Healthcare reform

A legislative roundup of LTC in Hawaii

Hawaii state lawmakers reviewed several proposals before their legislative session ended, including some related to the oversight and inspection of long-term care facilities.  Read More »

Crusading to protect the elderly

Are the new Justice Department Elder Justice Task Forces a smokescreen to cut costs? Long-Term Living's politics and policy reporter, Robert Gatty, examines the forces at play in the new initiatives. Read More »

HHS offers protection against sexual orientation discrimination through ACA

The Department of Health and Human Services has implemented regulations to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotyping in healthcare and insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  Read More »

UnitedHealthcare pulls out of most state health marketplaces

The largest private insurer in the country has announced it will be ending its participation in most state healthcare marketplace exchanges, but it has some new plans for the future. Read More »

CMS payment model could change primary care for up to 25M Medicare beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will test a new payment model that encourages doctors to focus on health outcomes rather than volume of visits or tests. Read More »

Innovation program to reduce nursing home hospitalizations

The Center for Innovation has invested more than $30 million for Indiana University’s project to reduce avoidable hospitalizations for nursing home residents by providing higher levels of care on site. Read More »

Adding color to ICD-10 codes

A group of health information technology nerds enjoyed finding obscure and absurd ICD-10 codes like toxic effect of venom of bees, intentional self-harm. They thought others might, too, so they found their favorites, formed a publishing company and illustrated them for your amusement. Read More »

Fla. passes LTC wait-list prioritization law

The new law will require the state’s Department of Elderly Affairs to sort and prioritize those who are receiving long-term care services and those who are waiting for consideration. Read More »

Proposed legislation aimed at comorbidity among Medicare beneficiaries

A U.S. Senate Working Group has outlined priorities for improving Medicare delivery to beneficiaries with multiple, complex chronic illnesses while reducing healthcare expenditures.  Read More »

CMS solicits advancements, interventions in care delivery through Special Innovation Projects

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeks ideas for improving care delivery through a Special Innovation Program and will offer 28 awards totaling $8 million. Statements of Objectives will be available early April.  Read More »

Government to add nearly 6,000 updates to ICD-10

The CDC and CMS announced they will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the transition to the new classification system by implementing new diagnosis codes, hospital inpatient procedure codes and revision of existing code titles.  Read More »

New CMS initiative to improve care for nursing home residents

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will test a new payment model for nursing facilities and practitioners to further reduce avoidable hospitalizations and lower Medicare and Medicaid spending while improving patient care. Read More »

Medicare unveils Diabetes Prevention Program

Older Americans with a high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes may receive preventive treatment from an unlikely source: Medicare.  Read More »

Congress, LTC battle high drug prices

As Congress and Medicare battle it out with Big Pharma, drug prices continue to gouge those who can afford it the least. Read More »

CMS mapping tool tracks Medicare disparities

A new interactive mapping tool drills down to the state and county levels and reveals where the delivery of Medicare outcomes are falling short across 18 chronic conditions. Read More »

New CMS data set shakes out the RUGs

The data set examines the levels of care performed and resources used in skilled nursing facilities, including how many days are billed as the ultra-expensive “ultra-high rehabilitation.” Read More »

Harness the MDS for dementia care

The federally mandated minimum data set (MDS) is a documentation tool caregivers use every day that can help ensure quality dementia care. Read More »

A closer look at CMS’ efforts to reduce avoidable hospitalizations

Does Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recognize industry improvements? Washington policy expert Robert Gatty looks at whether the government's efforts have been effective. Read More »

CMS pushes interoperability for LTC

The new initiative allows states to request the 90 percent enhanced matching funds to connect more Medicaid providers to a state health information exchange. Read More »

Iowa won’t require nursing home employees to complete dementia care training

State legislators failed to pass a bill that would have required nursing home employees to learn how and be assessed on how they care for people with dementia.  Read More »

MatrixCare, CliftonLarsonAllen partner to help providers with value payment

CliftonLarsonAllen will consult MatrixCare clients on how to implement value based payment model initiatives.  Read More »

Key to continuity of care a single doctor

A piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association found high-risk older adults benefit from having a phsyician follow them throughout their continuum of care from the hospital to the skilled nursing facility to home.  Read More »

CDC, NCIPC launch first national definitions of elder abuse

What constitutes elder abuse? Until now, the answers have depended on what state you live in. Read More »

CMS examines racial, ethnic disparities in healthcare

Racial and ethnic minority populations are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days for certain chronic conditions. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is exploring the relationship readmission rates and diversity. Read More »

NJ governor vetoes staffing minimums

Gov. Chris Christie rejected legislation to set patient quotas for certified nursing assistants who work in nursing homes. The legislation was intended to improve residentsafety and quality of life. Read More »

Hawaii legislature proposes LTC benefits for seniors

Proposed legislation could make Hawaii the first state in the nation to offer long-term care benefits to seniors.  Read More »

JAMDA study IDs readmission spike

Better coordination between hospitals and post-acute care facilities could reduce patient readmission to hospitals and mortality rates. Read More »

National health spending picks up steam

The national healthcare spending growth rate has accelerated for the first time after five years of sluggish growth, according to new annual data from CMS. Read More »