• Tom Boyd

Growing demand

CMS’ Berwick In Hot Seat Again

Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, March 8, 2011

Modern Healthcare:  Providers Line Up In Support Of Berwick

The nation’s health care providers continue to support the Obama administration’s selection of Dr. Donald Berwick as CMS administrator, despite a letter … from 42 Senate Republicans who asked the president to withdraw Berwick’s nomination.  Representatives from the American Hospital Association, Medical Group Management Association, American’s Health Insurance Plans and the American Public Health Association said they support Berwick’s nomination to the post, which will require 60 Senate votes in the confirmation process.  With 42 senators appealing that Berwick’s name be withdrawn, that leaves only 58 senators before any confirmation hearings have been held (Zigmond, 3/7).

Medicare Fraud Costs Taxpayers Big Money

Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, March 10, 2011

The Fiscal Times: Medicare Fraud: A $70 Billion Taxpayer Ripoff

Medicare could wrench as much as $70 billion a year in savings by cracking down on fraud, experts told Congress … .  But the key is preventing scam artists and fake firms from doing business with the senior citizen health care program in the first place – not chasing them down after the fact. … Providers selling Medicare durable medical equipment like motorized wheelchairs and fraudulent billing by home health agencies are major abusers of the system, especially in areas with huge senior populations like south Florida, southern California and the New York-New Jersey metroplex (Goozner, 3/10).

Health Literacy Of America’s Adult – 36% Only Have Basic Skills (excerpt)

The Remington Report – Healthcare NewsWire, March 9, 2011

 A 2006 study by the U.S. Department of Education found that 36 percent of adults have only basic or below-basic skills for dealing with health material.  This means that 90 million Americans can understand discharge instructions written only at a fifth-grade level or lower.’s

Government News of the Week

March 14, 2011

♦  Massachusetts General Hospital agreed to pay $1 million to settle potential HIPAA privacy violations over confidential paperwork that an employee accidentally left on the subway in March 2009…

♦  A CIGNA Corp. employee is seeking $100 million in damages in a lawsuit that alleges the insurer systematically discriminates against women …

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Job Prospects Rosy For Home Health Aides, Visiting Nurses

Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, March 22, 2011

As baby boomers age, demand for this type of care is growing.

McClatchey/The Miami Herald: As Baby Boomers Age, Health Care Providers Gap Grows

With the U.S. population growing grayer, job prospects for home health aides – and every worker providing health care to seniors, for that matter – are quite rosy.  As the 78 million baby boomers live longer with more chronic illnesses, the country will face a shortage of professionals trained to meet the special needs of the elderly (Veciana-Suarez, 3/22).

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Visiting Nurse Health System Works To Meet Growing Demand

The entire home health industry is running to stay ahead of increasing demand and changes in health care.  Home health is the fastest-growing sector of the rapidly expanding health care industry.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 22 percent employment growth through 2018 for health care, with home health jobs growing by 46.1 percent (Raines, 3/21).

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