Monthly Archives: July 2011

"Improper Payments: Reported Medicare Estimates and Key Remediation Strategies" U.S. Government Accountability Office July 28, 2011 Testimony before the before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) issued a July 28, 2011 transcript (GAO-11-842T) of testimony from Kay L. Daly, GAO Director of Financial Management and Assurance, and Kathleen M. King GAO Director of Health Care before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Government Organization, Efficiency and Financial Management, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform entitled “Improper Payments: Reported Medicare Estimates and Key Remediation Strategies.” Hyperlinks to the full report and a summary are below: Highlights Page (PDF) Full Report (PDF, 30 pages) Accessible Text SummaryThe GAO has designated Medicare as a high-risk program because of its size, complexity, and susceptibility to improper payments. In 2010, Medicare covered 47 million elderly and disabled beneficiaries and had estimated outlays of $516 […]

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The Florida Independent Reports on Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Report: Florida Among States Making Most Harmful, "Unecessarily Austere" Budget Cuts

In 2011, Florida reduced Medicaid payment rates by 12 percent for most hospitals, by 6.5 percent for nursing homes, and by 4 percent for centers that provide medical care to people with developmental disabilities.     Florida Among States Making Most Harmful, “Unecessarily Austere” Budget Cuts   By Ashley Lopez | July 28, 2011   From:  www.floridaindependent.com   A policy research group has included Florida in a list of states that made unnecessarily austere budget cuts this past year. # The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities writes that out of the “47 states with newly enacted budgets, 38 or more states are making deep, identifiable cuts in K-12 education, higher education, health care, or other key areas in their […]

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Health News Florida Story Cautions on Importance of Designating a Health Care Surrogate: $9.2 million Tampa General Hospital bill caps strange tale

This Health News Florida Story cautions on the importance of designating a health care surrogate . . . after five years in Tampa General Hospital, witnesses said they offered to pay for private-duty nurses if a mother would accept her daughter’s discharge to her home. She said no.Health News Florida:  $9.2 million Tampa General Hospital bill caps strange tale By Carol Gentry7/28/11 © Health News Florida When Tampa General recently filed a $9.2 million claim against the estate of a penniless woman, it left itself open to criticism. But a look at Hillsborough probate court records offers perspective.They describe what one court officer described as a “very special case, very difficult.”  Among other things, it provides a cautionary tale for those […]

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Washington Post Bloomberg Business: Death’s Door Opens Slowly as Hospice Bill Hits by Gary Putka and Peter Waldman

In its Bloomberg business section, the Washington Post focuses on the grim side of hospice: Death’s Door Opens Slowly as Hospice Bill Hits By  Gary Putka and Peter Waldman July 22, 2011 July 22 (Bloomberg) — With his mother wheezing and losing consciousness in a California nursing home, Robert Rogers wanted her moved to a hospital. Vitas Healthcare, her hospice provider, said that wasn’t in the plan.“Our job is not to prepare them to live,” a Vitas nurse told Rogers on the phone, according to a deposition he gave in April. “Our job is to prepare them to die.”Rogers called 911. At the hospital, an emergency-room doctor removed 11 maggots from an open wound on his mother’s big toe. Five days later, […]

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The New York Times "The New Old Age: Caring and Coping" Blog: A Fair Wage for Home Care Workers

July 20, 2011 The New York Times A Fair Wage for Home Care Workers By PAULA SPAN Let’s say a home care agency employee comes to your parent’s residence, changes the sheets and does the laundry, helps him bathe and dress and makes his lunch before moving on to her next client. Should that employee receive minimum wage and, if she works longer than 40 hours in a week, overtime pay? If that aide performed the same tasks in an assisted living facility or a nursing home, she would be covered under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, like a vast majority of American workers, and would be guaranteed the minimum wage. But in 1974, when Congress added domestic employees […]

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