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
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
As the growing population of military veterans seek access and rights to use medical cannabis to treat PTSD, chronic pain and other mental and physical war wounds, new legislation has now been filed by two Democratic senators (Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) that aims to basically legalize medical marijuana for them and let government physicians enable them to have access to it. According to reports, the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, would allow veterans … [Read more...] about Proposed Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act could Legalize Cannabis for Military
Patient care and value is at the forefront of many healthcare discussions in the industry. Physicians and nurses providing comfort, companionship, connection and support is considered to be just as important as providing actual medicinal treatments. Better care in relation to providing tele-medicine and high tech care in the healthcare system are the top of growing initiatives that put the patient first especially in nursing homes and hospice and palliative care facilities. According to … [Read more...] about High-Tech Healthcare and Telemedicine are the Fastest Growing Initiatives in Healthcare
Many families and health care providers are debating whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs Medicare (CMS) and Congress are doing enough to implement processes to protect patients and their families from hospice providers who may be exploiting the service. Recently, CMS finalized a $340 Million/ 1.8 percent increase in Hospice payments for Medicare Hospice providers. According to reports, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at HHS synthesized 10 years of … [Read more...] about CMS authorizes increase of $340 million in Hospice payments for FY 2019
A report released recently released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the US Department of Health titled: Vulnerabilities in the Medicare Hospice Program Affect Quality Care and Program Integrity has highlighted that hospice care fraud is a nationwide problem in the US. The report found that hospices do not always provide needed services to beneficiaries and sometimes provide poor quality care for Nursing home residents and other patients. When care is provided hospices’ inappropriate … [Read more...] about HHS Releases Report on Hospice Care Fraud in US
Palliative and hospice care can improve both the quality of care and quality of life for patients who are terminally ill and their families. Now the Senate has the decision to follow the U.S. House of Representatives, which has unanimously approved a bill that would help doctors and other healthcare professional elevate their skills in providing hospice and palliative care. The H.R.1676 - Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act would also increase palliative care research and … [Read more...] about Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act goes to Senate For Approval, May Become Law
U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) laws let providers share certain private information with patient family members and outside groups in emergencies; and now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Alex Azar confirmed that HHS will undertake an effort to reform federal health privacy rules, stating that "In the coming months, under the leadership of my deputy secretary, Eric Hargan, HHS will be releasing requests for information … [Read more...] about Three Federal Health Privacy Rules including HIPPA to be reformed by HHS
In a new NEJM Catalyst Buzz Survey, the question of who is the biggest driver of high healthcare costs brings physicians, healthplans, pharmacuetical & bio-tech companies under scrutiny. Doctors who have been blamed for the inflated cost of US healthcare due to expensive recommendations or overtreating patients have maintained that even though the discussion needs to be had with patients about healthcare costs, they have no power to determine the price of a drug or new healthcare … [Read more...] about Who has the greatest impact on high healthcare costs?
The 11-member Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee(PTAC) established by MACRA to consider whether models submitted by stakeholders qualify as Medicare alternative payment models voted to move forward on proposals for two alternative payment models for review by the HHS secretary. One model, the Patient and Caregiver Support for Serious Illness model, was submitted by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The second model is the Advanced Care Model … [Read more...] about Two new proposals address alternative payment models for patients in Palliative Care.