CMS celebrates 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Amendments to the Social Security Act that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Over the next 50 days, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will recognize the impact these two programs have had in transforming our nation’s health care system. By sharing daily facts and posts on Twitter (@cmsgov) and Medicaid.gov, CMS will highlight people, places, and progress that represent the Medicare and Medicaid …

Millions of long-term care workers needed in next decade

A new study released by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco shows that at least 2.5 million more long-term care workers will be needed within 15 years. The researchers used national surveys to analyze current use and staffing of long-term care, to project demand for long-term care services and workers through 2030.
If current trends continue, the occupations anticipated to grow the most over the period are:

counselors and social workers: 94%
community and social …

CMS and ACO’s streamlining their data

On Thursday, CMS released a final rule updating the Medicare Shared Savings Program to encourage the delivery of high-quality care for Medicare beneficiaries and build on the early successes of the program and of the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model.  This final rule is an effort to provide support for the care provider community in creating a delivery system with better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.
The Medicare Shared Savings Program final rule will …

OIG released its FY 2015 mid-year update

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Mid-Year Update last week. The FY mid-year update includes several initiatives central to long-term care providers.
Medicare Part A billing by skilled nursing facilities
The OIG will describe changes in SNF billing practices from FYs 2011 to 2013.  Prior OIG work found that SNFs increasingly billed for the highest level of therapy even though beneficiary characteristics remained largely unchanged. OIG also found that SNFs billed …