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Medicare Payment Increase for Nursing Homes and Hospice
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Medicare Payment Increase for Nursing Homes and Hospice


Alzheimer Care
Oct 5, 2010
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Earlier Detection of Alzheimer Disease Revealed

By Brett Bakshis

For the first time in at least a generation, medical experts have new criteria, a major change in the analytical guidelines for Alzheimer’s. The orders, which are expected to be adopted this fall to detect Alzheimer’s, would allow technology, such as brain scans, to be used to detect the disease as it is rising – even before clear memory problems or other warning signs appear.

Experts predict a major increase – perhaps a threefold jump – in the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease as a result of the guidelines, according to a report in The New York Times. Around 5.3 million people now are diagnosed with the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association says. The new guidelines reflect the belief that the disease is at hand, years before dementia symptoms appear. They include criteria for three stages of the disease: preclinical disease, mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and, lastly, Alzheimer’s dementia.

Experts presented the guidelines at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease in Honolulu. A board of experts gathered by the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer’s Association met to develop the new approach.
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Health Conditions
Oct 5, 2010
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Study Finds Wrist Fractures are a Health Risk for Older Women

By Brett Bakshis

Older women who have wrist fractures are more likely to develop constructive decline than older women who don’t suffer such fractures, according to a study that come into view online last month in the British Medical Journal.

The study included 6,107 healthy women, 65 and older. Those who had a wrist fracture during the study period-268-were 50% more likely to display constructive decline. The study examined the women’s ability to perform five activities of daily living (meal preparation, heavy housekeeping, ability to climb 10 stairs, shopping, and getting out of a car). Participants were examined approximately every two years for an average of 7.6 years. Wrist fracture-related functional decline was medically as important as factors such as falls and diabetes, according to Northwestern University study authors.

Greater public health responsiveness of the impact of wrist fractures is needed, the study concludes, including actions such as bone thickness viewing and treatment of women with osteoporosis, to stop wrist fractures and prompt rehabilitation after a wrist fracture to help improve recuperation.
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Nursing Home Care
Oct 5, 2010
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Medicare Payment Increase for Nursing Homes and Hospice

By James M. Berklan

Nursing homes will receive a 1.7% increase in their Medicare market bin pay rate in fiscal 2011 under a planned update posted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on July 16. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities are in line for a 2.5% Medicare pay increase.

The nursing home prospective payment system originally was set to be 2.3%, but federal regulators leveled it back by 0.6%, quoting overpayments made in fiscal year 2009. The net nationwide gain in Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities will be $542 million in fiscal 2011, regulators said.

Also in planning released July 16, hospice Medicare payments are slated for a 1.8% increase. But home health, one of the most assertively pushed areas for enrollment growth by the federal government, in line for a 4.75% decrease in pay. The Skilled Nursing Facilities, IRF and hospice payment updates for fiscal 2011 were officially published in the July 22 edition of the Federal Register, with home health’s a day later.
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