On April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 was signed into law by President Obama. Most commonly, this legislation is known for providing a one-year patch to the physician Medicare sustainable growth rate – otherwise known as the ‘doc fix’ – but it also includes other important provisions including the extension of the Part B Therapy Cap exceptions process and the establishment of a value-based purchasing (VBP) program for skilled nursing facilities.
In more common terms, the legislation creates hospital readmission reduction program for all patients cared for in nursing centers nationwide. In order to incentivize improvement in preventable admissions to short term hospitals, the legislation establishes an incentive pool for high performers.
Stroke survivors have an “enormous” need for palliative care that needs to be met by healthcare providers, The American Heart Association said in an issued statement. Read the story
The Obama administration announced that after Monday’s enrollment deadline, more than seven million people have signed up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act. The figure includes enrollees of the federal and state-run marketplaces. Read the story
Premiums are expected to rise next month on health plans bought through federal and state marketplaces. Questions remain about what cost increases consumers can expect in months to come. Read the story
The demanding nature of family caregiving often presents challenges in the workplace for caregivers. Some propose that employer elder care benefits and caregiver support services could help employees care for aging parents. Read the story
Sometimes it seems you’re asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, but nearly everyone has had nights where they just couldn’t get to sleep right away or they woke up after two or three hours and couldn’t go back to sleep. And most have felt the effects the next day.
Your body needs sleep and not just so you don’t nod off at your desk in the afternoon. How well you sleep impacts your overall health.
Even a short run of sleepless nights can hurt your immune system. In a Mayo Clinic FAQ, Timothy Morgenthaler, MD, explains that “your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases.” Not only does a lack of sleep make you more vulnerable to viruses, but, “Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick,” he says.
The effect is worse when it’s long-term, when it increases the “risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease,” Dr. Morgenthaler says.
Terah Hatter can sum up her job in one word – amazing. Her job, she says, “is about caring.”
“It’s an honor to walk beside the patient and family to help them through a difficult time,” says Hatter, LMSW, a social worker for IntegraCare, which is an affiliate of Kindred at Home and an agency that provides home health, hospice and private duty nursing care in Texas.
It’s not so easy to describe a typical day for Hatter, if only because each one presents new challenges.
Each day she reviews referrals, which may come from the patient, family or the healthcare team. Patients may need to have meals delivered to their home or the patient’s primary family caregiver may need someone to stay with the patient while they run errands or even just take a break.
Hatter has a list of community resources but says she also relies on other social workers and agencies to help locate the right resources for each patient and family.
Debunking concern that flu vaccines can do more harm than good in very old and frail people, a new study out of Hong Kong suggests that flu vaccines can save the lives of even the most frail and elderly in nursing homes and hospitals. Read the story
An experimental program run through a New York hospital aims to teach children to recognize the signs of stroke, so that they may help stroke victims -- who may be family members -- get help sooner. Read the story
There's a pretty good chance some children might witness a parent or a grandparent having a stroke. So if they're armed with the signs and symptoms, they could likely save a life. -- Jim Baranski, CEO of the National Stroke Association
Proposed new rules would protect seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage, who currently only have 30 days' notice of network changes. Recent doctor terminations have sparked protest from beneficiaries as well as physician groups. Read the story
, says. An individualized care plan is critical when helping brain injury patients recover and return home. And it takes a team of specialists to tailor the rehabilitation plan so it addresses both the physical, cognitive, and emotional issues involved.
The brain injury program at Kindred’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals focuses on helping patients restore function and learn how to do things differently when functions can’t be restored to pre-injury levels. The program combines a multidisciplinary team with the technologies and tools specifically geared toward brain injuries.
In addition to physician specialists, Kindred’s brain injury team includes rehabilitation trained nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, clinical dietitians, neuropsychologists, orthotists, social workers and case managers. The therapists often have extensive training in areas such as Neuro-IFRAH, Neurodevelopmental technique, Vital Stim, and more.
Did you know that every fourth Tuesday of every March is The American Diabetes Association Alert Day? Diabetes is an epidemic and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Over 25 million children and adults in the United States or 8.3% of the population have diabetes. Approximately 7 million people are unaware that they have diabetes and go undiagnosed. As a result, on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, The American Diabetes Association is “Alerting” the public to this chronic disease and is asking everyone to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has updated its guidance on medical review of inpatient claims, instructing Medicare administrative contractors to use the two-midnight policy when reviewing claims regarding a surgery that was canceled. Read the story
A study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that when care was coordinated for patients with chronic diseases, meaning they saw fewer providers, they had fewer complications and costs stayed down. Read the story
The findings...suggest that better coordination of care for patients with these diseases could save Medicare up to $1.5 billion a year, said the researchers at RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization.
Americans are looking for fast, easy, and good-tasting foods to fit a busy lifestyle. Whether it’s carry-out, food court, office cafeteria or sit-down restaurant, there are smart choices everywhere. Here are 10 tips to help you eat healthy when eating out. Think ahead and plan where you will eat. Consider what meal options are available. Look for restaurants or carry-out with a wide range of menu items.
Find more information about healthy eating at www.eatright.org designed to help you "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right."
As we focus on good nutrition during National Nutrition Month, I challenge you to explore new flavors and foods. Explore the vast array of foods at your local grocery store, restaurants, and at home in your own kitchen.
When shopping, make it a point to try one new fruit, vegetable or whole grain every week. Start small by picking a new variety of apple or potato and then try venturing into the world of whole grains trying whole wheat couscous, quinoa, barley, whole grain rice and whole wheat pastas. Have your family choose a new recipe to try each week that includes an ingredient you aren’t familiar with.
The next time you and your family head out to eat, choose a restaurant that features ethnic foods from Asia, Europe or Africa. These restaurants often feature menus filled with healthy options that will be new to you. Try a restaurant that specializes in local produce or seasonal ingredients. Try a vegetarian or vegan restaurant. Grab a friend and spend a night enjoying something new.
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