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It’s Medicare Versus Medical Supplier in Controlling Costs Trudy Lieberman

July 1st, 2013 | 0

On July 1, MeCFAHdicare begins a second round of competitive bidding for medical equipment and supplies, such as diabetes testing strips that beneficiaries use to check their blood sugar levels. There’s nothing remarkable about any of this except that the industry is fighting to make sure that competitive bidding does not happen.

This fight is emblematic of the difficulty Medicare has containing costs when the profits of sellers of medical goods and services are at stake. As we know, one person’s savings is often the loss of another’s income. We also know that industry folks squawk mighty loudly to Congress when their income is threatened.

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UPDATE: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Revisions Christy Rakoczy

June 3rd, 2013 | 0

CMSOn May 17, 2013 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, issued a Memorandum in regards to the revision of the State Operations Manual. The revision applies to the State Operations Hospital Appendix A, Interpretive Guidelines for Hospitals, Condition of Participation: Discharge Planning, in order to “update the guidance for the discharge planning Condition of Participation.”

The revisions to Appendix A include interpretive guidelines that are italicized and written in red to denote the portion of the appendix that has been updated.

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The Effect of CMS 30 Day Readmission Policies on California Patients and Hospitals Christy Rakoczy

April 14th, 2013 | 0

CaliforniaHealthcareIn 2010 the Affordable Health Care Act was enacted and the process of moving toward full implementation of the Act began. In 2012, the CMS 30 Day Readmission Policy began to be enforced, penalizing thousands of hospitals for readmission of certain patients within a 30 day period. According to CMS.gov, penalty applies to readmissions of patients who had previously been admitted with Acute Myocardial Infection, Heart Failure, or Pneumonia. This penalty, a reduction in reimbursement by Medicare, up to 1%, cost hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars but some assert that the goal of the policy, to improve follow up healthcare by hospitals to prevent necessary returns by patients, is being achieved as the percentage of readmissions nationwide dropped to 17.8% from the stagnant 19% it had been for several years. 

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Understanding The HCAHPS Christy Rakoczy

February 22nd, 2013 | 0

HCAHPSHealth care is a hot topic, and hospitals must pay increasing attention to something called the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).  Pronounced H-Caps, this assessment is given to random eligible patients after they are discharged, and the patients’ responses are used to establish ratings for the hospitals.  These ratings are released to the public four times a year.

The HCAHPS Requirement

In 2002, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began working with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to create and test the survey before it went into public use.  Both agencies are in the federal Department of Health and Human Services. 

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