Category: Medicare and Medicaid

Long-Term Care Facilities Must Recognize Same-Sex Spousal Rights

Long-term care facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid may soon be required to recognize the rights of same-sex spouses regardless if their state has validated the marriage, according to a recently proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “These revisions would promote equality and ensure the recognition of the validity of same-sex… Read More »

Health Care Spending Growth At 53-Year Low

Americans’ health care spending is following a pattern of slow growth, between 3.6% and 4.1% for five consecutive years, according to  new data from the Office of the Actuary (OACT) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). And it grew more slowly last year than at any time in the last 53 years. U.S. health spending… Read More »

CMS Proposes New Rule To Boost ACO Success

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule Monday that aims to improve incentives to participate in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The changes would update and improve policies governing the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) by targeting several program areas including beneficiary assignment, data sharing, available risk models, eligibility requirements, participation… Read More »

America’s Senior Care Gets Low Marks Versus Global Peers

When it comes to affording and receiving much-needed health care, older Americans are in worse shape compared to some of the world’s leading nations, according to the results from a new international survey. In the U.S., adults age 65 and older are sicker and more likely to struggle paying medical bills and getting the health… Read More »

Alzheimer’s Costs Expected to Quintuple as Boomers Age

It’s no secret that an aging baby boomer population carries huge cost implications for the nation’s health care system. And when it comes to dementia care, treating diseases like Alzheimer’s will cause those costs to skyrocket, according to new research from the University of Southern California (USC).  As boomers age, the financial burden of Alzheimer’s disease… Read More »

Harvard Study Finds ACOs Lead to Better Health Care

It’s the formula health care reforms have been drumming up since the passing of the Affordable Care Act: organizations that play together, report higher satisfaction in delivery of care services, according to recent research from the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy.  And for patients with multiple chronic conditions, their satisfaction with Accountable Care… Read More »

Extendicare to Pay $38 Million in Largest Failure-of-Care Settlement in DOJ History

Extendicare Health Services Inc., which operates 146 skilled nursing facilities in 11 states, has agreed to pay $38 million to settle claims that it billed Medicare and Medicaid for “substandard” nursing services, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced late last week.  Extendicare and its subsidiary Progressive Step Corporation (ProStep) allegedly billed the federal government for… Read More »

President Obama Says Yes to Post-Acute Care Law

President Obama signed into law a bill to standardize data used by post-acute care providers Monday, which aims to increase quality, transparency and accountability to the post-acute care industry. The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act, or IMPACT Act (H.R. 4994), received support from both Democrats and Republicans, and received praise from multiple health care… Read More »

Three More Pioneer ACOs Call it Quits

Two years after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched its Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, the initiative is now down to about 60% of its original participants following the exit of three health systems last week. The latest ACOs to leave the CMS program—Franciscan Alliance in Indianapolis; Genesys PHO in Flint,… Read More »

CMS: Medicare ACOs Have Saved $372 Million

With many eyes on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and their role in the future of senior care, the The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shed some light Tuesday on the performances of its Pioneer ACOs to date. According to quality and financial performance results compiled by CMS, Medicare ACOs have improved patient care… Read More »

Justice Department Zooms in on Elder Financial Abuse

Financial exploitation of the elderly is a nearly $3 billion business annually, depleting the resources of many, including businesses and the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In hopes of curbing this fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched the Elder Justice website this week. “The launch of the Elder Justice website today marks another milestone… Read More »