NOTICE Act may relieve SNF workers from being bearers of bad news

In July, we covered the recommendation from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) that Congress mandate that hospitals communicate better with patients about whether they’ve been admitted as an inpatient or if they are on observation status. The Commission’s wish has now come true, thanks to the passage of the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act. The new law gives hospitals 36 hours (or up to the point of discharge, if that comes sooner) to notify Medicare beneficiaries of their outpatient status. Read more

Directors of Revenue Cycle Management are in demand

Managing the healthcare revenue cycle has never really been simple, but in today’s climate of increasing cost pressures, provider competition, payer negotiations, and changing regulations, it may be harder than ever. As two recent articles in Healthcare Finance have detailed, that’s why Directors of Revenue Cycle Management are in demand at hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the country. Read more

ICD-10 preparation

ICD-10 Preparation: Do you know your baseline stats?

As the ICD-10 countdown continues, coders and billers in physicians’ offices are taking many steps to make sure they’ll be ready. You’re likely attending trainings or using online resources to learn the new codes, and you’re probably also conducting testing with payers. Despite these measures, many in the industry fear that ICD-10 implementation will have a negative effect on their productivity and denial rates. Read more

Is a Talent Shortage Looming for Your SNF?

Is a talent shortage looming for your SNF?

Experts have projected employment in the long-term care industry will continue to grow through the year 2030, leading to concerns about talent shortages. “Policy makers and educators should redouble efforts to create and sustainably fund programs to recruit, train, and retain long-term care workers,” wrote researchers in a study conducted at the University of California San Francisco.  Read more

SNFs and the 3-Day Stay

The recent recommendation from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) that the “three-day stay” rule be relaxed is welcome news for many skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Not only did the commission recommend that up to two outpatient observation days be counted toward the three-day requirement, it also asked Congress to mandate that hospitals communicate better with patients about their status as an outpatient or inpatient and how it might impact their benefits in a skilled nursing facility. (To be clear, the three-day rule is not to be confused with the two-midnight rule, to which CMS has recently proposed changes.)

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Healthcare providers “relieved” by ACA verdict

The June 25 Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell brings closure in the latest chapter of legal wrangling over the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and avoids the upheaval that would have resulted if the court had ruled against the federal government. The ruling is significant for commercial payers, whose plan pricing depends on the participation of the young and healthy, and also for providers and patients, for whom the ruling means that business can continue as usual, with eligible patients continuing to receive subsidies to purchase their insurance. Read more