Obamacare

Providers should pay special attention to what happens in the Senate tomorrow

Providers should pay special attention to what happens in the Senate tomorrow

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Tomorrow's the big day. All across this nation, voters will go to the polls to decide thousands of races and issues. But providers should care the most about the various U.S. Senate race outcomes because they could potentially change the way many operators do business.

You'll never guess where the latest Medicaid relief is coming from

You'll never guess where the latest Medicaid relief is coming from

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If you are a long-term care provider relying on Medicaid dollars to make ends meet, Illinois is probably one of the last places where you'd want to be doing business. But Illinois also might have a program worth emulating wherever you are.

Some nursing home operators may soon discover it's not so easy to hide

Some nursing home operators may soon discover it's not so easy to hide

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For years, some nursing home operators have relied on an unusual tactic for avoiding lawsuits and other trouble: a catch-me-if-you-can corporate structure. But the future is looking less bright for this dubious if effective business model.

Medicaid hypocrisy 2.0, or the art of not giving credit where it's due

Medicaid hypocrisy 2.0, or the art of not giving credit where it's due

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Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican governor taking more Medicaid funding.

The year of the opinion

The year of the opinion

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If 2013 was anything, and I'm not convinced it was, it was the year of strong opinions — even in long-term care. The fact that they were often biased, self-serving or blissfully fact-free seemed to make no difference. From our nation's finest politicians right down to me, from my damp hole under the porch, we were willing to state our personal beliefs loudly, boldly, publicly, without question or doubt, as absolute truth. Or at least that's my opinion.

Why Sebelius should step down, and why it probably won't happen

Why Sebelius should step down, and why it probably won't happen

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What boss wouldn't want to have Kathleen Sebelius for a deputy?

Leveraging the obvious

Leveraging the obvious

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Three things we've learned from long-term care news so far this month. Angry Facebook rants can get you into trouble at work. Republican lawmakers would love to defund Obamacare. And nursing home residents are not satisfied with the food or activities. No word yet on whether gravity contributes to falls or pressure to ulcers, but August isn't quite over yet.

Nursing home residents are allowed to designate organizations as authorized representatives for Medicaid enrollment, final rule affirms

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In the final rule, CMS confirmed that organizations may serve as representatives, specifically citing the needs of nursing home residents who do not have family available for assistance. The rule also defines what authorized representatives may do, such as signing an application on a resident's behalf, and specifies that representatives must follow state and federal laws regarding conflict of interest and confidentiality of information.

Irony dead? Not while we have Obamacare

Irony dead? Not while we have Obamacare

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When the Obama administration recently announced it would push back the healthcare law's employer insurance mandate for another year, many a long-term care operator rejoiced. I'm guessing there will be more postponing and tweaking.

Obamacare manageable in long-term care facilities

Obamacare manageable in long-term care facilities

Many long-term care providers are worried about rising health insurance costs for groups. Health insurance costs will climb 15% to 40% for groups in 2014. However, there are opportunities to manage this expected cost increase to a level that is affordable.

When it comes to free Medicaid dollars, some governors in a state of denial

When it comes to free Medicaid dollars, some governors in a state of denial

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Under a newly expanded Medicaid program option, states stand to reap billions of dollars in what amounts to free money. Much of this could go toward better resident care. But some governors can't help themselves and are acting stupid.

SNFs could see 50% payment reduction for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan claims

SNFs could see 50% payment reduction for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan claims

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The federal government's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will reduce its payments to skilled nursing facilities by 50% as of June 15, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The PCIP program received a budget of $5 billion in ACA funding, and CMS fears it will run out of money prior to 2014 given the current rate of pay-outs.

Message from the White House: Don't trust nursing homes

Message from the White House: Don't trust nursing homes

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Ever wonder how much regard the White House has for long-term care operators? A brief filed last week makes the answer abundantly clear: very little.

CMS rule shines light on Medicaid cost sharing, eligibility and appeals process as Obamacare rolls out

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a rule to clarify ways in which Medicaid will be coordinated under the Affordable Care Act rollout.

Access to healthcare is NOT just an overseas problem

Access to healthcare is NOT just an overseas problem

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I recently had the opportunity to speak at the China Healthcare Sourcing Summit in Hangzhou, China. It was a remarkable experience and really helped me gain a wider perspective of healthcare delivery around the world. Access to healthcare, hospitals, doctors, and especially rehabilitation services is a primary concern for the Chinese government.

The heart of what we believe

The heart of what we believe

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If the AARP convention last week was any indication, some seniors aren't buying what Paul Ryan is selling. The question is, are you?

Democratic rebuttals to GOP Medicare, Medicaid plans expected at national convention

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Next week it will be the Democrats' turn to offer their visions of the future for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as other issues that would significantly affect long-term care operators. Expected at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina is at least some degree of chest thumping over actions compelled by the Affordable Care Act, the reform law often referred to as "Obamacare." Republicans this week adopted a platform that would significantly alter the way Medicaid and Medicare funds would be distributed. The stakes could be huge for LTC operators: Together, the programs currently pay about 75% of U.S. long-term care costs.

Democratic rebuttals to GOP Medicare, Medicaid plans expected at national convention

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Next week it will be the Democrats' turn to offer their visions of the future for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as other issues that would significantly affect long-term care operators. Expected at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina is at least some degree of chest thumping over actions compelled by the Affordable Care Act, the reform law often referred to as "Obamacare." Republicans this week adopted a platform that would significantly alter the way Medicaid and Medicare funds would be distributed. The stakes could be huge for LTC operators: Together, the programs currently pay about 75% of U.S. long-term care costs.

Tough choice for many operators: vote with heart or wallet?

Tough choice for many operators: vote with heart or wallet?

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A friend once told me that long-term care operators are Republicans who make a living off Democratic policies. If that's the case, many of these folks may have to hold their noses when they cast votes in November.

What the healthcare reform numbers now tell us

What the healthcare reform numbers now tell us

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It's really true: There are lies, damn lies and ... Congressional Budget Office estimates.

What the healthcare reform numbers now tell us

What the healthcare reform numbers now tell us

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It's really true: There are lies, damn lies and ... Congressional Budget Office estimates.

Odds don't favor another round of Obamacare

Odds don't favor another round of Obamacare

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The Supreme Court may be two months away from announcing whether President Barack Obama's health care law is legal. But court watchers are already speculating on what will happen if the measure is overturned.

Doubling down on a Supreme Court thumping

Doubling down on a Supreme Court thumping

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When I recently predicted the new healthcare law's repeal, plenty of people disagreed. One of these unfortunates is Elizabeth Newman, a colleague and confidant here at McKnight's, who has one critical flaw in her argument.

The real reason why the Supreme Court will trounce Obamacare

The real reason why the Supreme Court will trounce Obamacare

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I'm not sure why so much hand wringing is taking place over the Supreme Court's future decision about Obamacare. For as they like to say in Chicago, the fix is in.

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