Though the Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored the legislation’s revenue implications, Greg Billings of the Drinker Biddle law firm, who lobbied in support of the measure on behalf of both the Telehealth Leadership Initiative and the NAHC, says the bill was expressly designed to be cost-neutral. “The cost savings aren’t paid out unless there are cost savings,” noted Billings. The language of the bill mandates that savings be documented before any payments will be made. … [Read more...] about Telehealth Bill Aims to Expand Health IT Access for Home Care Providers
Health advocate home care
Five days into the Department of Labor’s enforcement of the new rule rendering most home health aides eligible for overtime under the FLSA, questions abound regarding how state Medicaid and Medicare-funded programs will comply with the rule within their current budgets. One new report cautions consumers of home health care and their advocates to be aware of the rule so they can stave off “unintended harms” including, among others, the potential for “cuts in service hours [to] make it very difficult to remain in the community and avoid institutionalization, particularly if [consumers] cannot find additional workers to fill their [needed] hours.” … [Read more...] about Home Care Fallout: Increased Institutionalization?
Physicians, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, psychiatrists, and most hospitals qualify for the payments. But “behavioral” health providers — clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, mental health treatment centers, and others whose patients experience a multitude of psychological and biochemical disorders — are ineligible to receive reimbursement funds, in part because lawmakers were trying to limit HITECH’s costs. Other groups not eligible for HITECH include home-care practitioners, long-term care providers, post-acute providers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, rehabilitation hospitals, and cancer centers. … [Read more...] about Proposed Bill Aims to Expand Health IT Funds to Mental Health Providers
Other HHS and Federal Regulatory InitiativesOn March 13th CMS released an administrative ruling and a proposed rule that will allow hospitals to be reimbursed for some claims after auditors determine that inpatient care should have been provided in an outpatient manner. The rule comes after the American Hospital Association and four hospitals sued CMS last fall in an attempt to recover claims on that basis. The CMS rule emphasizes the need to address similar issues revealed by the Medicare Appeals Council and administrative law judges. The agency ruling, in effect March 13th, will continue until the final proposed rule is completed. The administrative ruling can be read here. The proposed rule can be read here. … [Read more...] about Health Care Law Reform Update – March 19, 2013
This type of unionization is controversial and seen by many as forced unionization of independent contractor home workers, many of whom are simply caregivers for a friend or relative and not employed in any professional capacity. However, Unions have pushed to allow such non-traditional organizing as a way to combat the decline of union membership nationwide. We have previously covered these new organizing models advocated by unions. … [Read more...] about Law on Unionization of Home Care Workers Continues to Shift