LTC Liability Costs Anticipated To Increase 5% In 2015

According to a recent analysis, long term care providers should prepare for higher liability costs, which are expected to increase by 5% in 2015. In 2015, the projected loss rate is $2,030 per occupied bed, up from $1,940 this year. However, the report authors say that liability expenses may differ significantly from state to state. Kentucky, West Virginia and Florida are among the costliest states for providers due to their high liability costs, and Texas has one of the lowest liability costs of the states profiled in the report. The analysis is based on about 13,700 claims from 34 providers, representing 17% of long term care beds nationally.

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Connecticut Medicare Ratings

This year’s Medicare ratings are out and more than two thirds of Connecticut hospitals will face Medicare penalties for not having proper clinical-care measures in the fiscal year that began on October 1.  23 Connecticut hospitals will also lose Medicare funding because of high rates of readmitting patients within 30 days of discharge.  Hospitals can receive penalties and incentives under the value-based program based on how well they perform on a variety of clinical measures like patient satisfaction measures and mortality rates for certain conditions.

Medicare’s penalty formula has proven to be somewhat controversial but many providers and consumers believe a rating system is important for choosing the right provider. Do you believe publicly available information like Medicare ratings make more knowledgeable health care consumers?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Insurers, Government Partnering To Prevent Fraud

HMS Healthcare Management SolutionsInsurance companies, local and federal government will trade health care billing information to help spot fraud trends.

Though privacy laws have prevented such a partnership in the past, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and insurers will scrub out patients’ personal information from the bills to address privacy concerns while they look for fraud trends in an effort to stop recurrences.

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Patients Want To Use Social Media

HMS Healthcare Management SolutionsA survey of 1,060 U.S. adults by the PwC Health Research Institute found that a third of respondents are gravitating toward social media as a place for discussions of health care. Patients’ attraction to these online communities is prompting many health care organizations to reshape their social media strategy from one focused on marketing to one that is part of an overall business strategy to engage patients, interact with them and even provide services in an attempt to help bring down the costs of providing care.  And physicians are playing a major role in this revised strategy.

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CT Nursing Homes Receive Top Honors

U.S. News has named three Connecticut health care facilities as among the “Best Nursing Homes,” in the country.  The nursing homes are among an elite group of 39 out selected after U.S. News reviewing more than 15,500.

They include the Alzheimers Resource Center in Plantsville, Lourdes Health Care Center in Wilton, and Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam.

The homes received four straight quarters of perfect five-star ratings from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in all three areas the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) evaluates these facilities including health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of care.

Medicare Headed For Big Changes in 2012

Baby boomers take note: Medicare as your parents have known it is headed for big changes no matter who wins the White House in 2012. You may not like it, but you might have to accept it.

With more than 1.5 million baby boomers a year signing up for Medicare, the program’s future is one of the most important economic issues for anyone now 50 or older. Health care costs are the most unpredictable part of retirement, and Medicare remains an exceptional deal for retirees, who can reap benefits worth far more than the payroll taxes they paid in during their careers.

“People would like to have what they used to have. What they don’t seem to understand is that it’s already changed,” said Gail Wilensky, a former Medicare administrator and adviser to Republicans. “Medicare as we have known it is not part of our future.”

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EHR Adoption Could Reach 80% By 2016

According to a recent report, the electronic health records market could be positioned to move from a less than 25% adoption rate in 2009 to over 80% adoption by 2016.

The write-up forecasts that EHRs, including ambulatory EHRs, will grow significantly in the next several years.  This anticipated growth is fueled in part by regulatory provisions and government financial incentives available to healthcare providers and institutions under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to the report.
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