continuum of senior care, awarded a record number of 71 new franchise agreements across all brands in 2020. The franchise development milestone reached during a global pandemic underscored the needs of seniors, the most vulnerable population, and growing demand for more businesses that serve them.

CARY, N.C. (January 13, 2021)—Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), a nonprofit accreditation organization with deeming authority from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has awarded its inaugural Palliative Care Accreditation to Indianapolis-based Paradigm Health, a division of Paradigm Living Concepts. The three-year accreditation term acknowledges Paradigm’s commitment to quality patient care and excellent operations.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 13, 2021)—On January 8, the State of Tennessee announced that its “block grant” waiver request for TennCare (the state Medicaid program) was approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) after a year of negotiation. This new agreement will allow TennCare to administer the program with less oversight from the federal government and is intended to give more flexibility.

DALLAS (January 12, 2021)—A new industry trends report based on a survey conducted by Axxess, a technology provider for care at home, reveals nearly three-quarters of respondents from large care at home organizations indicated their organization would require COVID-19 vaccinations and 90% indicated their organization would increase staff resources for diversity, equity and inclusion in 2021.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 8, 2021)—Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model has been certified for expansion through rulemaking beginning no sooner than Calendar Year (CY) 2022. The model, implemented in nine states, has resulted in an average 4.6% improvement in home health agencies’ quality scores as well as average annual savings of $141 million to Medicare.