May 17, 2013
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- Call district meetings concerning matters of interest to their HCAF constituencies;
- Assist in the recruitment of members;
- Attend Board meetings, assist staff and officers at HCAF conferences and regional meetings, volunteer to serve on at least one standing committee and serve on task forces when requested; and
- Participate in HCAF membership group benefit programs wherever possible. Read the rest of this entry »
May 17, 2013
Marilyn Tavenner, the acting head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), was approved to become the agency’s official Administrator on a 91-7 vote on Wednesday night. The vote comes after Ms. Tavenner’s unanimous approval – by voice vote – in the Senate Finance Committee late last month, and after Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) lifted his hold on her appointment because of a dispute with the Obama Administration about funds for preventive health services being diverted to help fund the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Read the rest of this entry »
May 15, 2013
Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that a nationwide takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in eight cities has resulted in charges against 89 individuals, including doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $223 million in false billings. Florida accounted for 34 of the arrests made.
This coordinated takedown was the sixth national Medicare fraud takedown in Strike Force history. In total, almost 600 individuals have been charged in connection with schemes involving almost $2 billion in fraudulent billings in these national takedown operations alone. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. Read the rest of this entry »
May 15, 2013
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a nearly $1 billion initiative that will fund awards and evaluation to build on the Obama administration’s work to transform the health care system by delivering better care and lowering costs. This second round of Health Care Innovation Awards will fund applicants that have a high likelihood of driving health care system transformation and delivering better outcomes.
Made possible by the Affordable Care Act, the Health Care Innovation Awards provides another opportunity to improve the quality of health care and bring down costs for taxpayers and patients. The health care law includes many tools to avoid costly mistakes and readmissions, keep patients healthy, reward quality instead of quantity, and create health information technology infrastructure that enables new payment and delivery models to work. The provisions in the Affordable Care Act are already working to reduce costs: Medicare spending per beneficiary increased by just 0.4 percent last year, far below historical averages. Read the rest of this entry »
May 15, 2013
The National Association for Home Care and Hospice made its first report to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of errors in home health outlier calculations early in 2010. CMS acknowledged and began investigation of the problem, which was related to the newly imposed outlier cap calculation. CMS’ attempts to fix the problem in October 2011, and January, May and July 2012 were unsuccessful.
As a result, many home agencies did not receive full outlier payments for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, with underpayments ranging from tens of thousands of dollars by small agencies to millions by large agencies. In its efforts to seek a solution to this problem, NAHC wrote to the CMS Acting Administrator on June 21 – and again after the failure of the July fix – requesting her assistance in an immediate resolution. In response, the Acting Administrator directed CMS staff to resolve the problem as quickly as possible and agencies across the country finally began to receive the money owed them beginning in August. Read the rest of this entry »
May 14, 2013
In response to the President’s proposed FY 2014 budget, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations recently sent a letter to the President and Congressional leadership that included strong opposition to the President’s proposal to impose a home health copayment.
The LCAO is a 68-member coalition of national organizations, including the National Association for Home Care & Hospice that is concerned with the wellbeing of America’s older populations and is committed to representing their interests in the policy-making arena. The President’ proposed budget submitted to Congress included a provision that would impose a $100 copay on home health episodes not preceded by a hospital or nursing home stay, beginning in 2017 for new Medicare beneficiaries. Read the rest of this entry »
May 14, 2013
By Beth Braverman, Money Magazine
The vast majority of Americans want to live at home for as long as possible: Nearly 90% of people over the age of 65 said so in a 2010 AARP survey.
And with assisted living costing more than $40,000 a year on average, staying put can also save money. But the physical and medical problems that go hand in hand with aging can make home life difficult.
That’s why seniors – and their adult children – are increasingly hiring help to extend their time at home. Demand for these services is so strong that the Labor Department expects the number of aides to rise by 70% through 2020, making it the fastest-growing job in America. Read the rest of this entry »
May 10, 2013
CBR services, a division of Safeguard Services, posted updated information contained in the Comparative Billing Report (CBR) on home health visits by episode on its website. CBRs are produced under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The intent of this service is to provide data-driven tables and graphs that compare a provider’s billing and payment patterns with those of their peers located in their state and the nation. Read the rest of this entry »
May 8, 2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has asked the association to share the following message with providers about opportunities for providers to partner with CMS by disseminating preventative information to the public. Read the rest of this entry »
May 7, 2013
A patient recruiter for a Miami health care company was sentenced today to serve 37 months in prison for his participation in a $20 million Medicare fraud scheme. Manuel Lozano, 65, was sentenced to serve two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,851,000 in restitution, jointly and severally with co-conspirators.
In February 2013, Lozano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to receive health care kickbacks. According to court documents, Lozano was a patient recruiter who worked for Serendipity Home Health, a Miami home health care agency that purported to provide home health and therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries. Read the rest of this entry »