OIG to study contractors
A new federal work plan declares that even the Medicare contractors charged with keeping close tabs on long-term care facilities will be put under the microscope during fiscal 2013.
In addition, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services also says it will investigate the prevalence and possible overuse of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes.
More specifically, the OIG's work plan for the coming year includes plans for in-depth reviews of the effectiveness of Medicare Administrative Contractors, Recovery Audit Contractors and Zone Program Integrity Contractors.
Long-term care lobbyists claim that these contractors have unfairly focused on nursing home therapy claims. They also contend the contractor programs have largely been unhelpful.
The investigative arm of HHS plans a multi-pronged look into providers' use of antipsychotic drugs.
“We will assess nursing homes' administration of atypical antipsychotic drugs, including the percentage of residents receiving these drugs and the types of drugs most commonly received,” the work plan states.
Characteristics associated with nursing homes that frequently administer atypical antipsychotic drugs will be identified, it adds.
Falls are the fourth most-common cause of injury deaths in the U.S. at 7 per 100,000 population, say researchers with the West Virginia University School of Public Health.
45% of hospitalizations among recent Medicare-Medicaid eligibles who received skilled nursing services could have been averted.
Two-thirds (67%) of nursing home employees surveyed said they had positive feelings about their work, according to a recent industry-sponsored survey.