Hospitals

Federal Judge OKs A Class Action Lawsuit Over Appeals In Medicare Observation Cases

Two of the greatest sources of frustration for Medicare recipients and their families are observation status and the government’s incredibly complex appeals process. On Monday, a federal judge in Hartford CT, certified a class action lawsuit aimed at addressing both. The judge’s eventual decision in the case (Alexander v. Price) could have far-reaching effects on both the burgeoning use of [...]

By |2017-08-02T13:11:48-04:00August 2nd, 2017|Hospitals|1 Comment

How Can We Keep Nursing Home Residents Out of Hospitals?

One-third of nursing homes residents are admitted to the hospital at least once each year, and half of those admissions could be avoided. Preventing them could protect hundreds of thousands of older adults from potential harm and save Medicare billions of dollars. The problem is neither new nor surprising. But it is tough to fix. Last week, the federal Centers [...]

By |2015-09-02T17:47:56-04:00September 2nd, 2015|Hospitals, Medicare, nursing homes|2 Comments

AARP’s New Evidence That Medicare’s Hospital Observation Rules Are a Mess

Of all the complex rules that plague fee-for-service Medicare, few are harder to understand and potentially more important for seniors than observation status. By now, many older adults have heard the phrase. But they are still not clear what it means. A new study by AARP sheds some light on the consequences for seniors of hospital observation stays. But they [...]

By |2015-04-20T16:24:36-04:00April 20th, 2015|Hospitals|1 Comment

Preventing Malnutrition Among Older Adults

When we think about the health of frail older adults, severe, high-profile illnesses such as dementia, heart disease, cancer, and debilitating arthritis come to mind. But for many seniors, small things can turn a manageable chronic condition into an acute medical crisis. One is malnutrition.  Spend a little time in a hospital emergency department and you’ll be shocked at how [...]

By |2014-08-20T15:48:24-04:00August 20th, 2014|Caregiver tips, Health Care, Hospitals|1 Comment

A Modest Step To Improve Medicare Post-Acute Care

Medicare has a huge and growing problem caring for patients after they have been discharged from the hospital. After years of talk, Congress may be about to take a modest but important first step toward cleaning up the mess, and making sure that patients get care that gives them the best chance to live a healthy and active life after a [...]

Finally, Some Help For Family Caregivers After Hospital Discharges

You are caring for a parent or spouse who is in the hospital.  At 9:00 AM, your loved is told she’s being discharged by Noon.  You had no idea this was coming. Worse, she’s going to have complex care needs—maybe wound care after surgery, or lots of medications to take on a complicated schedule. You have no idea what to [...]

By |2014-06-04T14:49:35-04:00June 4th, 2014|family caregivers, Hospitals|3 Comments

Almost one-in-five intensive care patients may be getting futile treatment

Almost one of every five patients in the intensive care units of a major teaching hospital got treatment that was futile  or “probably” futile, according to the doctors who treated them.  And older patients—especially those admitted from a nursing facility—were most likely to get care that does nothing to improve their quality of life, or even keep them alive for [...]

By |2013-09-11T17:38:02-04:00September 11th, 2013|End of life, Hospitals|2 Comments

Failure to Communicate: Why Seniors Are Readmitted to the Hospital So Often

Seniors continue to be readmitted to the hospital too frequently. But when it comes to explaining why, patients and providers are on Mars and Venus. The patients blame doctors and nurses. Doctors and nurses blame patients. And everybody blames the hospitals.  The problem, everyone seems to agree, is that hospital discharges are a mess. Patients don’t understand what they need [...]

By |2013-02-18T20:08:58-05:00February 18th, 2013|Aging, Health Care, Hospitals|2 Comments

More People are Dying at Home and in Hospice, But They are Also Getting More Intense Hospital Care

More people over 65 are dying in hospice care and fewer are dying in hospitals. But this good news is tempered by a very different story. People are also being hospitalized more frequently in the last three months of their lives, are more likely to spend time in intensive care units, and are often receiving hospice care for just a [...]

By |2013-02-06T19:49:40-05:00February 6th, 2013|Aging, End of life, Hospitals, nursing homes|0 Comments

How Teamwork Across the Health System Can Keep Seniors Out of the Hospital

Broad-based, integrated, community-wide initiatives can help keep seniors out of the hospital, says an important new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study, done by a team led by Dr. Joanne Lynn of the Altarum Institute’s Center on Elder Care and Advanced Illness is new evidence that by working together, hospitals, physicians, social workers, nursing homes, [...]