Articles and Blogs

Legislation Introduced to Dismantle “Specialty Healthcare” NLRB Decision, Further Limit NLRB Actions

[10/13/11]

Posted on October 13, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

Representative John Kline of Minnesota introduced the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act last week in response to recent NLRB actions affecting employers.  One aspect of this Bill is the reversal of the NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare decision which altered the established standard for determining collective bargaining units in non-acute care health facilities.   

CMS Updates Claims Processing Manual to Reflect Failure of Timely Hospice Face-to-Face

[10/11/11]

Posted on October 11, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

As previously discussed, hospice providers are required to have a hospice physician or nurse practitioner perform a face-to-face encounter with each hospice patient whose total length of stay is anticipated to reach the third benefit period.  This encounter must be performed no more than thirty days prior to the third benefit period recertification, and no…Read More

OIG Publishes 2012 Work Plan

[10/11/11]

Posted on October 11, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Selby, Todd J.

On October 5, 2011, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) published its proposed Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2012. As in the past, the Work Plan continues to identify compliance risk areas that subject Medicare and Medicaid providers to audit and enforcement initiatives. The 2012 Work Plan contains several new areas of focus by the…Read More

Revised 855S Enrollment Application

[10/11/11]

Posted on October 11, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Kendra Conover

After October 31, 2011, DMEPOS suppliers will no longer be permitted to use the 07/09 version of the CMS-855S application and will be required to utilize the updated 07/11 version. The 07/11 version is available and may be used for submissions now. The newest version of the application has been updated to capture additional information…Read More

NLRB Postpones Requirement to Post Employee Rights Notice

[10/11/11]

Posted on October 11, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

The NLRB announced last week that it has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule (previously discussed here and here) by more than two months in order to allow for “enhanced education and outreach to employers”, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses.  The posting requirement for most private employers was…Read More

Study Suggests Health Care Workers Should Iron Uniforms After Laundering For Sanitation

[10/10/11]

Posted on October 10, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

McKight’s points to a recent study that suggests nursing uniforms laundered at home have not been adequately sanitized.  The study from the University College in London found residential washing machines only heated water to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving substantial amounts of bacteria behind. Investigators found that thorough ironing after washing was successful in removing remaining Acinetobacter and…Read More

Providers Face Greater Risk of Claim Denial Under New PPS Rules

[10/10/11]

Posted on October 10, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

Effective October 1, new PPS rules for fiscal year 2012 require nursing homes to diligently review claims prior to submission.  As previously discussed, significant cuts in SNF reimbursement are aimed mostly at therapy services.   SNFs submitting claims under the previous rules can expect high rates of denials and rejections.  Even facilities billing under the new rules…Read More

CMS Proposes Regulation Limiting the Ability of LTC Pharmacists to Consult Facilities

[10/10/11]

Posted on October 10, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

CMS has published a proposed regulation that would limit the ability of institutional pharmacies to offer pharmacist consultation services to facilities.  CMS believes that relationships between nursing homes and pharmacy suppliers could result in “recommendations that conflict with the best interests of nursing home residents.” The proposed regulation would require facilities to hire independent pharmacists to oversee…Read More

CMS to Host Conference Call Related to MDS 3.0, PPS

[10/10/11]

Posted on October 10, 2011 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

CMS will host their monthly Skilled Nursing/LTC Open Door Forum on Thursday, October 20, from 2-3pm EST.  This call was originally scheduled on October 13.  The information to participate in the call is available here. The recent changes to MDS 3.0 and PPS are likely to be heavily discussed topics.    Should you have any questions, please contact: Todd Selby at…Read More

NLRB Employee Rights Notice Posting Postponed to January 31, 2012

[10/06/11]

Posted on October 6, 2011 in Health Law News

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

On October 5, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board announced that it has postponed the implementation date for its new Notice Posting Rule by more than two months in order to allow for “enhanced education and outreach to employers,” particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses.  The posting requirement for most private employers…Read More