HHS

House leader urges HHS to end settlements meant to cut Medicare backlog

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The Department of Health and Human Services may not have had the authority to offer providers special settlements to help clear a huge backlog of Medicare appeals, a leading Congressman said in a recent letter to the agency. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) is urging HHS to halt the new settlement process.

AHRQ to host webinar on fall prevention

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will host a webinar on fall prevention in long-term care facilities on Aug. 13, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Government plan calls for increased surveillance, prosecution to combat elder abuse

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Elder abuse is inflicted upon many of the more than 2 million Americans in long-term care settings, and more oversight is needed, according to a government report published Wednesday.

Improper coding for doctors' evaluation and management visits costs Medicare billions, OIG report

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Documentation coding errors related to routine patient evaluation and management (E/M) visits are costing the Medicare program billions of dollars in improper payments a year — nearly $7 billion alone in 2010 — according to a new government report. But the investigation involved few claims involving nursing homes.

Also in the news for May 9, 2014 . . .

Potential HHS chief gets friendly reception from senators ... Handshake strength helps predict dementia, mortality, researchers say ... 'Picky eater' cells could be new Alzheimer's therapy targets

Sebelius resigns as administration touts ACA enrollment numbers

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Kathleen Sebelius is resigning as head of the Department of Health and Human Services, White House officials confirmed to news outlets Thursday.

HHS wants civil monetary penalty rules changed

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Civil monetary penalties for providers will be revised if two proposed rules from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General are approved.

When we talk about providing good care, what do we really mean?

When we talk about providing good care, what do we really mean?

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In case you haven't noticed, "quality" is quite the buzzword in long-term care these days.

HHS proposes rule to improve consistency of long-term care ombudsman programs

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The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging has proposed a rule to create federal guidelines for long-term care ombudsman programs, to create more uniformity and address questions around ombudsman responsibilities, information disclosure, complaint resolution and conflicts of interest.

Government initiatives aim to decrease number of disabled people in nursing homes

Government initiatives aim to decrease number of disabled people in nursing homes

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The federal government is ramping up efforts to reduce the number of disabled people in nursing homes through interagency initiatives. While many disabled people have already been moved out of nursing homes, a sharper focus is needed because the aging of the baby boom generation will increase the number of seniors with disabilities, the Education Department said in a Federal Register article.

Updated government guidelines may help with diverse resident populations

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The Department of Health and Human Services has updated its national standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS), providing an enhanced tool for long-term care providers serving increasingly diverse populations.

HHS issues final rule on federal payment rates for new Medicaid beneficiaries

HHS issues final rule on federal payment rates for new Medicaid beneficiaries

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The federal government will pay 100% of the Medicaid costs for certain newly eligible beneficiaries under the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed in a final rule last Friday.

Genesis HealthCare, HHS reach settlement over treatment of deaf residents

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Genesis HealthCare will enhance care for deaf individuals, including providing interpreters, as part of a recent settlement agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

HHS awards states $285 million to support formation of innovative care and payment models

HHS awards states $285 million to support formation of innovative care and payment models

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The Department of Health and Human Services will award $285 million for 25 states to innovate healthcare delivery and payment systems, the agency announced on Feb. 21. In many of these states, long-term care providers will take part in newly established multi-payer groups, such as accountable care organizations.

Hospice settles HIPAA case for $50,000

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A stolen laptop has resulted in an Idaho hospice organization paying the Department of Health and Human Services $50,000.

Golden Living to pay $600k but derides wound care charge

Golden Living to pay $600k but derides wound care charge

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Golden Living announced in January it reached a settlement totaling more than $613,000 with the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice and the state of Georgia.

Sample agreement covers provisions in new HIPAA rule

Sample agreement covers provisions in new HIPAA rule

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As they work to comply with the omnibus Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rule published on Friday, long-term care providers can refer to a sample business associate agreement released recently by the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

Gift cards for patients don't violate anti-kickback statute, OIG says

A facility that has proposed to offer grocery store gift cards in return for health screenings or clinical services will be sanctioned, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced.

Golden Living reaches $600,000 settlement in federal wound care case

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Golden Living announced Wednesday it has reached a settlement deal totaling more than $613,000 with the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice and the state of Georgia.

HHS issues yet another rule calling for 26.5% physician pay cut

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The Department of Health and Human Services released new rule proposals Thursday, including one that calls for a 26.5% statutorily required pay cut for Medicare physicians in 2013

Lawmakers threaten subpoena over Affordable Care Act PR campaign

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Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee have threatened to subpoena federal health officials to gain access to public relations contracts related to the Affordable Care Act.

HHS finalizes ICD-10 delay

HHS finalizes ICD-10 delay

Healthcare providers will have an extra year to become compliant with ICD-10 coding standards and will be issued standardized identification codes, according to a final rule issued by Department of Health and Human Services on Friday.

OIG should streamline Medicare's self-disclosed overpayment protocol, provider group says

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Federal officials need to provide clearer guidance and offer a more streamlined protocol for providers willing to self-disclose Medicare overpayments, a leading long-term care group says.

Federal healthcare fraud initiative will vigorously scrutinize provider claims

Federal healthcare fraud initiative will vigorously scrutinize provider claims

A new federal fraud-fighting initiative will apply increased scrutiny to provider health claims submitted to both government and private payers, government officials announced Thursday.

Governors pepper Obama administration with Medicaid funding questions

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The National Governor's Association begins its annual meeting in Virginia today with the group asking federal authorities for clarification on expanding Medicaid in their states.

Many nursing homes are not meeting federal standards for antipsychotic use, OIG review finds

Many nursing homes are not meeting federal standards for antipsychotic use, OIG review finds

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Many nursing facilities are not compliant with federal regulations governing residents who take atypical antipsychotic medications, a federal review released Monday reveals.

Obama administration has missed half of health law's legal deadlines, report claims

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The Department of Health and Human Services missed roughly half of its legal deadlines for implementing the Affordable Care Act, a new report from a right-leaning advocacy group asserts.

HHS names coordinated care innovation winners

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The Department of Health and Human Services has announced its newest round of grant recipients under its Health Care Innovation Awards.

Healthcare waste accounts for a third of all spending, government official says

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With healthcare waste taking up to a third of all healthcare costs, reducing waste and fraud remain primary goals of the Office of the Inspector General, the head of the agency said Monday.

Measuring performance, coordinating care both crucial to lowering costs among the chronically ill, report says

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The federal government should take advantage of Affordable Care Act funds to improve the coordination and quality of care for the chronically ill, a new report recommends.

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