Archive for June, 2011

June 28, 2011

Therapy OMRA’s: Change is Not Always a Good Thing

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:30 am

If allowed to proceed unchecked or unaltered Change of Therapy OMRA’s as outlined in the SNF 2012 Proposed Rule will greatly impact how therapy services are delivered.  Rural facilities are even more at risk.  More importantly, however, is the effect that this will have on the already overworked and overstretched MDS coordinators, and ultimately how services are delivered to the elderly.  As this Long-Term Living article details, Change of Therapy OMRA’s or COT’s will prove to be a logistical nightmare not only for therapy, but nursing and most importantly the patient!  Already faced with increased assessment requirements under MDS 3.0, MDS coordinators nationwide are reporting that they have seen the numbers of required Medicare assessments increase by as much as 50% compared to MDS 2.0.   Many complaints and comments relating to this dramatic increase in required MDS assessments have fallen on the deaf ears of Medicare officials on several SNF Open Door Forums.  Given the increased detail required by the MDS 3.0, this has stretched the resources of every facility serving the elderly under Medicare.  The documentation requirements have grown so dramatically that we are quickly reaching a point that patient care is at risk in order to “Dot the I’s and Cross the T’s”.  The COT OMRA if left unchanged will once again tax these resources that are already stretched too thin.  It may prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

This article was written by Lance Hill, Director of Compliance for Therapy Center. Lance started his career in Occupational Therapy in 1993 and has been in therapy management since 1996. Lance helps Therapy Center respond quickly to regulatory changes within Medicare to avoid the risk of reviews or denials. As Director of Compliance, Lance also ensures that Therapy Center managers and field staff have the resources they need to excel in their job duties, keeping Therapy Center a leader in rehabilitation services.

June 24, 2011

Reducing Avoidable Rehospitalizations Among Seniors

Filed under: Blog — Kristi Fredieu @ 9:41 am

The rehospitalization of senior patients within 30 days of discharge from a skilled nursing facility (SNF) has risen dramatically in recent years, at an estimated annual cost of more than $17 billion. A new study from Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC), an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, demonstrates improvements in discharge disposition following a three-pronged intervention that combines standardized admission templates, palliative care consultations, and root-cause-analysis conferences.

Read the full article

June 23, 2011

Is There a Disconnect Between Departments in Your Facility?

Filed under: Blog — Kristi Fredieu @ 7:43 am

We’re Bridging the Gap.

Medicare requirements and constantly changing regulations have, through years of constant scrutiny, facilitated an environment of accountability, demand for quality, and an expectation of excellence within the skilled nursing setting. However, strenuous and detailed paperwork demands alone are enough to create tension and disconnect between departments and disciplines.

The result: a distorted, inaccurate view of the patient in the medical record, making it very easy for auditors to deny claims for services provided.

At Therapy Center, we recognize the heavy demands placed on each department in order to provide accuracy in reporting. We’ve implemented methods, individualized for each of our partner facilities, to open the lines of communication between all departments. Therapy Center provides CNA training to understand and interpret the definition of assistance given to patients, and how to accurately record this on ADL flow sheets. We participate in facility staff meetings to discuss caseloads and patient deficits, in order to pinpoint areas of concern, as well as to identify inconsistencies noted between disciplines.

In fulfillment of our guarantee for quality and excellence to our customers, staff education and program development are areas of constant focus. Whether it be reviewing charts, collaborating with staff, or serving on committees – Therapy Center believes that building strong relationships is not only our responsibility has also been a great strength for our company. Ensuring the best clinical outcomes for our patients and best financial outcomes for our clients remains our top priority!

June 2, 2011

Therapy Center Hires Recruitment Manager

Filed under: Blog — Kristi Fredieu @ 11:17 am

ava-hebertTherapy Center is proud to announce the hire of Ava Tanner Hebert, Recruitment Manager. Hebert is formerly Ava Tanner of Bunkie. She is a 2006 graduate of University of Louisiana, Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. Ava is a nine-year resident of Lafayette and a provisional member of the Junior League of Lafayette.

Hebert will be responsible for employee recruitment and hospital relations, as well as coordination and implementation of Therapy Center’s marketing campaigns and strategies.

Therapy Center was founded in 2002 by five local therapists with the simple goal of providing superior care to patients and helping them maximize their potential and live life to its fullest. Therapy Center partners with nursing homes to provide high quality, cost-effective rehabilitation services. For more Therapy Center news and developments, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Immediate ACTION needed! Cuts to Medicare Proposed

Filed under: Blog — Kristi Fredieu @ 11:08 am

Contact your Representatives today and ask them to sign on to the Latham-Neal Letter to CMS urging the agency to delay an exceptionally high proposed Medicare payment cut to skilled nursing facilities.

We must ensure that our nation’s seniors continue to have access to the critical health care services provided by skilled nursing facilities. Take Action Now!

June 1, 2011

Senate Rejects House Medicare, Medicaid Proposal

Filed under: Blog — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:32 am

According to a news story posted by HMFA, the Senate rejected the highly publicized House budget passed in April that proposed $6.2 trillion in spending cuts, including major cuts and changes in Medicare and Medicaid.

The budget proposal, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), was rejected 57-40 and was opposed by all Democratic senators voting and five Republicans. The measure needed 51 votes to pass. Ryan’s proposal called for privatizing Medicare and giving beneficiaries subsidies to buy private health plans. Known as “premium support,” the plan would help pay for insurance premiums and would begin for people turning 65 in 2022. Ryan’s version would drop the original fee-for-service version of Medicare, rather than preserving it as an alternative, the Washington Post reports.

Republicans said the proposed Medicare changes are necessary to keep Medicare’s trust fund from going insolvent in 2024, as predicted by Medicare trustees. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Republican plan would “balance the budget on the backs of seniors.”

The Senate also rejected a proposal that would convert Medicaid from an open-ended program in which the government pays about 60 percent of the cost of services into a block grant program. Each state would determine how to spend grant money on health care for low-income residents using block grants. Republicans estimated that move would cut federal spending by $1 trillion over the next decade.

About 60 percent of Americans want Congress to keep Medicaid in its current form with the federal government guaranteeing coverage and setting minimum benefits for states to follow, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Blog story provided by Healthcare Financial Management Association