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Healthcare Headlines Week of June 16, 2014

June 20, 2014

Healthcare_Headlines_6.16.14Communal Living on the Rise Among Seniors

For older Americans who have been through divorce or the death of a spouse, communal living, a la The Golden Girls TV sitcom, is becoming increasingly popular. Read the story

Lawmakers Consider Readmissions Penalty Calculations for Dual Eligibles

A group of bipartisan Congressional legislators is giving consideration to the method for calculating readmissions penalties in order to weigh the issues faced by facilities that take care of dual eligibles, who often represent the sickest of the sick. Read the story

Coverage for Lung Cancer Test Urged

Many lawmakers are pushing for Medicare to cover a lung cancer screening test that they believe could be beneficial to many seniors. Read the story

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the lawmakers called for a timely decision on coverage for low-dose CT scans for older patients at higher risk of developing lung cancer.

“Prior Authorization” for Hospice Drugs Questioned

A “prior authorization” process used to reconcile payment for some drugs used at end-of-life is a burden to Medicare beneficiaries seeking the drugs, according to advocates who would like to see the rules withdrawn. Read the story

Large Insurer Expands Palliative Care Program

A large insurer in the Pacific Northwest is expanding its palliative care program, offering training to providers and additional benefits to policyholders. Read the story

Palliative care at its best is in partnership with curative care. It’s not after curative care when it no longer matters or no longer is working. — Mark Ganz, president and CEO of Cambia Health Solultions

Will HIPAA Fines Increase?

According to Health and Human Services Chief Regional Civil Rights Counsel Jerome Meites, recent HIPAA fines are low compared to what’s to come. Read the story

Post-Hospital Syndrome may be a Cause of Readmissions

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a phenomenon known as “post-hospital syndrome,” which renders patients suceptible to things like gastrointestinal issues, mental health issues, nutrition-related problems, electrolyte imbalances, and trauma, including falls, could be a cause of readmissions. Read the story

Hospitalists a Growing Specialty

Hospitalists, who specialize in taking care of patients in the hospital, make up the fastest growing specialty in medicine, today and maybe to date. Read the story

Device Theft to Blame for Many HIPAA Violations

Device theft in long-term care facilities continues to be a leading cause of HIPAA violations, according to a recently released government report. Read the story

When it Comes to Blood Pressure, Lower is Better…to a Point

A new study has found that lowering blood pressure has many positive health benefits, but people whose blood pressure is lower than the normal range (120-140) are at no greater advantage than those who fall within the normal range. Read the story

Opinions expressed in any of the included stories or their publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Kindred Healthcare and this blog post is a compilation of news stories from other sources that have appeared during the past week.

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