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Seeing the Future

Whether you’re talking about “Obamacare” and the Affordable Care Act, the stock market, college costs or the future of Medicare and Medicaid it seems like everyone is on edge about what might happen.

The latest saga involved the government getting shut down and then a bunch of talk about a debt ceiling which had the combined effect of frightening people to death. Employers are on edge, employees are on edge, the market is on edge, and the general public is just upset about all the rhetoric coming out of Washington. We wonder about funding our retirement in a stock market that seems to rely on the media daily for direction, and as a result we see a continuous roller coaster ride where 300 point swings in one day are not unusual.

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Never Say Never

Today’s world of instant communications has allowed us to do amazing things. Software and hardware have progressed far beyond what most of us could have even imagined 10 years ago. We stop at the gas station on the way to work and wave a small key fob at the gas pump and it turns on. While we pump our gas the pump talks to us and shows us enticing images that are geared to lure us into the mini-market and buy a pizza, bottle of Pepsi or 12 pack of beer. Simply amazing. What we don't see is all the agonizing steps that went into that front-end technology and the hard work that continues to go on behind the scenes that allows the proper payments to get deducted from your debit card and/or the billing that seems to magically happen to your gas credit card. You know that there has been a lot of signing of contracts and negotiating fees and payments to various vendors that make this all happen. It is really all in the details.

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Some Things Never Go Out Of Style

As my 20 year old daughter went running out of the house the other night I noticed her wearing a new denim jacket. I looked twice and thought about it and chuckled to myself. Five years ago she wouldn't be caught dead in a jacket like that. Now it's cool. I see other styles coming back around again that I remember from the late 70s and early 80s. I see my daughter’s friends wearing platform shoes, bell bottoms and a whole bunch of things I saw years ago. I scratch my head and wonder what the next thing will be that’s OK to wear again.

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No Surprises

Following the Observation Stay Issue on
Capital Hill

Surprises are meant to be fun. Surprises aren’t fun when they involve your health care or your wallet.

For seniors who make use of physical rehabilitation services at skilled nursing facilities, being denied access to their Medicare coverage can certainly come as an unpleasant surprise.

That’s why over 400 AHCA/NCAL members traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this week to meet with members of Congress and discuss the big legislative issues for our profession.

Along with sharing our experiences to our leaders in congressional briefings, we brought forth our specific requests on many hot topics for long-term and post-acute care providers.

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Overview: The Impact of Sequestration on Skilled Nursing Facilities

The term “sequester” – the $85 billion in automatic across-the-board domestic and defense cuts set to take effect today – is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. What sort of impact will sequestration have on skilled nursing facilities?

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2012 in Review

As we close the book on 2012 and open up a fresh New Year we are filled with both fond memories and anticipation. As I try to think back to January of last year it hardly seems possible the many changes and challenges we have seen our way through.

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Stars Are All Around Us

Image of dartIt's time to say goodbye to 2012 and move along. What will the New Year hold? If you’re like us, we like to “re-rack” and see what we might want to tune up and change. We’ll ask ourselves questions like “what has gone well and what do we absolutely never want to do again?”

What are the most memorable events of 2012 for you? We all have different thoughts about what might top the list, but for most, it was something that hit the mainstream news or something you saw on TV. The mainstream media has an interesting effect on how we see things. It also impacts how we see ourselves fitting into it all. I saw something recently that made me stop and think about 2013 and what I need to do better. I wanted to take minute and share it with you.

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Continuous Improvements for the Entire Family

Photo of Maplewood projects

As part of this year’s Rochester Business Journal Senior Living & Long-Term Care Services Directory (October 19, page 10; click to download a copy of the article in PDF format), The Maplewood was featured in a special article entitled “Family needs become priority in long-term care”. The article gets into recent enhancements we’ve made to our Rochester NY nursing home facility, and underscores our unyielding advocacy for service, quality and choice.

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Affordable Care Act - Hospital Readmissions

Accountable Care will next week begin to have a significant impact on hospitals. Starting October 1, 2012, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, under the Affordable Care Act, requires that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reduce reimbursements to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System.

What this means is that if a hospital readmits a patient within 30 days of discharge, the hospital may face penalties of up to 1% of payment. Penalties will increase to 2% in 2013 and 3% in 2014. What this will mean for nursing homes in the Rochester area and beyond is that there will be a high level of vigilance on the part of the hospitals for patients moving to and from the hospital to the nursing home.