Accountable Care Organizations

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare reforms under the Affordable Care Act.

Long-term care providers are participating in 'most ambitious test' of bundled payments, CMS announces

Long-term care providers are participating in 'most ambitious test' of bundled payments, CMS announces

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Skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies are among 232 healthcare providers that have entered into agreements to take part in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Thursday.

Transition from facility to home- and community-based care greatly increases dual eligibles' risk of hospitalization, study shows

Transition from facility to home- and community-based care greatly increases dual eligibles' risk of hospitalization, study shows

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Dual eligibles who moved from a long-term care facility to home- and community-based services had a 40% increased risk of a potentially preventable hospital stay, according to recently published research.

Table talk: You have to listen to the right people

Table talk: You have to listen to the right people

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When we at McKnight's host a special roundtable discussion, I look forward to getting to know the esteemed participants. Captains of the profession, they typically have evolved from nurses, business managers and doctors into C-suite inhabitants — extremely observant top executives, in fact.

McKnight's Roundtable: Changes ahead

McKnight's Roundtable: Changes ahead

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Top long-term care officers tackled some of the field's main challenges, exchanged perspectives on new opportunities and shared ideas on what the future might hold.

Heard around the table: Provider execs listening to the right people

Heard around the table: Provider execs listening to the right people

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Captains of the long-term care profession get to their lofty positions by using their intellect and superior vision skills, as a gathering of minds recently re-emphasized.

Providers to learn: never enough friends in play

Providers to learn: never enough friends in play

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Sometimes long-term care providers struggle to find meaning in the signs that are strewn in their path. Whether it's legalese, regulatory gobbledy-gook or some form of bureaucracy, uncertain messages confront providers seemingly every day.

Research organizations team up for large-scale senior fall prevention study

Research organizations team up for large-scale senior fall prevention study

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Two research organizations are teaming up for a major study to reduce the number of fall-related injuries among seniors. Provider input is requested.

Time is limited for ACO deals

Time is limited for ACO deals

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By negotiating now, a nursing home can have a strong voice in an Accountable Care Organization. Otherwise, ACOs will come to nursing homes in two or three years with a "take it or leave it" proposition, according to John Durso, a partner at the law firm of Ungaretti & Harris LLP and a McKnight's Expert columnist.

Engaging ER physicians the way to go for long-term care

Engaging ER physicians the way to go for long-term care

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Healthcare journalists may have fallen inadvertently into triggering a Pavlovian response in our readers: We write "hospital readmissions" and you click.

Nursing homes' strong negotiating position with ACOs will not last long, legal expert says

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Skilled nursing facilities that delay joining an Accountable Care Organization will likely be losers in the healthcare marketplace, according to John Durso, a partner at the law firm of Ungaretti & Harris LLP. Durso recently offered tips for nursing homes that are negotiating to join an integrated care network.

Medicare reform proposed in new report

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Medicare beneficiaries should be allowed to enroll in a network that would "incentivize higher quality" and more cost-effective and coordinated care, according to a new report whose authors include three former Senators.

Updated palliative care guidelines: Providers should increase coordination, embrace QAPI

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Palliative care should follow care coordination and quality improvement processes called for by the Affordable Care Act, according to updated guidelines from the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care.

Medicare accepting new codes for transition care

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As part of an effort to improve coordination among different care settings and reduce rehospitalizations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is now accepting two new codes related to transitional care.

Number of Medicare ACOs could top 300 in January, official says

Number of Medicare ACOs could top 300 in January, official says

Accountable care organizations contracting with Medicare might double in January, according to the head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation.

ACOs making progress in improving care transition, survey finds

ACOs making progress in improving care transition, survey finds

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A snapshot of hospitals involved in accountable care organizations finds that they are making progress in improving the coordination of care.

Accessibility is key to success of ACOs, report says

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Those most likely to benefit from participation in accountable care organizations may face the biggest barriers to enrollment, a new report suggests.

Health info expert: Time for long-term care providers to raise their hands for inclusion

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Long-term care providers must collaborate and create partnerships with their acute care counterparts in order to make efficient use of new technology, a health information management expert told listeners at a special McKnight's webcast Tuesday.

CMS frees up $275 million for state coordinated care initiatives

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States eager to test payment reform models for federal health programs can apply for awards totaling $275 million, courtesy of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In wake of Supreme Court ruling, states weighing Medicaid options

In wake of Supreme Court ruling, states weighing Medicaid options

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Many states are considering their options in the wake of a seemingly favorable Supreme Court ruling. The nation's highest court ruled that Congress exceeded its reach when it threatened states with a total Medicaid funding cutoff if they failed to participate in an expanded Medicaid program.

ACOs could thrive even if healthcare law is overturned, experts say

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Accountable care organizations are expected to thrive even if the Supreme Court throws out the Affordable Care Act, healthcare law experts said Tuesday.

It's time to drop the lone wolf routine

It's time to drop the lone wolf routine

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For many, it appears that finding their own answers to long-term care's challenges and opportunities is the first and only default option. But the future means finding some dance partners.

Healthcare leaders press Congress for Medicare reimbursement reform

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Provider groups are pushing Congress to replace the formula Medicare uses to reimburse physicians and eliminate other regulatory burdens.

TN providers team up with insurers for bundled payment program for joint replacements

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In anticipation of payment reforms centering on coordinated care, health systems and a major Tennessee insurer are establishing a bundled payment system for joint replacements.

Hospital readmission penalties could transform relationships with SNFs, experts say

Hospital readmission penalties could transform relationships with SNFs, experts say

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Healthcare reform efforts targeted at reducing hospital readmissions are here to stay, experts told participants in a McKnight's webcast Tuesday.

Conservatives cast doubt on cost effectiveness of healthcare reform

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Conservative healthcare analysts warned a House committee that several provisions of the Affordable Care Act could cause further industry consolidation and weaken Medicare.

CMS releases list of 27 ACOs

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Physicians largely lead the first group of Medicare Shared Savings accountable care organizations, but long-term care facilities will be an integral part of their future success, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services official said Tuesday.

Reduce Alzheimer's-related hospitalizations prior to nursing home admission, researchers advise

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Healthcare providers should work on keeping Alzheimer's patients out of a hospital before they enter a nursing home, a new study suggests.

Why the Supreme Court will vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act

Why the Supreme Court will vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act

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You may not like — nay, hate — the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Supreme Court may agree with you. That doesn't mean the justices will strike it down.

HHS unveils more specifics on federal Alzheimer's initiative

HHS unveils more specifics on federal Alzheimer's initiative

The federal government on Wednesday unveiled the first draft of its national action plan against Alzheimer's disease. Building on the framework published in January, the draft released by the Department of Health and Human Services yesterday proposes the creation of registries to better direct Alzheimer's sufferers into clinical trials.

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