These Nurses Are the Best At New Technology

Experience isn’t always an advantage. A new report reveals the group of nurses who are most likely to know their way around new technology: the younger, less experienced ones.

The embrace of new technology is usually generational both at home and in the workplace. However, the report by the University of California – San Francisco, raises less obvious concerns about the way new technology is implemented.

The study, released in December 2016, suggests that many facilities don’t have a seamless process for training staff in new technology, and that staff education may be considered a lesser priority.

After conducting small-group interviews at 15 nursing homes, it was found that younger, less experienced nurses were most interested in learning new technology, and were most likely to become “point people” for helping other, older staff members.

Generally, the factor that made the difference in training comprehension: the presence of younger, less experienced nurses, rather than the nurses with years of experience.

The study rated overall levels of satisfaction with new-technology training as well. The result: not much satisfaction. The feedback was even more negative when it came to IT trainers with non-clinical backgrounds who could not converse in nurse speak.

The barrier to learning cited by most interviewees is wireless connectivity within the facility. In other words: bad WiFi.

Conclusions from the research team for nursing homes to consider when implementing new technology:

  • Develop a toolkit that prepares staff for changes or upgrades.
  • Develop a best practices training document.
  • Boost funding incentives for training.
  • Increase compensation for staff with advanced IT skills.

 

 

Repeal, Replace, Re-mind me why I care?

Ok, you’ve seen it flashing on the news and in your emails. President Trump is doing away with ObamaCare and they’ve created a brand spanking new healthcare plan. Who cares? Well actually, after reviewing the proposed changes there are a couple of points you should know about if you are a healthcare operator.

So, instead of you having to read the Plan details yourself, we figured we’d give you the highlights here briefly, then you can get back to work!

 

  1. There are a few things NOT changing.

Here they are:

  • Insurers will still have to cover preexisting conditions
  • Insurers will still have to cover Adult children until age 26
  • Insurers will still have to give out of pocket limits
  1. Introducing Medicaid Per Capita Caps.

This means the Federal Government will give a grant, sort of like an allowance to each state. This cap amount would be based off how many Medicaid qualified individuals are in the state for the year. It would then increase annually based off the medical inflation rate. Many provider advocates feel this will not be sufficient to cover the gap that Medicaid rate increases and increased provider assessment may have offered previously.

  1. Who is eligible for Medicaid?

ObamaCare allowed for anyone under the 138% poverty level to be included in the Medicaid program. The new plan reverts back to limiting this to children, pregnant women, elderly, and disabled. Anyone already on the program will be grandfathered in, and remain covered.

  1. What are the big changes for insurance?

So, good news/bad news, we’ll start with the bad. The new plan allows for insurers to raise the premiums by 5x, for older customers. On the bright side, older customers will get twice the amount of tax credits annually of $4,000 per year.

  1. If Insurance and Medicaid are both changing, Managed Medicaid definitely is.

That’s correct. The EHB (essential health benefits) that were mandated that Managed Medicaid plans must offer, is now being removed. Some of these required benefits were mental health and substance abuse treatment, pediatric services including vision and oral care, and rehabilitative services and devices.

  1. Anything Else?

Yup. In December, the plan is to roll out some more significant changes. An important one being the allowance for insurers to expand over state lines. This would lead to much more competitive market, and less control by insurer over providers.

 

Trump Administration Will Increase Crackdown on Nursing Home Fraud

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will continue to aggressively investigate skilled nursing facility fraud under President Trump, according to Bloomberg BNA’s legal, tax and compliance site.

The new administration will likely preserve several policies held over from the Obama era, which include the use of data-analysis in investigations. This analysis is culled from data mining, a method of finding patterns in large amounts of data that may help detect fraud. Data mining software tools can predict future behavior based on the knowledge of past events. It’s used to help investigators identify and analyze billing patterns and Medicare criminals, and stop fraudulent claims before they’re paid.

In 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates proposed The Yates Plan, which holds more individuals – as opposed to corporations — responsible in fraud cases. These offenders can range from nursing home management executives to facility personnel. Civil and criminal prosecutors will also commit to increased cooperation in bringing these individuals to justice The goal of this plan is to encourage more self-regulation and self-disclosure. The government provided 20 specific examples of Medicare claims for what it said were unnecessary therapy services administered to patients.

In September 2016, a settlement cost a skilled nursing facility $28.5 million due to allegations of unnecessary billings at its locations.
Owners and operators of three Miami skilled nursing facilities were charged criminally in a $1 billion nursing home fraud scheme. According to the DOJ, this was “the largest single criminal health-care case ever brought against individuals” The owner, a hospital administrator and a physician’s assistant were charged in an indictment with conspiracy, money laundering and health-care fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami.

As part of the DOJ’s Elder Justice Initiative, a top priority will be combating fraud in post-acute care. The department’s ten regional nursing home task forces will focus on nursing homes that provide “grossly substandard” care. This plan includes members of the U.S. Attorney’s offices, state Medicaid Fraud Control Units, state and local prosecutors offices, the Department of Health and Human Services, state Adult Protective Services agencies, long-term-care ombudsman programs and law enforcement.

The goal: to resolve concerns about under-performing and fraudulent nursing homes in a timely manner.

“All too often we have found nursing home owners or operators who put their own economic gain before the needs of their residents,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery. “These task forces will help ensure that we are working closely with all relevant parties to protect the elderly.”

Also on the DOJ radar in the new administration: fraud in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.