Dose Chek

How do you know if a patient is receiving the correct dose?  Better yet, how can you check if your entire patient panel is on the right dosage? Although identifying the ‘right’ dosage is difficult, it is much easier to see if your patients are on the wrong dosage.  Medi-Span’s Dose-Chek data provides information on…

Long-term care hospitals (LTCHs)

Today I review how Medicare pays for long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) based on information from MedPAC’s 2011 Report to Congress. LTCHs furnish care to patients with clinically complex problems—such as multiple acute and chronic conditions—who need hospital-level care for relatively extended periods. These facilities can be freestanding or colocated with other hospitals as hospitals within…

Skilled Nursing Facilities

Today I summarize recent trends in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) as outlined in MedPAC’s 2011 Report to Congress. SNFs furnish short-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation services to beneficiaries after a stay in an acute care hospital. These services include physical and occupational therapy and speech–language pathology services. Examples of SNF patients include those recovering from…

Medicare payments for outpatient dialysis

Today I will review how Medicare treats patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), relying largely on data from MedPAC’s 2011 Report to Congress. In 2009, about 340,000 dialysis beneficiaries were covered by fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare. Compared with all Medicare beneficiaries, dialysis FFS beneficiaries are disproportionately younger and African American. Ninety two percent of there beneficiaries…