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Health Reform

A Quick Guide to the Marketplace Open Enrollment – Begins Nov 15

October 22, 2014 by Linda Ringquist

2015 Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is right around the corner for the Marketplace. Are you prepared? Do you know what changes are slated for 2015? Do you know the specifics for your state? Do you have the option to keep the same coverage as you had in 2014?[read more]

Combating the Nursing Shortage with Mobile Patient Engagement

October 21, 2014 by Tanya Dainoski

Combating the nursing shortage

By implementing various mobile patient engagement technologies, such as text (SMS) messaging and mobile apps, existing nurses and case managers can manage more patients simultaneously, improving patient satisfaction and decreasing nurse burnout.[read more]

Stopping the Revolving Door of Avoidable Readmissions [VIDEO]

October 20, 2014 by Linda Ringquist

avoidable readmissions

This video gives examples of what some hospitals are doing throughout the country to successfully reduce avoidable readmissions. What are you doing to reduce avoidable readmissions? Have you discovered additional best practices? Have you tried different measures that didn’t work?[read more]

CMS Proposes Further Expansion of Rewards for Medicare: Retailer Reward Programs

October 15, 2014 by Michael Dermer

Medicare / shutterstock

On October 3, CMS proposed new safe harbors to the anti-kickback program would open the door for retailers to clearly allow customers to receive coupons and reward benefits under loyalty type programs when purchasing drugs and other services covered in whole or in part by federal health care programs.[read more]

Ebola and the Bigger Patient Safety Issue

October 13, 2014 by David E Williams

Screwups happen in hospitals every day. Individual cases are being reported now because they’re Ebola-related and therefore newsworthy. I’m hopeful that a positive byproduct of the Ebola scrutiny will be a renewed awareness of patient safety and quality of care issues by hospitals and patients.[read more]

Why Patients Need “E Interventions” Now

October 9, 2014 by Tim Kilpatrick

E intervention

While Medicare represents only 20% of healthcare spending, its reimbursement system is the foundation of commercial healthcare insurance before overlaying unique provisions. Medicare is slow in adding reimbursement for innovation that can diagnose, treat or monitor patients more effectively and efficiently.[read more]

3 Steps Toward Preparing for a Provider Rating System

October 9, 2014 by Matt Gretczko

provider ratings

There has been a lot of dialogue lately regarding CMS’s potential expansion of a star rating system to providers. Not surprisingly, it is being rather heavily opposed. The difficulty with such a system is whether a star, or any other indicator, is ensuring the rating actually measures what it is intended to.[read more]

Ebola Response: 5 ED Throughput Measures Your ED Needs

October 6, 2014 by Abby Norman

ebola response

In the light of the first-ever confirmed Ebola case in the United States, questions of procedure and preparedness are humming throughout all fifty states. When Thomas E. Duncan, arrived at the emergency department the first time, a gap in communication between triage nurses and emergency room physicians led to his being sent home.[read more]

Will Medicare Cover Telehealth?

October 5, 2014 by Abby Norman

telehealth

No doubt that in the coming years, telehealth will become a fundamental part of how doctors diagnose and treat patients. Of major concern for both providers and patients is, if this new technology becomes commonplace, who will pay for it? Telehealth, like most medical interventions, isn’t cheap.[read more]

Expansion of Medicare Rewards Adds Key Tool to Drive Behavior Change

October 2, 2014 by Michael Dermer

Medicare rewards / shutterstock

One of the least publicized but most welcome changes for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in the final MA and Part D rule CMS released in May of this year was provisions giving MA plans more flexibility in offering rewards and incentives as part of wellness programs.[read more]

Expanding Insurance May Not Mean Long Lines and Trouble Seeing the Doctor

September 26, 2014 by Brad Wright

lone lines / shutterstock

If more people have the ability to go to the doctor, and there isn’t suddenly a corresponding increase in doctors, then either doctors are going to have to see more patients in less time, or patients are going to have to wait to be seen. There’s just one important question: Is that really what will happen?[read more]

Uninsured Rate Has Fallen, But May Soon Increase

September 22, 2014 by Brad Wright

insurance / shutterstock

The early indications are that more people have coverage, and things seem to be moving in the right direction. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. According to a recent report, the end of the third quarter may bring a slight uptick to the number of uninsured.[read more]