California governor signs ALF emergency preparedness bill

A measure designed to boost emergency preparedness for assisted living communities was recently signed by California Governor Brown and will take effect January 1, 2019. The measure, (AB 3098) will require:
• Initial and annual training on emergency preparedness plan for all staff
• Drills, at least quarterly, under varied emergency situations, for each shift
• Annual plan review and updates as needed
• Evacuation chairs for multistory buildings (effective July 1, 2019)
• Identification of two evacuation sites with …

CMS releases updates to billing for flu vaccine

by The Bottom Line
Flu season is August to April. Make sure you’re prepared to start billing for the influenza virus vaccine by staying up to date on the latest code and payment allowance updates. So far, CMS has released the following two notices:
1. Payment allowances for the influenza virus vaccine are updated on August 1 each year. This year’s annual update has been released, according to a CMS MLN Matters article. Click here for 2018-2019 …

FDA warns about feeding tube misconnections

In a letter to manufacturers, healthcare professionals and purchasers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of possible misconnections with enteral devices. The letter states that since 2011, 2 deaths, 24 serious injuries, and 32 device malfunctions related to these misconnections have occurred.
If proper procedure is not followed, these tubes can mistakenly be connected to the wrong medical device and prove fatal. The FDA recommends that healthcare professionals:

Use enteral devices that meet the ISO …

Reconsideration requests under quality reporting program now electronic-only

by Home Health Line.
Agencies looking to have a Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) reconsider the decision to reduce the agency’s annual payment update over noncompliance with the home health quality reporting program (HHQRP) now have only one option: to submit the request letter electronically.
Agencies that do not submit the required quality data for the HHQRP will have their annual payment update decreased by two percentage points, according to CMS.
Previously, agencies could submit reconsideration requests by …