A recent article published in Modern Healthcare highlights how CMS interpreted a rule within the healthcare reform law that is putting healthcare providers at greater financial risk. To summarize, healthcare providers could incur unreimbursed costs for services delivered to a consumer that has discontinued paying their insurance premium. See below for a detailed description of this scenario.
It appears that the business of delivering healthcare to a community is becoming more financially challenging. When you consider the increasing number of patients looking for care, reimbursement rates declining, no limits on malpractice suits and increasing regulatory burdens, it should be no surprise that in the future we see more healthcare providers filing for bankruptcy, looking for a financial bailout, selling their business, delivering limited services or discontinuing operations.
Here is the scenario that puts healthcare providers at greater financial risk due to CMS’s
A survey came out recently that stated that half of patients haven’t had their doctors talk to them about healthcare reform. With only two months until the beginning of the open enrollment period (October 1, 2013), there exists a significant knowledge gap for many Americans on what reform means for them and their families.
Whether you can squarely fault doctors for failing to inform their patients of these changes (as their trusted healthcare experts) is uncertain. As an administrator in the field who works daily with physicians, I believe one measure stemming from the Affordable Care Act that all should know something about–whether or not you doctor mentions it to you–is the concept of a “patient-centered medical home” (Medical Homes or PCMH). More than just a physical location, a medical home is a philosophy that places the patient at the center of care delivery where his or her care is coordinated, accessible, and focused on quality and safety. It requires
Two of the nation’s largest for-profit Health Systems, Tenet and HMA, got themselves sued by the Federal Government under the Anti-Kickback Statute last week. The Anti-kickback statute, in a nut shell, prohibits Providers from paying for referrals on patients covered under the Federal Medicare or Medicaid program. The allegations of the complaint center around two pregnancy clinics located in Georgia, and the steerage of illegal immigrants from those clinics to these hospitals. The State of Georgia has also joined the lawsuit to recover it’s spent Medicaid funds.
I understand both Health Systems should be given the benefit of the doubt unless and until the allegations are proven true in court. However, the whistleblower in this case is a former CFO of one of these organizations, and these allegations are very severe. How does this happen in 2013? Is it possible that people, or the corporations they represent, believe they can get away with something like this? Wasn’t
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act also known as ObamaCare has caused some interesting responses and reactions within the medical community. Most of those reactions are the direct opposite of the stated goals of ObamaCare.
Let’s look at the goals of ObamaCare and how the healthcare system and healthcare professionals are responding to the increased role of the federal government in healthcare.
First, ObamaCare promised improved access to care for the nearly 50 million uninsured Americans. However, the reality is that more physicians are either leaving private practice, retiring early or getting out of medicine entirely. A national survey conducted this summer by the nation’s third largest healthcare staffing company, Jackson Healthcare, indicates that fewer doctors are in private practice — 52 percent in 2013 vs. 56 percent in 2012. The survey also found a significant shift with physicians leaving their own practice to become hospital employees – a 26 percent
Technology is creating massive change and disruption that has forever altered the way consumers and businesses interact. The healthcare industry is no exception as we are seeing lighting fast innovation from data digitalization, mobile applications and self-service consumer platforms. Perhaps no other time in history has technology so rapidly changed how we learn, collaborate and communicate. Consider the wave of change with mobile advancements that saw the “pager” become a dinosaur to the Blackberry, only to be followed by the iPhone and smartphones overcoming the Blackberry. By the end of the year, they’ll be more mobile devices on earth than people. And more people are online than ever before socializing, searching and shopping, helping to generate 90% of the world’s data in the last two years alone. The consumerization of technology and the digitalization of data are fundamentally changing us.
All these changes have completely upended how marketing functions.
Guest Blogger Donna Fincher, Marketing Manager at Diversified Account Systems of Georgia, Inc.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers have been measuring the value of their services based simply on the numbers of patients they treat for generations. Today incentive changes imbedded in the Patient Protection and Affordability Act are forcing hospitals and physicians to reevaluate their methods of measuring and proving the value of the care they provide.
Historically, full hospital beds and busy physician schedules drove the success of providers; however emerging trends in the industry are leaning toward higher reimbursement levels for better quality services. In short, both government and commercial payers are beginning to reward providers who see patients less often because their original treatment plan was better and more comprehensive resulting in fewer office visits and hospital stays for those patients.
Medicare has already implemented a strict readmissions policy with
Atlanta is home to numerous healthcare information technology (“Health IT”) companies and serves as a Health IT leader in the Nation. Following the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“Stimulus Act”) and the HealthCare Reform Act, the Health IT market grew exponentially. Both laws dedicated billions of dollars to fund Health IT initiatives designed to spark innovative methods of delivering healthcare services by changing how healthcare is coordinated among providers and patients while reducing the costs to deliver clinical care. Some of these initiatives dedicated funds to encourage the adoption and implementation of electronic health records. Other programs provided direct funding for concepts that would change how healthcare was delivered. All of the funding and initiatives have driven significant economic growth in Health IT and caused a lot of companies to develop Health IT service lines. While the federal funding has been the carrot to foster Health IT
Has the Affordable Care Act reduced the differentiated value of services provided by Not For Profit hospitals that special tax exemptions will be eliminated? Therefore, the existence of Not For Profit hospitals will disappear and all hospitals will be considered For Profit. To appreciate how this is a real possibility, it is important to understand the purpose of a Not For Profit hospital. The purpose of a Not For Profit hospital is to serve families in the community that cannot afford medical care. In exchange for this charity care, Not For Profit hospitals receive exemption from federal and state corporate income taxes, exemption from state and local property taxes, and access to tax-exempt bond financing. In addition, charitable contributions to Not For Profit hospitals are tax deductible for the donor. This allowed Not For Profit hospitals to live up to their mission of serving the community and being financially viable.
Now that the Affordable Care Act will provide
When the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 the year 2014 was designed as the first year in which all Americans would have access to affordable health care. It was not envisioned that all would take advantage of the opportunity, but that opportunity would be there. The Supreme Court ruling, complexity of the law, partisan politics, and the limits of time have combined to create a different health system in 2014: one that may yield very different opportunities for coverage for very similar individuals and families.
The Supreme Court upheld the law, but somehow found that an expansion in eligibility constituted a separate program. As a result states could chose whether to expand Medicaid or keep their old Medicaid program. The irony is that states whose taxpayers, employers, and health systems would most benefit from Medicaid expansion are the most likely to have decided decline that option. Those choices were mostly in response to political considerations rather than
There is a great need for further integration of health information technology into our mental health practices across the nation. If EHRs will truly make a quality difference, behavioral health care is an area of health care that may be in the most need. An overwhelming amount of the substance abuse, chronic illness, violent acts, and suicides are related to the health of the mind. Almost everything we do in and out of healthcare is related to the health of the mind if you think about it.
In 2012, an ONC Behavioral Health Roundtable Report stated that only 20% of the surveyed behavioral health organizations had fully adopted EHR. This is in comparison to a 40% or higher rate which is often reported among the general population of health care providers.
You may have heard the stories about the US Mental Health System and how it has evolved over the years from an inpatient focused model to providing treatment in our communities. Each day in our communities we are likely to see