January 21, 2021

Think in Ink

By John Zelem, MD
Documentation should be concise information, justifying the acuity of an inpatient level of care when appropriate. Statements that physician documentation needs improvement are always being made. These thoughts come from many levels: executives, nurses, utilization review, quality, clinical documentation integrity specialists (CDISs), physician advisors, and so many others. For years,…
January 21, 2021

Transparency Rules and the No Surprises Act

By Matthew Albright
Healthcare providers face two new rules certain to complicate a busy year already dominated by the pandemic. The nation’s capital is facing a tremendous number of complex issues this week. Amid all this, legislative activity on two healthcare policy initiatives has advanced in the past few weeks – and those…
January 21, 2021

New CMS SDoH Resource: More Memorandum than Roadmap?

By Ellen Fink-Samnick MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP
The roadmap is a comprehensive and exhaustive review of all services and supports available to Medicaid recipients. Last week’s report on the state of the social determinants of health (SDoH) offered my crystal ball of what healthcare organizations and systems can expect for the year to come. Most are still…
January 21, 2021

Understanding your Readmissions: How to Reduce Penalties

By Marie Stinebuck, MBA, MSN, ACM, and Tiffany Ferguson, LMSW, ACM
Readmissions affect 18.2 percent of Medicare beneficiaries. Hospitals already suffering from the financial hemorrhage of the COVID-19 pandemic will be hit again by the readmission penalty. More than 2,500, or 83 percent of hospitals in the U.S., will receive reduced Medicare funding for the 2021 fiscal year because of their…
The federal holiday honoring King is annually held on the third Monday in January. The executive body of a prominent nationwide healthcare organization has issued a formal apology for what it described as a history of racism, the announcement coinciding with the federal holiday honoring the life and work of…
In a stunning move, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just announced that it is eliminating the need for providers to have a special waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prescribe medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration…
January 13, 2021

Looking Ahead in 2021: What IRFs Can Expect

By Angela Phillips, PT
IFR providers expect that the pandemic as well as new regulatory issues will impact their services. 2020 was certainly a historical year, punctuated by the COVID-19 pandemic and an overwhelming number of waivers and flexibilities for healthcare providers attempting to provide care amid chaos. Those same providers were also required…
January 14, 2021

Deepening Disparities Continue for Vulnerable Populations

By Ellen Fink-Samnick MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP
A preview of issues on the SDoH Radar for 2021. We are less than two weeks into 2021, but the priority for healthcare organizations continues to be … wait for it … the social determinants of health (SDoH) and mental health (SDoMH). The industry’s hot-ticket item, pre-pandemic, has only grown…