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Elderly patients in the hospital need to keep moving

August 16th, 2016 | Posted in Clinical Trends, Consumer Focus, Long-Term Care, Quality Care

By Anna Gorman / Kaiser Health News BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Thelma Atkins ended up in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital-Highlands after a neighbor in her senior living center ran over her feet with a motorized scooter. Terri Middlebrooks, a nurse at the hospital, tried to figure out how active the 92-year-old Atkins was before theRead More

Educate patients about CMS’ pre-claim review demo before they receive letters denying care

July 19th, 2016 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Insurance Coverage

Beware that patients who have been discharged into home health care in five states may begin to receive letters from CMS stating that their home care services are not covered. CMS is conducting a pre-claim review demonstration in Illinois, Florida, Texas, Michigan and Massachusetts that will generate letters if documentation to justify the home careRead More

Obama administration issues sweeping protections for LGBTQ patients

July 19th, 2016 | Posted in Consumer Focus

Discrimination against patients based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or whether they conform to “sex stereotypes” are all banned under a final rule HHS that is effective as of now. The rule, commonly known as section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), applies to health care providers and health plans alike. The ruleRead More

Are your patients sharing too much? Study says by sharing painkillers, friends and family members can fuel opioid epidemic

June 14th, 2016 | Posted in Consumer Focus

By Shefali Luthra / Kaiser Health News As lawmakers grapple with how best to combat the nation’s prescription painkiller abuse crisis, a recent survey is shedding light on how patients who get these medications  — drugs such as OxyContin, methadone or Vicodin — sometimes share or mishandle them. According to findings detailed in a research letterRead More

CMS seeks to improve patients’ rights in proposed rule to change hospital requirements

June 14th, 2016 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Quality Care

Patients’ rights get a boost of support from CMS in a proposed rule that would change Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) to explicitly prohibit discrimination against patients, especially on the basis of religion or sexual orientation, and ensure access to information in electronic medical record. While a variety of rules and regulations address discrimination, theRead More

Trends in health care industry point to need for more patient advocates

May 17th, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized

The health care industry is changing and along with it the role of patient advocacy, said a longtime industry expert during the preconference training workshop for hospital advocates at DecisionHealth’s Care Coordination Summit. Expect patient advocacy to turn even more toward patient safety, becoming a part of data gathering and process improvement as Affordable CareRead More

U.S. judge’s ruling may weaken some whistleblower cases on health care fraud

April 19th, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized

By Burt Schorr DecisionHealth The ability of whistleblowers to accuse home health agencies, hospices and other providers of Medicare fraud under the False Claims Act would be seriously weakened, if not eliminated, unless a March 31 decision by a federal district court judge in Alabama is reversed, attorneys representing whistleblowers say. The case involves JusticeRead More