Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

GOP appoints first members to LTC commission

The new congressional commission on long-term care is slowly forming, as Republicans add two members to the bipartisan group. Read More »

Report: Location plays a role in readmission rates

Hospitals made little progress on hospital readmission rates between 2008 and 2010, and some regions have far more readmissions than the national average. Read More »

CMS cleans up guidelines on laundry and infection control

Modern detergents and new laundering technologies have prompted the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to revise the laundry notes under F tag 411. Read More »

CMS mandates greater disclosure on provider/manufacturer relationships

How much do you know about your GPO? CMS has instituted stricter disclosure rules pertaining to the financial relationships between providers and drug and device manufacturers. Read More »

CMS announces test sites for bundled payment program

Hundreds of provider sites are ready to test the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ four new models for restructuring the way episodes of care are paid for. Read More »

HHS translates healthcare insurance exchanges for clarity

State-based health insurance exchanges, already battered by state resistance and party-line politics, have one more hurdle to overcome. Read More »

Durable medical equipment providers attract OIG’s fraud spotlight

Although therapy billing has taken a lot of the heat lately in CMS’ hunt for fradulent billing practices, the next big target might be something more durable. Read More »

OIG widens crackdown on hospices

Another hospice gets a federal audit as the Office of Inspector General increases investigations at hospices across the country. Read More »

CMS doubles number of ACOs, releases new report on ACO impact

Another 106 provider organizations make the CMS list of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), bringing the number of covered beneficiaries to more than 4 million. Read More »

Hospice hit with $50K fine for data breach

Think your LTC facility is too small for privacy and security authorities to come after you for data breaches? Think again. Read More »

Telehealth bill proposes higher federal payments, less restrictions

Congress is considering new legislation that would erase many of the barriers to telehealth adoption and create better incentives for providers. Read More »

Obama, Senators set 11th-hour fiscal cliff meeting

No one’s sure what key bargaining chips will be in play at today’s 3 p.m. meeting between President Obama and congressional leaders, but raising the Medicare age isn’t going to be one of them, according to a key Democratic Senator. Read More »

CDC: Make brain health a national priority

Placing brain health among the current national health priorities--like diabetes and heart disease--can give cognitive health the attention and respect it needs to foster awareness and better prevention habits, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Brain Initiative. Read More »

Washington Update: Republicans fail to support Boehner’s latest fiscal cliff proposal

On the Friday before the Christmas holiday, Congress is still nowhere on an agreement to avert sequestration and the fiscal cliff. Read More »

AHCA: Medicaid payment shortfalls projected at $7 billion for 2012

A new report released today by the American Health Care Association shows historic shortfalls in what Medicaid pays and what skilled nursing care actually costs. Read More »

ONC releases final EMR testing specs for 2014

No more guessing: After months of drafting and reviewing, the Final Testing Method for electronic medical records (EMRs) has been published by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Read More »

OIG report: CMS’ fraud system has promising first year

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Fraud Prevention Program gets a decent grade in its Year One evaluation, but the inspectors also have a few suggestions. Read More »

Medicare policies complicate aging-in-place strategies

If aging-in-place is on the rise, why is it becoming more difficult for stay-at-home seniors to get mobility equipment? Read More »

HHS says no to full funding for partial Medicaid expansions

The Department of Health & Human Services clarified its position Monday on funding ratios for state Medicaid expansions and published an extensive FAQ list on state health insurance exchanges. Read More »

Washington Update: Medicare, ‘doc-fix’ and the ‘fiscal cliff’

Healthcare policy expert Blair Childs, vice president for public affairs at Premier healthcare alliance, gives his "insider impressions" of what’s happening on the Hill regarding a possible "doc-fix," Medicare funding, and possible Affordable Care Act policy changes as the deadline clock ticks down on the fiscal cliff. Read More »

Therapy cap would jeopardize seniors with Parkinson’s, stroke

Healthcare associations appeal to Congress to keep the therapy cap off the calendar for another year, as the clock ticks toward the December 31 Congressional deadline. Read More »

BREAKING: GOP returns with counter-offer to avert ‘fiscal cliff’

Speaker of the House John Boehner delivered a new proposal to solve the budget crisis this afternoon-- including billions in healthcare cuts. Read More »

OIG to CMS: Get tougher on EHR incentive verifications

There are plenty of potential holes in the Meaningful Use incentives programs for electronic health records—and too many temptations for cheating, says a new OIG report. Read More »

BREAKING: HHS releases proposed rules for state insurance premiums, workplace wellness programs

The release of today's proposed rules brings the Department of Health & Human Services a few steps closer in building the rules for state health exchanges (HIX). Read More »

BREAKING: Health exchanges: Holdout states get last-minute reprieve

Today was to be decision day for states on whether they intend to participate in the new state health exchange program, but an eleventh-hour extension from Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius gives the remaining eight states another few weeks to decide. Read More »

SNFs erred on 25% of claims in 2009; $1.5 billion in overpayments

The Office of Inspector General continues to unearth massive misreporting and over-billing in nursing home claims, especially where therapy is involved. Read More »

One-on-one with… Eileen Malo

Eileen Malo, CEO of Schervier Nursing Care Center in Riverdale, N.Y., shares her insights on continuing to provide efficient and compassionate care to the growing numbers of seniors whether they reside in an LTC facility or in the community. Read More »

HHS submits rules for state insurance exchange benefits

The Department of Health and Human Services has submitted another rulemaking piece on state health insurance exchanges to the Office of Management and Budget—the last step before publication. Read More »

AHCA launches Ad firestorm at Congress: No Medicare/Medicaid cuts

Long-term care organizations are using an aggressive advertising campaign to tell Congress to end the deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Read More »

Providers get $8.36 billion in Meaningful Use payouts for EHR goals

Under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Meaningful Use incentive program for the use of electronic health records, eligible providers have received more than $8 billion in incentive payouts since the program began in early 2011, according to this week's report. Read More »