SNFs must focus on star ratings to prep for 2017

CMS’s final bundled payment model for hip and knee replacement surgeries makes one thing clear for SNFs: A quality rating of at least three stars is more crucial than ever, especially given the changes going into effect in a little over a year. Read more

patient voices in value-based reimbursement

Will “value to the patient” one day be a part of billing? 

In the shift to value-based payments, are patients’ voices being heard? The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), along with other payers, has been busy for some time now developing and testing new alternative payment models (APMs), all in an effort to better align payments with value. But in the midst of this change, some are wondering if the patient’s perspective is being given enough weight in the equation. Read more

The gray area of payer consolidation

Since news broke this summer of the proposed mergers between four insurance giants, voices representing payers, providers and consumers have sounded out about the benefits and drawbacks that such major consolidations would have on the insurance industry, and healthcare as a whole. In the most recent developments, the American Medical Association (AMA) has sent a letter to the Department of Justice objecting to these acquisitions, while a consumer group has also voiced its opposition. Read more

healthcare training

Healthcare training adapts for a new era

Changing payment models and a projected labor shortage are leading educational institutions and policymakers to re-think the traditional approaches to training healthcare workers. The new programs are giving future healthcare professionals more flexibility and a better understanding of patients’ lives in the real world, helping prepare them for a future of value-based reimbursement. Read more

SNF staffing challenges: millennials may be the solution

Staff recruitment and retention are perennial challenges for skilled nursing facilities, and research shows the problem may be getting worse. Long Term Living recently featured the perspectives of a former healthcare administrator and a longtime nursing home resident on the staffing issue, shedding light on the importance of attracting a younger generation of talent. As more tech-savvy millennials enter the workforce in search of jobs with meaning, are SNFs doing all they can to connect with young professionals? Read more

Coverage lapses are common for buyers on insurance exchanges

As open enrollment season gets underway, providers must work hard to ensure they’re ready for the changes ahead. (Need a guide for your own preparations? Click here for our flipbook.) Patients, of course, are weighing their options. Those purchasing their own health insurance policies from a state or federal exchange are making careful choices. But if this year’s cohort of buyers is like last year’s, a significant portion of them may lose or drop their coverage before the end of 2016. Data continues to show the importance of thorough communication and financial counseling with this at-risk group.    Read more

Exciting Growth at ABILITY

Thank you to Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges; Cecile Bedor from the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership; Kevin McKinnon, from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development; and Elyse Ruiz, representing U. S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.  We had a great event celebrating our partnership with Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota to support our growth and  leadership in healthcare. The ceremony “cut the ribbon” on our new 8,500 sq. ft. expansion in our Minneapolis office. All our special guests assisted with the $500K job incentive package that is helping fuel the growth of ABILITY as we create over 170 jobs over the next 2-3 years.

For SNFs, changing payment models help sharpen the focus on quality

A recent article in HealthLeaders Media outlines the ongoing evolution of SNFs, pointing to the development of new payment models as a major driver of change. “An ever-increasing number of SNFs nationwide are embracing the shift from fee-for-service medicine to delivering quality care at the lowest possible cost,” states the article. Read more

Bud Meadows

Celebrating Customer Service Week

Today marks the beginning of Customer Service Week! If you are unfamiliar with this tradition, we at ABILITY believe it’s worth sharing. Customer Service Week has been a nationally recognized event since a congressional proclamation in 1992, and is now observed by thousands of organizations around the world. Read more

Providers report positive impacts from ACA

As the dust continues to settle in the aftermath of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), data shows that healthcare providers in both ambulatory and acute settings have seen positive impacts from the law. Voters across the political spectrum now point to high drug costs as their biggest healthcare concern, indicating that the ACA will likely play a smaller role in the 2016 presidential election, and giving providers confidence that the benefits they’ve seen thus far are likely to remain. Read more