» The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has unveiled a new webpage with information and resources for long-term and post-acute (LTPAC) providers: www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/long-term-post-acute-care. “We're beginning to develop resources for LTPAC providers,” ONC spokesman Peter Ashkenaz told McKnight's. He advised operators to bookmark the page and visit often to see how IT is being used in the sector, and to access new materials that will be posted. The webpage stresses the importance of health IT in facilitating care transitions under new healthcare models. It also includes information about funding and initiatives, such as the Challenge Grant program, through which long-term care providers acquire and utilize technology.
» Nursing Home Compare website users will soon be able to access and download more detailed data, including newly available information about inspections, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced. The agency has begun to automatically redirect users from the current Nursing Home Compare website to data.medicare.gov to download information, according to a recent Survey & Certification memorandum. This new information will include more detailed health inspection data, such as number of revisits required for a facility to reach compliance, a CMS memo stated. Expected and adjusted staffing data and a comparison table of state and national averages for some data points also will be available.
» President Obama has reportedly told his staff to use all the technology at their disposal to make the federal government “smarter, quicker and more responsive” in his second term. He lauded HealthCare.gov, which orients consumers on how to use the Web-based exchanges that will sell insurance and allows side-by-side comparisons of plans.
» Medicare will continue to reimburse only one telehealth visit per month for skilled nursing facility residents, according to a recent proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The proposed physician fee schedule for 2014 seeks to expand telehealth in other healthcare settings.