Based on the OIG Audit Report: Financial Impact of Clustering Therapy Services During MDS Assessment Look-Back Periods for Texas Medicaid Residents of Long-Term Care Nursing Facilities, Texas HHS has issued a provider letter for Nursing facilities outlining best practices: ? Resident functional declines that do not warrant a significant change in status assessment (SCSA) should be clearly documented in the clinical record to support therapy evaluation and treatment orders. ? … [Read more...] about Nursing Facility Rehabilitation Services & Best Practices Provider Letter–Texas
Cancer Patients Get Blood Infection from Opioid Injection Diluted by Tap Water
This is horrifying. "Half a dozen cancer patients in New York developed a rare infection after they received injectable opioids that a nurse had diluted with tap water, according to a new report. It appears that the nurse tampered with the syringes to remove some of the narcotics for her own use, replacing the drugs with water, the report said." … [Read more...] about Cancer Patients Get Blood Infection from Opioid Injection Diluted by Tap Water
Texas HHS Provider Letters for July 2019
HHS released three provider letters in July, 2019. The are as follows: On July 3, 2019 HHS released PL 19-16 regarding Responsibility for Records after a Management Change. The letter applies to Assisted Living Facility (ALF), Day Activity and Health Services (DAHS) Facility, Home and Community Support Services Agency, (HCSSA), Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions (ICF/IID), Nursing Facility (NF), and Prescribed Pediatric … [Read more...] about Texas HHS Provider Letters for July 2019
Rural Health Care in the News
Two interesting articles have been recently published. One deals with the closing of the hospital in rural Milam County, Texas. This has caused residents to travel further for care and has disincentivized some to seek needed care. Days after the two hospitals in Milam County abruptly shuttered in December, Renee Mueck started feeling stomach pain so sharp she couldn’t drive herself to the nearest hospital about 40 minutes away. Mueck, 60, said her husband drove her to a hospital … [Read more...] about Rural Health Care in the News
Changes in RoP for Nursing Homes
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
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
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?
Proposed Congressional Bill Would Affect Ancillary Services
Proposed HR 2143, would prevent physicians from self-referring Medicare patients to in-office "ancillary services." According to the Congressmen who introduced the bill: “Multiple GAO studies have outlined the rampant abuse and waste of more than $3 billion of taxpayer money through Medicare reimbursement for unnecessary services that are driven purely by greed for personal profit,” Speier said in a statement. “Now is the time to improve the quality and … [Read more...] about Proposed Congressional Bill Would Affect Ancillary Services
Comprehensive Review of Nursing Home Regulations Planned?
Administrator Seema Verma has directed CMS to undergo a comprehensive reive of nursing home regulations, guidance and processes: Administrator Seema Verma said that the goal is to bolster safety and quality in SNFs across the country. “This is not business as usual — we are pushing beyond the status quo,” she wrote in a blog post Monday. “CMS’ approach to oversight of nursing homes is constantly evolving,” she added. “Just as we’re unleashing innovative strategies and technologies in other … [Read more...] about Comprehensive Review of Nursing Home Regulations Planned?
Calls in Texas for Medicaid Expansion
Health care advocates gathered at the Texas Capitol calling for the expansion of Medicaid citing the number of uninsured Texans. The participants called for a state-wide ballot to amend the Texas Constitution regarding the issue. There are a bill and a Senate Joint Resolution supporting such a measure: At the rally, state Sen. Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas, said Texas should follow the lead of other states in expanding Medicaid. Johnson said it’s time that Texas lawmakers looked … [Read more...] about Calls in Texas for Medicaid Expansion