MedPAC gets new chair, member

The body that advises Congress on Medicare-related payments to health plans and providers welcomes a new member, a new chair and five reappointed members. Read More »

FDA guidance could undermine safety, compliance efforts, pharmacy group maintains

Repackaging and distribution guidance proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration inadvertently would undermine patient/resident safety in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and also would threaten regulatory compliance, the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition said in a letter to the agency. Read More »

Federal agencies should work together to help adults age in place, GAO says

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should help federal agencies work together to ensure that government resources related to home- and community-based services are used effectively and efficiently, the Government Accountability Office recommends. Read More »

Pharmacy group pleased with revised 21st Century Cures language

The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition says it is pleased with the Energy and Commerce Committee’s revised language in draft 21st Century Cures legislation it is considering related to programs to prevent prescription drug abuse under Medicare Parts C and D. Read More »

Provider organizations respond to Kaiser analysis of nursing homes

The lower five-star ratings forecast in February by the federal government are evidenced in a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The news is not surprising, say two organizations representing providers. Read More »

Larry Minnix reflects on his seriously fun time as LeadingAge chief

Looming federal elections present the perfect time to step aside and let a successor fill his shoes, LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix tells Long-Term Living in an exclusive interview. Read More »

NOTICE Act introduced in Senate

Following passage in the House, legislation introduced in the Senate would require hospitals to notify Medicare beneficiaries of their outpatient status within 36 hours after the time of their classification or, if sooner, upon discharge. Read More »

Poll: America not ready for aging population

Adults weigh in on how to address challenges facing Medicare and Social Security in a new Harris poll. Read More »

Study: Medicare beneficiaries’ melanoma excisions often delayed

Potential for increased stress, illness and death is increased when surgery for melanoma, a leading cause of skin cancer diagnosis, is delayed. Read More »

Pioneer ACOs: Study finds savings without sacrifice of quality

The Pioneer model of accountable care organization has saved about $385 million without sacrificing care quality, according to a newly published study in JAMA. Read More »

GAO issues report on advance directives

A new report by the Government Accountability Office sheds light on the demographic characteristics of those most likely to have living wills and healthcare powers of attorney. Read More »

MDS items set to expand

CMS intends to implement new or revised MDS coding by October 2016 in its move toward creating a value-based Medicare payment system. Read More »

Senate votes to continue Independence at Home pilots

Independence at Home demonstration projects would continue under a bill passed by the U.S. Senate. The legislation now awaits consideration in the House of Representatives. Read More »

Bill would expand veterans’ access to skilled nursing

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health deliberated today about a bipartisan bill that would expand veterans’ access to skilled nursing and other healthcare options. Read More »

If Walker becomes president?

Do the actions of a state governor foreshadow the approach he would take and the policies he would advocate if elected to this country’s highest office? If so, then those in long-term care may want to pay attention to what’s going on in the Badger State. Read More »

Trade bill would affect Medicare, groups complain

Four large healthcare trade organizations have sent letters to the Senate and House expressing concerns over a plan to use healthcare dollars to fund provisions in trade bills, resulting in cuts to Medicare. Read More »

Nursing home negligence?

Negligence has specific legal definitions—and personal injury lawyers love to muddy them. Long-Term Living legal blogger Alan C. Horowitz, RN, JD, explains what nursing homes can do to protect themselves. Read More »

CMS proposes SNF changes

Payments to skilled nursing facilities, quality reporting, value-based purchasing and staffing data collection are addressed in a proposed rule published April 20 in the Federal Register. Read More »

Congress addresses post-acute care payment reform

MedPAC, lawmakers call for payment revisions to cut costs and eliminate abuse in how post-acute care facilities are reimbursed to improve quality of care. Read More »

Observation status is focus of AARP report

A new report from the AARP’s Public Policy Institute details the effects on Medicare beneficiaries who stay in a hospital under observation status rather than being admitted, and it offers recommendations to address the issue. Read More »

Senate passes SGR repeal

The U.S. Senate voted last night to repeal permanently the sustainable growth rate formula under which physicians are reimbursed for care they provide through Medicare. Several organizations representing aging services providers share their perspectives. Read More »

GAO report suggests Medicare, Medicaid improvements

Medicare postpayment claims reviews and state Medicaid sources of funds are two of 24 areas where fragmentation, overlap or duplication exists in the federal government, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Read More »

Seniors concerned about Medicare cost increases, service cuts

Providers and the professional associations advocating on their behalf may be focused on the sustainable growth rate and related issues, but a new survey finds that Medicare beneficiaries are more concerned about potential cost increases and service cuts. Read More »

Home health focus of two bills

Increasing the scope of practice for ABRNs and PAs who work in home healthcare, and reimbursing for HCBS for low-income, Medicare-only beneficiaries who need help with two or more ADLs, are the goals of two bipartisan bills introduced in Congress. Read More »

NTOCC launches care transitions resource database

The National Transitions of Care Coalition launches an online database of applications, tools and educational resources for improving care transitions and quality outcomes. Read More »

OIG identifies areas for cost, quality improvement

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General identifies more than 25 ways that government agencies and programs could save money or improve quality. Read More »

Medicare Advantage to receive 1.25% pay bump in 2016

The 2016 rates for Medicare Advantage plans won't be a dismal as predicted, according to final rate adjustments released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Read More »

CMS clarifies actions on expiring provisions

As the U.S. Senate continues its spring recess, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has clarified what actions it will take until mid-April. Several provisions that may be addressed by passage of a “doc fix” bill expired today. Read More »

Rethinking end-of-life care

Top leaders in healthcare policy discuss how to change the culture of dying to one driven by residents instead of physicians—and how to find more insurance models to pay for hospice and palliative care. Read More »

Observation status would count toward three-day inpatient stay under act

Patients’ time under “observation status” would count toward the requisite three-day hospital stay for coverage of skilled nursing care under legislation introduced by four senators. Read More »