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CMS updates coding instructions for hospice site of service, principal diagnosis

CMS updates coding instructions for hospice site of service, principal diagnosis

A new Medicare hospice manual update includes instructions for which principal diagnosis codes are acceptable, and clarifies which codes should be used for services in a skilled versus non-skilled nursing facility. Billing staffs should be aware of these changes, which go into effect Oct. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services stated in an educational memorandum sent Friday via email.

Vast majority of nursing home residents chronically constipated, and it's not well controlled, researchers say

Chronic constipation is highly prevalent in nursing homes and not well controlled, leading to a high likelihood that residents develop fecal impaction, according to findings from a first-of-its kind study.

Federal judge dismisses nursing home 'kickback' case; upholds large X-ray company's 'swapping' method of billing

The way mobile x-ray company Mobilex bills nursing homes is acceptable, a federal judge recently determined. Mobilex is the nation's largest provider of mobile diagnostic services. It had been facing whistleblower charges that it effectively paid kickbacks to nursing homes through an arrangement known as "swapping."

Also in the news for September 2, 2014 . . .

Inspectors cite LA nursing homes for dangerous practices but supervisors change reports to benefit facilities ... Feds join whistleblower suit charging that hospice billed for ineligible patients ... Magnetic pulses to the head could boost memory in people with Alzheimer's, Northwestern researchers say

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume and value: PwC report

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume and value: PwC report

Long-term care bucked healthcare industry trends with strong merger and acquisition activity in the second quarter of 2014, according to newly released data from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Company News

BusinessBriefs for August 2014

» Center Management Group of Flushing, NY, will pay $145 million to purchase five nursing facilities and two senior living communities from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The company currently operates 15 nursing facilities across New York and New Jersey. As part of the deal, the buyer has pledged to maintain the Catholic character of the nursing homes.

Hospitalist firm charged

A hospitalist company that works with thousands of facilities is facing federal charges that its clinicians routinely overbilled Medicare and Medicaid, authorities recently announced.

Skilled care companies seek site-neutral Medicare rates

Skilled care companies seek site-neutral Medicare rates

Proposed Medicare payment changes have put the nation's skilled care companies at odds with inpatient rehabilitation providers, and the two sides were making strident arguments in front of lawmakers at press time.

State News

State News for August 2014

State News for August 2014

KANSAS — The state no longer will publicly release survey results for nursing homes going through the informal dispute resolution process, the Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) recently announced. Long-term care associations and consumer advocacy groups have protested the new system, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported.

State News July 2014

State News July 2014

ILLINOIS — Democratic Gov. Patrick Quinn was expected to sign legislation designed to reverse decades of race-based disparities in the care provided in all types of long-term care settings.

State News May 2014

State News May 2014

WASHINGTON - A proposal for a sorely needed veteran's nursing home in Walla Walla remains mired in red tape and declining federal funding while elected officials continue pushing the Veterans Administration for answers.

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