November 2019 was supposed to see the implementation of Phase 3 of the changes to Nursing Home Rules of Participation. That has been rolled back to 2019. Moreover, CMS has proposed a new rule that will cause significant changes in some areas. In the proposed rule, posted to the Federal Register Tuesday evening, CMS recommends having surveyors look at QAPI plans at the end of an inspection. That could limit the possibility that areas identified for improvement would be used as … [Read more...] about Changes in RoP for Nursing Homes
Proposed Rule would Expand 35% Reduction Process
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in a proposed rule posted Tuesday, said it wants to create a “constructive” waiver process that streamlines how facilities qualify for a 35% reduction in survey-linked civil monetary penalties. Mcknight's … [Read more...] about Proposed Rule would Expand 35% Reduction Process
CMS Allows Arbitration Agreements in Nursing Homes, Delays Phase 3 ROP’s
The CMS has issued a final rule to allow pre-dispute arbitration agreements under the condition that the residents' receipt of care is not conditioned on signing them. Providers must inform residents or their representatives that they do not have to sign the agreement. The purpose of the rule is to: The CMS proposal supports patients and their caregivers by removing the ban on binding arbitration agreements while requiring nursing homes to ensure residents have the ability to choose … [Read more...] about CMS Allows Arbitration Agreements in Nursing Homes, Delays Phase 3 ROP’s
Rural Patients Turning to Telehealth
NPR just did a program about how rural patients are turning to telehealth because of a dearth of health care resources in rural areas. Showcased was one woman's use of telehealth for therapy services to assist her with depression. "Hill says knew she needed therapy to deal with her deepening depression. But the main health center in her rural town had just two therapists. Hill was told she'd only be able to see a therapist once a month." NPR also did a poll on the … [Read more...] about Rural Patients Turning to Telehealth
Happy Independence Day!!!
Three Interesting Stories on the Texas Legalization of Hemp
On June 10, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill legalizing hemp production. "Texas House Republican Charles Perry was the author of House Bill 1325 and has been a huge advocate for the hemp industry in Texas. The bill passed with flying colors. "The hemp industry is rapidly growing and we need to ensure our farmers are able to participate. We hope this agricultural commodity will help boost rural communities now that there is a new viable crop option for our farmers," Perry … [Read more...] about Three Interesting Stories on the Texas Legalization of Hemp
Nursing Home Staffing Levels Lower than Reported?
Modern Healthcare magazine is reporting that the results of a study published in Health Affairs are indicating that staffing levels are "often lower than reported" and "below what CMS expects." One area of special concern is staffing of RN's: "The numbers were most stark for RNs, where 91% of the organizations met expectations less than 60% of the time. Almost all facilities are required to have at least one RN on site for at least eight hours every day. But nearly 4% of … [Read more...] about Nursing Home Staffing Levels Lower than Reported?
Senate Bill 1264 Signed into Law & Surprise Billing Scrutinized by Congress
I discussed SB 1264 passed by the Texas Legislature regarding balance billing(surprise billing) in the first Grand Rounds Legal podcast by Garlo Ward. The bill was signed by the governor on June 16, 2019 and will be effective on September 1, 2019. Congress is also addressing the issue in a bipartisan bill filed by Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Greg Walden (R-OR). Go here to read the details in this blog post by Obsurvus Solutions. … [Read more...] about Senate Bill 1264 Signed into Law & Surprise Billing Scrutinized by Congress
HB 29 Direct Access Legislation for Physical Therapists in Texas
HB 29 has been signed by Gov. Abbott granting increased direct access to patients under certain conditions: Professional liability coverage in the minimum amount required by board Doctoral degree through program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical therapy or agency or association recognized by the US Secretary of Education or completion of 30 hours of continuing competence activities in the area of differential diagnosis. with doctoral degree may treat … [Read more...] about HB 29 Direct Access Legislation for Physical Therapists in Texas
June 2019 Provider Letter from Texas HHS
On June 5, HHS posted Provider Letter No. 19-13 impacting the HCS, LIDDA and TxHmL handbooks. The letter gave notification of additions regarding requirements to "Train Staff, Member, Service Providers, and Volunteers" regarding Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation. On June 7, HHS posted Long-Term Care Regulator Provider letter PL 19-14 affecting Nursing Facilities (NF) regarding Proper Authorization of Applied Income from Resident Trust Fund(s). Remember that NF residents have the right … [Read more...] about June 2019 Provider Letter from Texas HHS