Public Policy

Hospitalists Support Medicare’s Plan to Reimburse Advance Care Planning

Hospitalists Support Medicare’s Plan to Reimburse Advance Care Planning

On July 8, following on the heels of the sustainable growth rate repeal, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a proposed update to the 2016 Physician Fee Schedule that would reimburse physicians and other qualified providers for conversations with patients and patient families about end-of-life care. It is yet another move toward higher… [Read More]

How Veterans Affairs Healthcare Services Are Like Accountable Care Organizations

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an accountable care organization (ACO) is defined as a “group of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients.” The goal of an ACO is “to ensure that patients, especially chronically ill, get the… [Read More]

Hospitalists Can Be Good Stewards of Healthcare Dollars

Are hospitals going to be allowed to start “patient profiling” in order to reduce costs? Hospitals already frequently operate their own state departments and perform “extraordinary medical renditions” on uninsured, critically ill noncitizens. Do you really expect us to believe they are identifying these patients in order to provide them more appropriate services? My impression… [Read More]

Nursing Home Residents Likely to Suffer Fractures

NEW YORK  – Older adults living in long-term care are more than twice as likely as their peers living at home to suffer a fracture, and a new guideline endorsed by the Scientific Advisory Council of Osteoporosis Canada explains how to reduce their risk. Residents of long-term care tend to be frailer and have more health problems than similar people… [Read More]

US Behind the World in Telemedicine

NEW YORK – The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued a baker’s dozen of recommendations intended to guide the effective use of telemedicine in primary care settings. “The recommendations balance the potential benefits and expanded use of telemedicine with the importance of maintaining the patient-physician relationship and patient safety,” Hilary Daniel from American College of Physicians, Washington, DC, said by email. Telemedicine,… [Read More]

Physicians Critical of Proposed Changes to Medicare’s Two-Midnight Rule

In the wake of proposed changes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ two-midnight rule, physicians say new flexibilities and changes to the policy’s auditing mechanism add more uncertainty and ambiguity. The 2016 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System proposed rule was published on July 1, 2015, and included… [Read More]

Medicare Rule May Needlessly Extend Hospital Stay

(Reuters Health) – A decades old Medicare rule requiring a three-day hospital stay before patients can transfer to skilled nursing facilities may needlessly prolong hospitalizations, a study suggests. Researchers compared the average time patients were hospitalized between 2006 and 2010 in privately administered Medicare Advantage health plans that either stuck to this rule or allowed… [Read More]

China’s Healthcare Reform Drive Stuck in First Gear

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Li Tiantian, a Chinese doctor turned tech entrepreneur, is a leading light of the country’s much-trumpeted healthcare reform drive. His medical networking platform DXY.com links two million doctors across China and has attracted funding from tech giants like Tencent. DXY is exactly what Beijing has said it’s looking to support after it… [Read More]