Medicare/Medicaid

Report Questions Nursing Home Charges

The Department of Health and Human Services released a report titled “Questionable Billing by Skilled Nursing Facilities.” The title says it all… but we’re still going to comment. In recent years, government analyses have discovered improprieties in the amount of Medicare dollars billed by–and paid to–to skilled nursing facilities (a general term that includes nursing …

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Role for Palliative Care in Dementia

Palliative care is treatment intended not to heal, but to relieve symptoms so that the patient feels better. Despite the fact that it is an important part of treatment, especially for people with incurable disorders, palliative care is not well understood by most people, including those who need it. For people with a terminal illness, …

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Minnesota Nursing Homes Seek to End the Stupor

How’s this for unconventional: The Ecumen chain of 15 Minnesota nursing homes has launched Project Awakenings, which calls for treating residents’ behavioral problems without resorting to antipsychotic drugs. The problems are real. Residents have physical and mental disorders, and they are often in pain, frightened, alone, and confused. In the worst cases, they react with …

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Independence Among U.S. Nursing Home Residents

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services compile data about nursing homes, and about nursing home residents. Yesterday, NPR News Investigations published an interactive graphic of the level of independence among U.S. nursing home residents. This graphic is quite cool! You start by choosing an independence measure you want to examine from the residents’ ability …

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Know Your Hospital Status to Prevent Medicare Confusion

Many people who wind up in a nursing home are transferred there after a hospital stay. But an article in today’s The Washington Post points out a technicality that could block your ability to have Medicare cover the cost of  your nursing home stay. Basically, everyone in the hospital is categorized as being in either …

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State Calls for Fines for Britthaven of Chapel Hill Nursing Home

According to an article on WRAL.com, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has recommended that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services fine Britthaven of Chapel Hill nursing home for violations that led to the hospitalization of six patients in February. One patient, 84-year-old Rachel Holliday, died. Ms. Holliday and eight …

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Support for New Bill to Streamline Medicare Reimbursements

Imagine that you have been in a car wreck and are unable to work because of your injuries… or that you have ongoing hospital bills due to medical malpractice. You’ve done everything right. You took your case to court and won a settlement for your losses. How long do you think it might take to …

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Poor Outcome from Long-Term Acute Care Hospitalization

People recovering from serious illness used to recuperate in a traditional hospital, no matter how long it took. But in the past 15 years, a new form of hospital–the long-term acute care hospital–has emerged. These hospitals can provide intensive and specialized care for patients who don’t necessarily need all of the services offered by a …

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