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Hospitals required to keep caregivers in the loop

January 26th, 2016 | Posted in Advocacy Stories, Consumer Focus, Long-Term Care

By Anna Gorman  Kaiser Health News GLENDALE, Calif. – Diana Matsushima cares for both her husband and sister-in-law full time, giving them their medications and driving them to their doctor appointments. But when either ends up hospitalized, Matsushima said her role as their primary caregiver is often overlooked. She isn’t always included in the discussionsRead More

New guidelines boost diabetes screening for overweight adults

December 14th, 2015 | Posted in Clinical Trends, Consumer Focus, Patient Tools, Quality Care

By Michelle Andrews Kaiser Health News More people who are overweight or obese may get screened for diabetes under new guidelines released this week by a panel of prevention experts. Those whose blood sugar is higher than normal now can be referred to nutrition and exercise counseling without paying anything out of pocket for it. “ObesityRead More

Caregivers, advocates play an important role in avoiding patient restraint and seclusion

December 14th, 2015 | Posted in Advocacy 101, Consumer Focus, Quality Care

Facilities across the health care industry have seen a rash of patient injuries related to restraint and seclusion over the past year, with some cases so severe as to endanger not only the patient’s life, but the Medicare funding for the hospital involved. Reducing the use of restraints and seclusion in health care facilities requiresRead More

In caring for sickest infants, doctors tap parents for tough calls

November 17th, 2015 | Posted in Advocacy Stories, Clinical Trends, Consumer Focus, Long-Term Care, Quality Care

By Jenny Gold / Kaiser Health News PALO ALTO, Calif. — Dr. William Benitz walked past the rows of clear plastic isolettes in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. There’s little room to navigate — the space is jam-packed with the beeping machines, ventilators and nurses, who can care forRead More

Proposed revisions to discharge planning requirements would mandate patient and caregiver involvement

November 17th, 2015 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Quality Care, Recent Posts | Tagged

  You have a chance to comment on CMS’ latest attempt to improve discharge planning at hospitals and help patients avoid unnecessary and costly readmissions. In what acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt promises is a “simple but key change,” CMS is proposing to modify discharge planning Conditions of Participation for hospitals and home health agencies,Read More

Seniors who don’t consider switching drug plans may face steep price rise

October 20th, 2015 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Insurance Coverage, Prescription Drug Coverage, Uncategorized

By Michelle Andrews  Kaiser Health News When Mildred Fine received the annual notice informing her about changes to her Medicare prescription drug plan for 2016, she was shocked. If she stayed with the same plan, her monthly premium would more than triple, from $33.90 to $121.10, and her annual deductible would rise from $320 toRead More

New tools designed to help cancer patients evaluate value of treatments

October 20th, 2015 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Patient Tools, Recent Posts

A variety of tools are now available or under development to help cancer patients and their caregivers evaluate available treatments, drug therapies and their associated costs. Some will be more explicit about costs while others focus more on health benefits. For instance, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) announced a new tool in mid-October designedRead More

Congress Overwhelmingly Approves Bill Bolstering Medicare Patients’ Hospital Rights

September 15th, 2015 | Posted in Insurance Coverage, Uncategorized

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but have not been admitted to the hospital. It’s a distinction that’s easy to miss until patients are hit with big medical bills after a short stay. The vote follows overwhelming approval inRead More