Insurer, consumer groups urge states to protect against expansion of short-term plans

Health insurer and consumer advocacy groups on Thursday pressed state regulators to protect consumers against the expansion of short-term plans, association health plans and health reimbursement arrangements that the groups said could harm the... more

12/14/2017

Committee calls for creating a 'care continuum' to meet unmet needs of patients with serious mental illness

A new government report finds the health system provides little in the way of clinical or social supports for those with serious mental illness. more

12/14/2017

Advanced practitioners oppose AMA effort to limit their practice authority

Advanced practice nurses are urging the American Medical Association to rescind a recent decision to launch a campaign focused on limiting independent practice of non-physician practitioners across state lines. more

12/14/2017

Independent commission reviewing Beth Israel-Lahey Health merger

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission has begun reviewing the planned merger between Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Lahey Health and several other hospital systems that would create the second-largest healthcare network in the state. more

12/14/2017

CHS $891 million securities fraud lawsuit gets a second life

A federal appeals court has revived an $891 million securities fraud lawsuit against Community Health Systems that alleged the company misled investors on its financial health. more

12/14/2017

HHS watchdog says MACRA challenged by doc confusion, weak fraud protections

HHS' Office of Inspector General said the CMS must work on ways to provide technical assistance to clinicians for MACRA participation and create a more robust integrity program. more

12/14/2017

FCC repeals net neutrality rules, potentially affecting telemedicine

Now that internet providers are allowed to throttle web traffic, healthcare—and telemedicine in particular—may take a hit. more

12/14/2017

Judge blocks proposed healthcare merger in North Dakota

A judge has blocked a proposed merger between Sanford Health and Mid Dakota Clinic until a Federal Trade Commission hearing next month. more

12/14/2017

Political tensions ramp up on CHIP as hospitals urgently call for funding

The Children's Health Insurance Program funding fight shows no sign of ending as next week's spending deadline looms, and states and hospitals are mounting increasingly urgent pleas for action. more

12/14/2017

Former Molina Healthcare CEO resigns from insurer's board

Dr. J. Mario Molina has resigned from the board of the health insurer his father founded, Molina Healthcare said Tuesday. more

12/14/2017

Nursing homes inflating self-assessments to improve Five-Star ratings, study claims

Investigators from the University of Connecticut report that at least 6% of nursing homes inflate their self-reported measures — "most often the larger and for-profit facilities that stand to gain most financially by improving their scores." more

12/14/2017

Tech execs guilty of conspiring to fill nursing home prescriptions with recycled drugs

A subsidiary of a pharmacy chain near Pittsburgh pleaded guilty Tuesday in a conspiracy scheme described by prosecutors as an attempt to recycle unused medications. more

12/14/2017

Five-Star is anything but frozen

The day after Thanksgiving, CMS further defined its intensions with the Five-Star Quality Rating System; more specifically how the new survey process and derivative data will be used in its calculation of the Health Inspection domain. Here's what that means — and doesn't mean. more

12/13/2017

Jury awards $5.2 million to nurse fired after reporting abuse

A Michigan nurse who claimed she was fired from her nursing home job after reporting alleged abuse has been awarded $5.2 million by a Livingston County jury. more

12/13/2017

Also in the news for Wednesday, Dec. 13

Former Alabama SNF employees convicted in ant bite case after video evidence... Missouri facility loses Medicare funding after dialysis patient bleeds to death... Johns Hopkins docs outline ways to decrease unneeded antibiotics more

12/13/2017

Beta testing for data elements of IMPACT Act underway; volunteers lacking

Officials acknowledged Tuesday that they had recruited only 172 providers, including 67 skilled nursing facilities — fewer than they had desired — for beta testing of data elements for the IMPACT Act. more

12/13/2017

Not so fast: Some Republicans reluctant to pursue Medicare cuts in 2018

Some Senate Republicans are skeptical about cutting spending on social programs — Medicare included — in the months leading up to the 2018 elections. more

12/13/2017

A MRSA vaccine may be on the horizon

If a MRSA vaccine could be developed for adults, it could potentially save nursing homes a lot of money, not to mention reset some of our infection control protocols. more

12/13/2017

When will we ever get good press?

You know, a lot of great stuff happens in the long-term and post-acute care setting. But nooooooo, no one ever wants to talk about the good stuff. One bad apple and the mainstream press go wild and we all get the black eye. more

12/12/2017

Nursing home to pay $250,000 in resident's wheelchair death

A Pennsylvania jury has found a nursing home at fault for the death of an 85-year-old resident who fell from a wheelchair and broke his neck. The jury decided the provider should pay the deceased's family $250,000. more

12/12/2017

Critics say pressure to lower hospital readmissions may be backfiring

Five years after financial penalties went into place for hospitals with high readmission rates, experts are questioning whether falling return rates mean patients actually are faring better. more

12/12/2017

Skilled nursing operators Ascension and St. Joseph exploring merger to become biggest hospital owner

Two major hospital operators with a significant stake in long-term care could combine to create the largest U.S. hospital owner. more

12/12/2017

Also in the News for Tuesday, Dec. 12

Owner of home health agency gets record 80-year sentence for $13 million Medicare fraud ... New model draws line between early dementia and normal aging ... PA to launch Medicaid changes aimed at cutting skilled nursing population and boosting savings more

12/12/2017

MedPAC members on board with incremental shift to new pay model starting in 2019

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission members reportedly expressed unanimous support for a plan to transition to a new post-acute payment system beginning in 2019 at a meeting last week. more

12/11/2017

Former long-term care ombudsman charged with stealing money from resident

An Illinois woman has been arrested after allegedly attempting to steal more than $15,000 from an assisted living resident while serving as a long-term care ombudsman. more

12/11/2017

A no-brainer plan for Medicare and Medicaid

But for those of you who think outrageous political trickery is dead, please let me point you in the direction of Capitol Hill. For we appear to be in the midst of one of the better con jobs to come along in quite some time, and it's threatening your supply of Medicare and Medicaid dollars. more

12/11/2017

4 reasons to consider horticulture therapy as an alternative treatment

Growing and arranging flowers and cultivating greens allows them to practice real tasks that are used in everyday life. more

12/8/2017

Nursing home LPN charged with raping two residents calls actions consensual

A Massachusetts man has been charged with raping two residents of a skilled nursing facility where he worked as a licensed practical nurse, according to local reports. The man is claiming he had consensual affairs with the women. more

12/8/2017

House threatening Medicare and Medicaid reform in 2018

Long-term care providers may be headed for another major Medicaid-funding fight in 2018 if House GOP leaders get their way. more

12/8/2017

KKR's $1.4 billion acquisition of PharMerica completed early

The acquisition of long-term care pharmacy PharMerica Corporation by investment firm KKR has been completed slightly ahead of schedule, the companies announced Thursday. more

12/8/2017