A broad category of physicians who see Medicare patients – 806,879 doctors – has been relieved of reporting responsibilities for this year under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Physicians should be receiving letters outlining their status relative to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) this month. Read more
May brings two celebrations of the valuable work of nurses at skilled nursing facilities – National Nurses Week (May 6 – 12) and National Nursing Home Week (May 14 – 20). It’s a great opportunity to recognize the tremendous leadership, skills and caring that nurses bring to all our lives.
As we mark these annual milestones, it’s appropriate to think about milestones in nursing practice, too. One trend that never seems to slow down is the use of technology. Read more
News came out in mid-April that rock mega-star Prince had many prescriptions for opioid drugs in his home at the time of his death April 21 last year. But the prescriptions were in the name of his bodyguard, bringing to light a common occurrence in the world of opioid misuse: Many people get started down the path to dependence and addiction by tapping into other people’s prescription painkillers. Or they may use multiple identities to get more drugs than are safe to use. Read more
April is Occupational Therapy month and this is an opportune time to celebrate the work of occupational therapists and understand how they function in home health teams to help patients lead more fulfilling lives. OTs often play an essential role in ensuring that patients of all ages can live independently at home. Read more
After the dramatic rise and fall of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), many in the healthcare industry are wondering what to expect next. After months of uncertainty, it seems relatively clear that the type of large-scale reform isn’t going to happen any time soon. President Trump and other Republicans have signaled that they are ready to move on to tax reform and other legislative priorities. Although Paul Ryan and other Republicans are trying to revive healthcare reform, it doesn’t seem likely that the fissure in the House of Representatives that doomed the AHCA is any closer to healing. And a great deal of momentum has been lost. With April recess looming, the process is slowed even further. Read more
It all comes down to math.
Strong opinions have already formed about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan that was announced by President Trump during the first week of March. Several factors are in play that will determine the outcome of the new American Health Care Plan (AHCA) currently wending its way through a process maze. Read more
No discussion about improving the healthcare system in the United States is complete without a mention of the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead in telehealth.* After all, providers and patients using technology that doesn’t depend on face-to-face communication for care delivery, monitoring or education makes so much sense.
And yet …
A comprehensive 2016 study by The Physicians Foundation examined physician attitudes toward their work life and uncovered various attitudes and beliefs that are certain to affect how they respond to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). More than 17,000 physicians responded to the survey and submitted an astonishing 10,000 comments about their work life, many of which focused on ever-growing administrative work related to insurance and government reimbursement. Read more
Last fall the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued The Final Rule to Reform the Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities, a massive collection of new, revised and restructured regulations that touches nearly every aspect of nursing home operations – including resident assessments, quality improvement, data collection and utilization, and staffing levels. Luckily, all the changes are scheduled to take place over a three-year period, with three phases of implementation. Read more
In the midst of potential changes to the ACA it can be easy to forget the importance of the basics like patient eligibility. Checking for changes in patient insurance coverage will always be a top priority, and missing the fine details can leave you in a challenging situation. Fortunately, there are strategies to address this potentially frustrating situation. Read more