Hospital

Interoperability is more important than ever

Interoperability is more important than ever

While hospital administrators or doctors may say that a note is a note, an assessment is an assessment, or a chart is a chart, they aren't acknowledging the uniqueness of the post-acute care environment—for example, how charts get audited is a completely different process, which means the information needs to be documented differently.

'Observation status' provision under further review

'Observation status' provision under further review

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The American Health Care Association on Thursday applauded a House measure that would inform Medicare beneficiaries of their observation status as hospital inpatient or outpatients. But that might be little consolation for skilled nursing facilities that face the prospect of not getting reimbursed after such observation periods.

Provider groups push for RAC reform

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Hospital industry groups said Thursday they'd rather the government reform the Recovery Audit Contractor program than simply throw more money at fixing an onerous backlog of more than 800,000 Medicare appeals cases.

This year holds promise for post-acute care

This year holds promise for post-acute care

Hospitals traditionally have viewed a patient's discharge as the endpoint of their care responsibilities. In reality, hospital stays frequently are just one step in ongoing episodes of care. Ensuring a smooth transition from acute to post-acute and long-term care settings is critical to achieving optimal health outcomes, as well as preventing unnecessary hospital readmissions and emergency department visits.

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the broadest networks of skilled nursing facilities, study finds

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the broadest networks of skilled nursing facilities, study finds

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Midwestern hospitals spread referrals to the greatest variety of skilled nursing facilities and tap their favorite SNFs least often, according to a recently published analysis of nationwide referral patterns.

QAPI: Avoiding the cost of non-compliance

QAPI: Avoiding the cost of non-compliance

An initiative that should be top of mind for facilities is the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI), an extension of the Affordable Care Act that is focused on improving quality of care for residents.

Post-hospital care spending jumps

Post-hospital care spending jumps

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Medicare spending on nursing homes, home medical care and other outside care will increasingly come under the government microscope according to a Kaiser Health News/Washington Post report. Widely varied care, additional services and costs from state-to-state have drawn the attention of regulators.

Dementia residents with Medicare managed care plan less likely to be hospitalized, JAMA finds

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Nursing home residents with advanced dementia who were covered under a Medicare managed care plan were more likely to have a do-not-hospitalize order and less likely to be transferred to a hospital, a new study finds

When two midnights doesn't equal three days

When two midnights doesn't equal three days

Hospital observation stays have been increasing, as have Medicare auditors' denial of claims related to short inpatient stays on the basis that they should have been counted as observation stays. Observation stays often causes headaches for long-term care administrators and frustration for families.

New calculation method would reduce readmissions penalties, CMS says

New calculation method would reduce readmissions penalties, CMS says

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed changing the way hospital readmission penalties are calculated as part of its 2014 Medicare rate update. Potential readmissions penalties for long-term care providers — such as those recently floated by the White House — would likely be based on the established CMS formula for hospitals.

American HealthTech gets new data partner

American HealthTech and Maun-Lemke Speaking and Consulting recently announced a strategic partnership in which operations solutions that benefit skilled providers will be jointly marketed.

CDC says fewer people are dying in hospitals, highlighting importance of end-of-life care in nursing homes, hospices

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The number of people dying in hospitals decreased 8% between 2000-2010 even as overall hospitalizations rose, suggesting nursing homes, hospices and home health providers are playing larger roles in end-of-life care. These numbers appeared in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Wednesday.

House and Senate lawmakers officially introduce observation stay bills

Lawmakers in the House and Senate formally introduced legislation to close the so-called "observation stay loophole" on Thursday.

Allevant Solutions is created in an effort to improve rural care

Mayo Clinic and Select Medical recently announced the formation of Allevant Solutions. The firm's goal is to improve healthcare services in nursing homes and hospitals that are located in rural areas.

Provider group pushes for observation stay loophole fix

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A long-term care group is urging regulators to continue work on fixing the "observation stay loophole" that makes it harder for Medicare beneficiaries to get nursing home care.

Turning a challenge into an opportunity

Turning a challenge into an opportunity

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Many nursing home administrators are not sleeping well these days. If it's any consolation, hospital administrators are probably catching even fewer winks.

Patients, residents, or something else?

Patients, residents, or something else?

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By any standard, assisted living and skilled care operators are taking care of customers who need more help.

Healthcare facilities advised to shut down decorative fountains following Legionnaires' disease outbreak

Healthcare facilities should shut down indoor decorative fountains to avoid the spread of Legionnaire's disease, according to a new study.

Provider groups lobby for Medicare observation stay fix

Long-term care provider groups said at a congressional briefing Thursday that they want a Medicare policy on observation stays in hospitals to be changed.

Hospitalization for Medicare patients often leads to nursing home, study finds

Hospitalization for Medicare patients often leads to nursing home, study finds

Medicare beneficiaries who are hospitalized for acute-care treatment, including a stroke or hip fracture, are at an "extremely high risk" for needing long-term care in a nursing home, a new study finds.

Nursing homes transferring advanced dementia residents to hospitals for questionable reasons, study suggests

Nursing homes transferring advanced dementia residents to hospitals for questionable reasons, study suggests

The rate of questionable transfers of end-stage dementia patients from nursing homes to hospitals has raised red flags, according to researchers.

Transitions of Care III — Scarier than a horror movie: Medication errors

Transitions of Care III — Scarier than a horror movie: Medication errors

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We've been talking for a while about transitioning of our residents to and from the facility and some of the problems associated with it. But let's talk now about just one huge problem, that big elephant in the room: medication reconciliation. This stuff is scary.

The Aging reality show

The Aging reality show

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One of the things about working in long-term care is that it's both a blessing and a curse — knowing about aging. For example, it's not a good thing when you aren't prepared for it, right? I remember clearly (it's actually indelibly imprinted on my brain for all eternity) the time I was not prepared for the changes aging brings.

Hospitalization can cause short-term memory loss in seniors

The mental disruption that comes with being hospitalized can cause temporary memory loss for up to a month for seniors who are sick, according to new research.

IT project aims to reduce hospital readmissions

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As the government strives to limit rehospitalizations, one nursing home and a couple of hospitals in New York City are staying ahead of the pack.

Nursing homes' new mission: Fitting into accountable care organizations

Nursing homes' new mission: Fitting into accountable care organizations

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To survive in the not-so-distant future, nursing homes will have to find a role within accountable care organizations.

Studies: Hospital stays contribute to high Medicare long-term care costs

Studies: Hospital stays contribute to high Medicare long-term care costs

Healthcare delivery system reforms could help reduce some of the "excessive and preventable" Medicare costs incurred by beneficiaries who live in long-term care facilities, according to recent reports from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

CMS may require more stringent provider screening for Medicare, Medicaid enrollment, participation

Some healthcare providers would be subject to criminal background checks and fingerprinting under a new fraud-prevention plan from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

MedPAC rules out RAC program as cause of increase in observational care

MedPAC rules out RAC program as cause of increase in observational care

The rise in observational care in hospitals, which nursing home providers have criticized in recent weeks, is not the fault of the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor program, according to a new report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

RN jobs to rise by 25% in nursing facilities over next decade, government report finds

Registered nursing employment is expected to grow by 25% in nursing care facilities from 2008 to 2018. That is according to the 2010-2011 edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.