Homecare Homebase Adds Fully Integrated Auto Eligibility to Agency Automation Solution

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Today, Homecare Homebase, L.P. announced added functionality to their base solution named Auto Eligibility. The new functionality, which is fully integrated into the Homecare Homebase automated software solution, allows homecare and hospice agencies to automate the validation of a patient's Medicare eligibility at intake and enables additional checks for eligibility across the duration of the episode.

Auto Eligibility allows the agency to let our solution do the work, so they can concentrate on what's most important - the patient.

Today, Homecare Homebase, L.P. announced added functionality to their base solution named Auto Eligibility. The new functionality, which is fully integrated into the Homecare Homebase automated software solution, allows homecare and hospice agencies to automate the validation of a patient's Medicare eligibility at intake and enables additional checks for eligibility across the duration of the episode.

Prior to the introduction of Auto Eligibility, agencies manually checked, validated and recorded a patient's Medicare eligibility at the beginning of each episode. Not only was this process labor intensive and prone to errors, it also created financial risk for the agency if a patient were to lose Medicare eligibility at any point during the episode. Often the agency would be providing care, assuming the patient was eligible, only to found out at the end of 60 days that eligibility had been lost. The agency would be in jeopardy of not being able to bill and recover expenses from Medicare. The result of this time consuming, often imprecise system was increased cost to the agency and reduced revenue per patient.

"Our billing staff dedicates much of their time to Medicare Eligibility confirmation and reporting" said Kelly Shearrer, Director of Billing Services, Encompass Home Health. "This new functionality will allow us to streamline our eligibility process by automating much of the initial up-front work and will free up resources to address more productive tasks, like resolving patients eligibility issues and getting them into our system to start receiving care. By more quickly determining eligibility we can more quickly address patients needs."

The Auto Eligibility functionality is integrated into the Homecare Homebase Workflow Manager. Homecare Homebase automated this process to generate and send a 270 (Healthcare Eligibility Benefit Inquiry) for every patient at the start of an episode, whether a new patient or a re-certification of an existing patient. If an issue is identified in the Medicare Common Working File, an alert appears on the Workflow task screen of the agency's designated go-to person, in the form of a user friendly, easy to read 271 (Healthcare Benefit Eligibility Response).

Another benefit of Auto Eligibility is the programmable re-check feature. This feature allows the agency to program the system to communicate with the Medicare Common Working File anytime during an episode based on parameters they determine. If the 271 identifies an issue with patient eligibility it immediately triggers the Workflow Manager to ensure appropriate action is taken. Auto Eligibility effectively eliminates end of episode surprises created by Medicare eligibility issues, and as a result, improves agency cash flow and revenue per patient.

"Changes to Medicare beneficiary's eligibility during an episode is a significant issue for agencies, resulting in thousands of dollars in write-offs a year" reports Shearrer. "In many cases the agency finds out about a payer change when Medicare denies payment. Consequently, the billing staff will spend additional hours in efforts to recover the revenue. When eligibility issues occur there is no guarantee of payment. The new integration of Auto Eligibility into our Homecare Homebase solution will enable us to set up automatic re-checks during the episode, will allow us to avoid many of the pitfalls caused by changes in eligibility, will translate directly into a reduction in write-offs and will benefit the bottom line."

"Home health agencies have dedicated significant time and resources to a task Homecare Homebase knew could be automated," said Tom Maxwell, COO of Homecare Homebase, "Auto Eligibility allows the agency to let our solution do the work, so they can concentrate on what's most important - the patient."

About Homecare Homebase, LP.
Homecare Homebase is a privately held software development company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Founded in 1999 by industry veterans, Homecare Homebase offers a comprehensive integrated web-based software solution to improve the clinical, operational and financial success of homecare and hospice agencies. Homecare Homebase enables real-time, wireless information exchange and communication between office staff, field staff and physicians; automates workflow processes; enables accurate billing through numerous integrated checks and balances; and, provides powerful management reporting via a back-office data analysis tool that ties together all agency operational information. Every aspect of the Homecare Homebase system was developed to be user-friendly, flexible and customizable to specific agency needs. For more information, visit our web site at http://www.hchb.com or contact us toll free at 1-866-535-HCHB (4242).

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Tricia Collom
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