Here’s the latest news we’ve gathered to help you keep up with industry trends and happenings. Below are summaries and links to information you can review and put into practice.
Medicare Anti-Fraud Legislation Introduced in House. Long Term Care Leader reports that House Ways & Means chair Kevin Brady (R, TX) and ranking member Jim McDermott (D, WA) introduced the “Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act”, a wide-ranging bill that seeks to limit Medicare and Social Security fraud. It contains numerous provisions including modifying Medicare cards and reducing fraud under the Medicare Part D drug act, and is meant to combat fraud. Though even McDermott admits there are some provisions that might not be ideal, he said in a statement, “The American people deserve a collaborative approach to this nonpartisan issue.” It is unlikely that any action will be taken on the bill until next year.
The Flu and Long-Term Care Providers. ALFA writes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a long-term care toolkit with resources for senior living communities to provide access to flu vaccines for their workforce. The CDC toolkit is also meant to help providers understand the importance of employees in these facilities getting flu shots, because long-term care staff are vaccinated at a much lower rate than other healthcare personnel — in general, 63 percent versus 75.2 percent, according to CDC data for the 2013-14 flu season.
Alzheimer Caring Tips for the Holidays. ALFA highlights a tip sheet released from the National Institute on Aging. The tip sheet is meant to offer care providers of Alzheimer patients information on helping patients and their loved ones during the holiday season. The tip sheet is available as a PDF and ebook as well as in the publication Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging.
OSHA Issues New Rules for Reporting Injury and Illness. Long Term Care Leader reports that employers must report an expanded list of injuries to OSHA and revises the requirements for when an employer must report work-related hospitalizations (effective January 1, 2015). This final rule requires all employees (including those in nursing home facilities and long-term care facilities) to report all fatalities, inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye. The full requirements of the new rules can be found here.
Let us know what other topics you’d like us to track for you and report on in our next blog news roundup. Leave your suggestions in the comments below.