Payment & policy
Several organizations have weighed in on how to finance long-term care services and supports for more than 12 million Americans, leading a Congressional committee to push toward a possible legislative remedy later this year.
Congress is considering easing federal laws prohibiting terminally ill patients from trying unapproved experimental drugs as a last-ditch effort to extend or save their lives.
The government hopes to encourage accountable care organizations to extend their participation in performance-based risk arrangements by offering a new way to include payments based on regional spending fee-for-service costs. The comment period on the proposal ends March 28.
Stakeholders have until roughly mid-June to squeeze in any pressing new regulations during the current administration's final year. But the Office of Management and Budget said it doesn't expect any major surprises in 2016.
Nursing homes were allowed a 30-day window last month to give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services a piece of their mind about the way the agency certifies and tests electronic health record products.
Providers will face new rules in March that change the way they're reimbursed for certain types of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS).
End-of-year comments from the comptroller general indicated ways the Medicaid and Medicare programs can continue to improve, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services increasing its oversight of Medicaid managed care program integrity.
Improper payment levels continue dogging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which announced they rose significantly last year for both health programs. Additionally, the agency reported that collections were down more than $1.5 billion.
Barring objections from the Office of Management and Budget, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will implement a new rule early next year aimed at retrieving hundreds of millions of dollars of provider overpayments dating back to 2010.
Providers should expect more aggressive federal efforts to investigate healthcare fraud cases as the Department of Health & Human Services makes use of sophisticated data analytics in the coming year.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is devising a plan that would pay skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies and long-term care hospitals under a unified prospective payment system.
Provider advocates generally accept a proposal to bundle Medicare payments for one of the most common orthopedic procedures, but many believe the plan is being rushed while serious concerns about issues such as payment incentives and financial risks aren't being addressed.
This month, one of the country's largest skilled nursing facility operators will begin offering its Kentucky-based members health insurance.
Many healthcare providers are willing to accept bundled payments from Medicare well before it's mandated, according to new data from research firm Avalere Health.
Skilled nursing facilities would become eligible for broadband services funding under a proposed Senate bill.
Twelve percent of providers terminated from a state Medicaid program continued participating in other states, a new government study has found.
The expedited review process was developed so a resident could quickly appeal the process if he or she disagreed when a facility decided that a resident is no longer covered under skilled services.
The Office of the Inspector General recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services withhold federal funds from states that do not accurately report encounter data under their Medicaid managed care plans.
The House of Representatives voted in June to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a Medicare cost containment entity created under the Affordable Care Act.
Federal regulators have upped the ante for providers taking part in an accountable care organization model, with potentially more money going into long-term care.
The White House Office of Management and Budget review has passed an ambitious new policy that could radically overhaul the Medicaid managed care system.
Providers in the post-acute care sector seem to be united in wanting BACPAC to take a hike.
Because it does not allow for states' consent, the proposed Medicaid Patient CARE Act block-grant program likely will be considered unconstitutional, say two public policy authorities.
A COT is required when the RUG level increases or decreases. If you do not complete a COT when required, you will be considered to have a late or missed assessment.
Congress is getting more involved in healthcare interoperability. Lawmakers have proposed legislation calling for changes to the process in order to speed up and broaden provider inclusion by the end of 2018.
I thought the Recovery Audit Contractors were on hold, so why did I receive a request from our RAC for a Medicare Advantage resident?
The debate over whether Recovery Audit Contractor audits are an incentive-laced system of provider harassment or a necessary tool to redistribute misspent Medicare funds continues. Neither side appears to be backing down
The White House Conference on Aging is collecting comments from long-term care stakeholders through a series of regional forums across the U.S. about their concerns regarding the future of Medicaid funding.
In a move that could greatly expand the visibility and adoption of telehealth systems, Congress is proposing that Medicare reimburse telehealth services at the same rate as in-person medical visits.
Long-term care providers' hopes for eliminating hospital observation stays may be fading after some Medicare Payment Advisory Commission members said they were re-thinking their positions on changing the policy.
Medicaid fee-for-service is in a steep decline, and signs suggest trends will continue in their current direction, a new report reveals.
The prospects of politician intervention with Medicare audits has sparked some debate over whether elected officials are exerting undue influence, or simply defending providers' rights against government overreaching.
The National Association of Medicaid Directors is asking for more guidance on the dual-eligible program and for regulators to "articulate next steps for existing financial alignment demonstrations."
Federal agencies have issued guidance for how healthcare providers should prepare for an active shooter emergency. The 33-page document covers threat assessment, actions to take during and after an emergency, and other best practices.
In a sign that the economy continues its recovery from the devastating recession of 2008, most states are committed to raising Medicaid fees in fiscal years 2014 and 2015, research from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid has found.
Seven years after filing for Medicare benefits for diabetes complications, Glenda Jimmo of Bristol, VT, finally qualified for skilled home health maintenance coverage. The obstacle that caused the long delay was Medicare's "improvement standard," which officials used to deny coverage for beneficiaries deemed to be "unlikely to improve."
Recovery Audit Contractors collected $1.8 million in Medicare overpayments made to skilled nursing facilities in fiscal year 2013, according to a Congressional report released in late September.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should openly urge Congress to change therapy reimbursement, the nation's largest long-term care provider association stated in recent written comments to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently updated instructions on coding hospice claims. Billing staffs should be aware of these changes, which went into effect Oct. 1, CMS stated in a memorandum about the Medicare manual update.
A California healthcare system recently became the latest dropout from the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, citing the fact that payments are not adjusted by region. Sharp HealthCare announced the move in its third-quarter financial report.
A Congressional proposal to provide low-wage hourly employees with more stability and workplace protections could hit nursing homes.
Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors returned a record $100.4 million in identified underpayments to providers between April and June.
The government should adopt Medicare payment policies that better support hospital-based skilled nursing facilities, the American Hospital Association urged in a recent letter to a top healthcare official.
Long-term care facilities and other Medicare providers increasingly have seen reimbursements influenced by the government's Fraud Prevention System, an official recently told a Congressional panel.
The predominance of fee-for-service payment methods is the greatest barrier to improving efficiency in the nation's healthcare system, according to a May 29 report from a panel of White House advisors. The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology criticized the FFS payment model because it focuses on the volume of services provided rather than on better outcomes.
Government health programs could save money and health outcomes could improve if more dual-eligible beneficiaries were to go from hospitals to well-staffed long-term and post-acute facilities, according to research from Brown and Harvard universities.
Medicare would increase hospice reimbursements by 1.3% in fiscal year 2015 under a payment rate proposed in May. This would be a $230 million boost, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Healthcare providers face unfairly reduced reimbursements if they serve economically disadvantaged patients, according to a recent National Quality Forum draft report. The government rejected recommendations to address this problem.
A long-term care facility that has been slapped with a civil monetary penalty has 10 days to file for an independent informal dispute resolution process, according to a recent manual update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Seniors will not have to stop curative care to receive hospice benefits under a new demonstration program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced.