HHS Extends Application Deadline For Insurers

Earlier today, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced the deadline for health insurers to submit applications to sell insurance in the states where the federal government is running health insurance exchanges has been extended by three days until this Friday.

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Long Term Care Open Door Forum

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be holding an Open Door Forum (ODF) for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) / Long Term Care (LTC) on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 2:00p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

To participate by phone, dial (800) 837-1935 and reference conference ID #78862506.

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Proposed Rule To Boost Hospice Medicare

Hospices would receive a $180 million boost from Medicare in the next fiscal year under a proposed rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) yesterday. The rule would provide a 1.1% increase in fiscal 2014 payments to hospices, which treated more than 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries in the past fiscal year.

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Tiptastic Tuesday: Emergency Response Planning

Physician practices play a key role in immediate and short-term medical emergency response. Below are some tips from the American Medical Association (AMA) on planning for disasters to ensure your practice is ready before disaster strikes.

Conduct A Hazard Assessment: Assess the probability of natural, human-made or technological disasters and estimate the potential impact to the community. Focus on to the likeliest, most devastating hazards.

Assess Practice Continuity: Take inventory of things you need to keep going should disaster strike. Look at existing insurance policies, financing procedures, employee policies and risk management plans. Be sure to check critical equipment for fire protection, communication, first aid and emergency power and and have backup systems for payroll, communications and computer systems.

Develop A Plan: Establish and review annually your plan for how to respond to a disaster, including who will be in charge during the disaster.  Create a communications list of staff and patients; local emergency, health department, hospital, fire and police officials; and pharmacy and insurance agents.Identify how your practice will respond in the event of shortages of supplies, space or staff; how you will use volunteers; and how you will assure security.

Practice The Plan: Conduct an assessment of your emergency plan to test phone tree, communication and staff readiness.

Review & Revise: Evaluate the response plan to determine effectiveness and eliminate gaps.




Proposed Rule Changes Reimbursement, Readmission Penalties

The 2014 proposed payment schedule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) includes small increases in Medicare payments for the nation’s acute and long-term care hospitals, but changes reimbursement for facilities serving high numbers of uninsured patients. The rule also launches a new penalty program for hospitals that fail to reduce hospital-acquired conditions, a provision mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and proposes changes to the 30-day readmissions penalty program.

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Monday Morning Recap

The HMS Healthcare Management Solutions Monday Morning Recap reviews some of the top stories and healthcare highlights you may have missed last week.

Heart Failure Set To Spike

The American Heart Association projects cases of heart failure are set to spike 46% to rise from 5 to 8 million by 2030. Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for Americans over age 65 and half of those patients hospitalized for heart failure die within three years.

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