4 Barriers to Addressing the Expanding Opioid Crisis

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

Uncharted Waters for Healthcare After GOP Plan Pulled

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

Congressional wrangling driven by a handful of dynamics

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

Two groups could give telehealth the traction it needs

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 …

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Will physicians be burned by MACRA surprises?

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

Diving into the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) ‘Final Rule’ on arbitration agreements

snf skilled nursing final rule arbitration

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

Are eligibility changes putting you at risk?

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

Providers should assume status quo on MACRA

With the confirmation of Tom Price as the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seemingly imminent, healthcare providers are being advised to continue their efforts to comply with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) as currently configured. Data collected in 2017 could still affect 2019 payments, so waiting to see what happens under a new administration is probably not wise. An expert from Industry trade group Medical Group Management Association urges providers to continue with their program. Read more

Medicare and Medicaid could face dramatic change

Changes are around the corner now that a new president is at the helm, though it’s hard to sort out how the path to change or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA)  will be effected. As of inauguration day, there were competing plans from Republicans, and few hints from the new president as to what he will actually propose. Thus far, he is saying his Health and Human Services (HHS) appointee must be confirmed before he’ll reveal details. That could happen in mid-February. Read more