After several years of anticipation and a great deal of confusion over the Affordable Care Act, today marks the day that the insurance marketplaces – otherwise known as exchanges – begin enrollment for individuals not covered by employer insurance benefits.
In recent days and weeks, there has been additional confusion about what this all means with debates about defunding healthcare reform on Capitol Hill and the most recent shutdown of the federal government. So, we want to explain what this all means for you.
First of all, neither the current back and forth in Congress or the temporary government shutdown over the budget will impact the insurance exchanges. As the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this morning, “the marketplace is open for business.”
So what does it mean?
My first few months at Kindred have been a flurry of activity and somewhat of a blur. I have learned much about our organization, but there is clearly a great deal more for me to learn. In order to do so, I will focus on listening and gaining knowledge from my great colleagues throughout our enterprise. We have great people – and I will rely on them to be my teachers!
A new bill seeks to address some recently uncovered oral hygiene issues, including use of emergency rooms for dental problems and a lack of oral care services available in nursing facilities. The bill would expand Medicare and Medicaid coverage of dental care services and provide grants for providers to deliver services in nursing homes. Read the story
A glitch in the Affordable Care Act may mean that health insurance is actually not affordable for some families. Read the story
By studying blood samples from people who made it through the 2009 swine flu pandemic without getting sick, scientists may be within five years of creating a universal flu vaccine. Read the story
The Food and Drug Administration is now requiring that medical implants such as stents and pacemakers be equipped with tracking numbers, a move that safety proponents have advocated for years. The tracking numbers may allow problems to be identified sooner.
It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to know that changes are afoot in the SNF physician workforce. On some days it seems like our way of life is nearly extinct. I’ve had a dozen phone conversations over the past eighteen months with colleagues in Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont – to name a few – who all relate a similar tale: there used to be 8-10 physicians who cared for SNF patients in our community, now there are only two or three, sometimes only one, and in a few instances none at all! In several instances, the struggle to find physician coverage for our residents and medical directors for our centers has been painstaking and nerve-racking. And it is the rare physician who arranges his or her own succession plan, as you probably well know.
New research has shown that minorities are less likely than whites to pursue hospice care, but those differences can be overcome by palliative care consultations. Read the story
A study of middle-aged people with and without chronic inflammation has revealed that those with the condition may be more likely to develop diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment as they age. Read the story
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections, signaling a worrisome health trend with multi-factorial causes. Read the story
Under the Affordable Care Act, new insurance plans may cover treatment for obesity, classifying it as a disease. It' a controversial move, though. Read the story
In acknowledgement of Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) Week, The Kindred Continuum speaks with Patricia Kerr, coder for Kindred Hospitals Louisville, Louisville at Jewish Hospital, Nashville and Dayton.
Patti, age 50, lives and works remotely in Crestwood, Kentucky.
KC: What is your daily schedule like?
PK: I usually log on by 8 a.m. First, I compile my daily reports for admissions and discharges, and update my ongoing lists. I also note any new procedures on the daily list provided by transcription. After assessing what admissions and discharges must be done that day in order to keep within department turnaround times, I prioritize my work for the day. I verify and update vent hours for patients that I’ve noted on admission, code admissions, discharges and procedures for each of my four facilities. I also check for new trackers and scans throughout the day.
To the outside world, it’s the coding system that allows for the classification of diagnoses and procedures, used by the medical community nationally and internationally. To the 75 people who traveled to Kindred’s Support Center for a two-day Annual Coding Services Education Meeting, it’s simply known as the annual coding update to ICD (International Classification of Diseases), and more specifically ICD-10, the tenth revision of the guidelines, which was this year’s hot-button subject. And, importantly, it’s their critical piece of the Kindred mission of providing hope, healing and recovery.
In an interesting new finding, researchers have discovered that Alzheimer's rates are higher in countries with cleaner water and less exposure to dangerous microbes. Read the story
A report shows that 90 percent of large employers surveyed say they have no plans to move their employees to Obamacare's public exchanges, or to similarly structured private exchanges, when they become available. Read the story
A study has found that men over 65 who have experienced a stressful life event such as the death of a wife, partner, loved one or pet; financial difficulties; or a move, are more likely to suffer a fall in the year following the event. Read the story
Acknowledging that many health insurance plans have, in the past, refused to cover primary care services provided by nurse practitioners, these mid-level providers are seeking to make their voices heard before new health insurance exchanges go live in October. Read the story
"encompasses the connection that occurs in communities between the staff, residents, and families as they build warm, welcoming, and vibrant homes. Celebrating the passionate commitment of staff and friendships that form between residents, 'Homemade Happiness' will be a time to recognize the efforts, small and large, of every individual in a community that turn a residence into home for countless assisted living residents."
My journey begins. . .
It’s hard to believe it’s been over three months since I joined Kindred. It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting in Philadelphia researching Kindred and trying to learn more about Louisville. In this short time, I’ve been amazed by the talented and committed people I’ve met throughout our organization and by the warm reception I have received.
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