Week in Review: March 27, 2009
We at Basic American Comfort would like to bring to you a round-up of some of the most popular long-term care news headlines for the week.
Steve Lohr. The New York Times. Mar 25, 2009
The New England Journal of Medicine will be publishing two articles today covering the challenges of installing, using and benefiting from electronic health records. Of the almost 3,000 hospitals surveyed in one of the studies cited, only 9 percent were using electronic records. The federal government plans to put $19 billion toward getting U.S. hospitals, doctors and other medical care providers up to speed with electronic record technology.
Medical News Today. Mar 26, 2009
Using a variety of simple tests, researchers at the Price of Wales Medical Research Institute in Randwick, Australia, were able to accurately predict which elderly test subjects were at the highest risk of falling. Based on the success of the study, researchers hope the techniques will be used in more facilities to prevent patient falls.
Aimé Watts. Modern Healthcare. Mar 26, 2009
It goes without saying that malpractice law suits play a huge role in driving up health care costs. The government could most certainly curb health spending by focusing on Tort reform first and foremost, but unfortunately trial lawyers spend huge amounts of money to protect their own interests and draw the focus away from Tort reform.
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report. Mar 25, 2009
In a CMS memo dated February 24, 2009, all private Medicare drug and health insurers were ordered to stop paying referral fees to sales agents immediately. It would appear that Insurers started offering the referral fees as a way around the new CMS rule that instated commission caps to help prevent agents from pushing unnecessary or expensive policies on the elderly.
Victoria E. Knight. The Wall Street Journal. Mar 26, 2009
“HSAs are a great way to save for retiree medical expenses,” says Carolyn McClanahan, a certified financial advisor who used to be a medical doctor in Jacksonville, Fla.
Josh Hafenbrack and Aaron Deslatte. Orlando Sentinel. Mar 26, 2009
Medicaid reimbursements could be reduced by 3 percent for skilled nursing facilities, hospice, hospitals and county health departments under a Senate plan presented on Wednesday. Under this proposal, nursing homes would lose $24 million.
Laura Thornquist. Public News Service. Mar 26, 2009
A study by the Missouri Foundation for Health shows that state cuts made to Medicaid in 2005 have negatively impacted local communities and those with private insurance. House Republicans have proposed further Medicaid budget cuts, fearing that the use of stimulus money would create future expenses for the state.
NY: Now that the federal government plans to spend $19 billion to spur the use of computerized patient records, the challenge of adopting the technology widely and wisely is becoming increasingly apparent.
Nicholas Confessore And Danny Hakim. The New York Times. Mar 26, 2009
Charlotte Observer. Mar 26, 2009
An audit of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services finds that $52 million for a Medicaid transportation program may have been mismanaged.
Robert T. Garrett. Dallas Morning News. Mar 26, 2009
Highlights of a $177 billion two year budget currently in the works in the state Senate include:
ELDERLY, PHYSICALLY DISABLED
Minimum pay for home care attendants for Medicaid recipients would be raised from $6-$6.75 to $7.25 per hour. Also, $33 million in additional funding would be put toward home and community-based care programs designed to keep Medicaid recipients out of nursing homes.
MEDICAID: An additional $750 million of state funding (less than half what officials hoped for) would go towards covering rising enrollment and inflation in the next two years. Hospitals and doctors serving Medicaid patients would receive a one-time reimbursement increase of 3 percent.