Medicaid expansion and large investments in infrastructure needed for electronic health record systems and improved quality and coordination-of-care measures pose difficult challenges for small, rural hospitals with limited means. Read the story
Innovations and medical advances have improved the process of stroke rehabilitation for many patients. But experts believe that personal attention, an understanding of a patient's specific, individual goals – which can range from getting back to work to being able to join friends for lunch out to playing basketball again – and monitoring emotions and other intangibles, remain hugely important to rehab success. Read the story
I don’t think we spend enough time asking patients what they want. This is an opportunity for us to gain a better understanding of patient goals – Mary Van de Kamp, MS, CCC, SLP, Senior Vice President of Quality and Care Management at Kindred Healthcare
The following questions are commonly asked by patients, family members and caregivers after a planned hospital stay. IntegraCare, an affiliate of Kindred at Home, helped to answer these questions and offer further explanation.
Q: There are usually many key players taking care of the patient, but is there someone that the patient and or family can go to for resources prior to and after discharge from a facility?
A: Case managers are assigned to a patient upon admission and follow the patient until the patient transitions to the next setting. Case managers meet one-on-one with the family and assess the needs of the patient during hospitalization and post hospitalization. They are also available to answer any questions and follow up with concerns from both the patient and family.
Q: You hear a great deal about discharge planning. What exactly is discharge planning?
Sally L. Brooks, Nursing Center Division Vice President, Physician and Medical Development, shares her suggestions for caregivers and those receiving care from loved ones during the holidays.
Like many others, I am smack dab in the middle of the sandwich generation. The holidays are stressful for caregivers. My father passed this fall but Mom needs me now more than ever. My kids all have school activities that increase over the holidays. Did I mention the shopping, preparation, cooking, etc..?
I am reminded about a speaker’s comments using the acronym CARE.
This acronym applies to both caregivers and those receiving care. (I added my definitions to the acronym used.)
In her blog, "You're the Boss," Melinda Emerson takes readers step-by-step through her experience navigating Healthcare.gov in pursuit of health insurance for herself after her policy was canceled under the Affordable Care Act. Read the story
While the introduction of the Affordable Care Act and its website was poorly executed, I am delighted that the law has eliminated pre-existing conditions and lowered rates — at least for me. My big question now is whether the law will keep my insurance company from raising my rates arbitrarily in the future.
According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nursing homes still provide the vast majority of long-term care in the United States, despite policies aimed at increasing access to, and utilization of, home health care services. Home and community-based care is grabbing hold and growing more quickly in the Western states, the report said. Read the story
Have you ever heard the term “bed sore” before? “Bed sore” is another way of saying “pressure ulcer,” a condition that occurs when pressure, with or without friction, builds up in an area of the body, such as the sacrum, coccyx, heels or hips, particularly in an immobile person. Pressure obstructs blood flow to the soft tissue, causing injury to the area. Because pressure ulcers can develop in patients confined to wheelchairs or beds in a hospital or long-term care facility, caregivers must be well trained in preventing pressure ulcers and treating them early and effectively when they do develop. The more advanced a pressure ulcer gets, the harder it is to treat and the longer it may take to heal.
Integrating the post-acute care continuum; focusing on seamless transitions made possible through clear communication, and embracing the digital age through electronic health records systems are a few ways that Kindred is leading the charge as the post-acute sphere evolves on the changing American healthcare landscape. Kindred’s own Marc Rothman, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the Nursing Center Division, and Susan Sender, RN, Chief Clinical Officer for Kindred at Home, address these issues in more depth in M.D. Update magazine’s special section on Senior Health.
Mandatory licensing and background checks are just two of the proposed requirements some states are considering for home health care workers and agencies, which have traditionally been loosely regulated. Read the story
A new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services exception states that if a physician believes a patient with a new vent only requires one night of hospital care, inpatient admission and Part A payment will still be appropriate. Read the story
The Department of Health and Human Services will be working with the Health Resources and Services Administration to develop enhanced curriculum and training materials for use by clinicians caring for patients with multiple chronic conditions. Read the story
The federal healthcare exchange has been erroneously telling some people they are eligible for Medicaid, setting off a race-against-the-clock appeals process that many won't be able to wrap up before the Dec. 23 deadline for enrollment. Read the story
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is interdisciplinary care that seeks to improve quality of life and relieve suffering for those with advanced diseases.
Where is palliative care delivered?
What is needed for a patient to receive palliative care?
A physician order for referral to/for palliative care.
Who typically delivers palliative care and how is it reimbursed?
Palliative care is reimbursed as a medical service – like seeing a primary care provider or a specialist – and payment goes to the practitioner who provides it, such as a nurse practitioner or physician. A claim is submitted for the visit, just like in the outpatient or inpatient setting, with a code for palliative care. Most palliative care teams incorporate other disciplines that often do the pre-visit prep (through a nurse, nurse practitioner, social worker or chaplain) and the post-visit follow ups.
Who qualifies for a palliative care consult?
Medicare recently proposed expanding coverage of cardiac rehabilitation services for cardiac patients, reports MedPage Today. Prior to the proposal, announced online last week, CMS claimed there was insufficient evidence to support cardiac rehab to patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Medicare currently only covers such services for patients who have experienced major events like coronary bypass surgery, heart or heart-lung transplant, or an acute myocardial infarction.
CMS is now asking for public comments on increasing coverage to a wider range of heart patients. After reviewing existing literature on cardiac rehab service, the agency stated, “With the accumulated evidence that supports the benefits of the individual components of cardiac rehabilitation programs, the evidence is sufficient to determine that participation in these multi-component programs improves health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic heart failure.”
Contrary to the claims of some previous studies, a new study shows that overweight and obese people are, indeed, likely to die sooner than their normal-weight counterparts. Read the story
Sometimes the message changes when you look closer. It's not OK to be overweight. It's not OK to be obese, even though you might not have metabolic abnormalities. -- Dr. Caroline Kramer, an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto who led the study
Technicians are working round the clock to fix glitches, but Healthcare.gov is still getting mixed reviews, with some users able to navigate quickly and efficiently and others still stymied and frustrated.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation is seeking ways to bundle payments and reduce costs. Proposals have been made for 178 programs designed to connect hospitals and post-acute providers through episodes of care. Read the story
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