Thursday, September 09, 2010

Health Care Reform Update: 1099 Appeal

We're hearing more buzz that momentum is growing in Congress to repeal a new tax reporting rule in the health care reform law. The provision requires all businesses, charities and state and local governments to file 1099 tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service when they buy $600 or more from unincorporated providers. For example, if you pay more than $600 for your hotel room for four days at the NAHC convention, you'll need to get the Tax ID number of the hotel company and issue a 1099. How much additional paperwork will that cost be?

I took a few minutes to look back over our company's financial records to see what the impact will be on us. It will be a major pain in the ... and will cost us much lost productivity.
The business community is trashing the provision, saying it will pile a massive amount of new paperwork on companies, putting a burden on small companies that can least afford it. (That's you and me.)
But dropping the requirement will mean a loss of tax revenue. Congress will have to find another way to raise the $17 billion the provision was estimated to yield from 2012 to 2019 by making it harder for firms selling goods to understate their income to the IRS. A need for revenue was the only reason the provision was included in the $940-billion health law.

If you believe this provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care ACT will have a major negative effect on your business, contact your local member of congress and ask for relief.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Navigating the FOG of Health Care Reform

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known more commonly as "Health Care Reform." This history making event has caused many in the home health industry to explore the meaning of the changes brought about by this new law. For most of us, we've found ourselves "Lost in the FOG."

To fully comprehend the meaning of "health care reform," you will need to understand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and Executive Order 13535, "Ensuring Enforcement and Implementation of Abortion Restrictions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

Then, you need to follow the rabbit trail to see how these documents created changes to the Social Security Act which creates the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the Employee Retirement Income Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code.

There are thousands of pages of legislation, over 450 specific sections of the PPACA alone, and 64 sections that will have an impact home home health, hospice, private duty home care, or their owners.

It really is like being "Lost in the FOG."

To help you Navigate through the FOG, I'm working on a new keynote speech for home care association conferences, corporate meetings, and strategic planning sessions. "Navigating the FOG of Health Care Reform" will focus on four specific objectives:

1. Describing five major elements of the new law
2. Discussing the impact of this legislation on home health, hospice and private duty home care
3. Exploring how this new law will change your agency and your life
4. Examining specific steps you can take to get ready for the future.

We've divided the material into five major elements:

I. Universal Coverage
II. Reimbursement
II. Regulation
IV. Innovation
V. Economic Impact

Then we identified five specific steps home care & hospice leaders can take to help their organizations get ready for the implementation of these laws over the next four years.

Stay tuned to this BLOG for regular updates on the results of our research, and the regulations that are developed to implement the law.

Give us your comments and feedback on any of the posts where you agree or disagree. And please send us any news items or sources of information that may help other readers get a clearer picture of the impact of these changes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Medicare ID Theft Growing as Quickly as Boomer Elders

Digital medical records have become the favorite fraud outlets for ID theft hackers. Published reports from late last year stated that approximately $47 billion were stolen from questionable Medicare payments.

The Medicare system has become the "single biggest victim" of health care fraud in America, according to Rob Montemorra, chief of the FBI's Health Care Fraud Unit.

The payoff for health care identity fraud is mind boggling. In 2008, criminals pocketed more than $19,000 per incident of health care fraud, which is more than three times the amount gained through overall ID theft, according to Javelin. The cost to the individual victim was nearly $1,200, more than double that of overall ID theft.

Health care identity theft has outgrown all other crimes in the field last year, according to Louis Saccoccio, executive director of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NHCAA).

"Since we all pay taxes, we are all our victims because the cost of this [crime] is coming out of our pockets," according to Montemorra.

Continue to encourage your clients to review their Medicare receipts and be cautious about who they share their medical health and billing information with. Promoting awareness and support about this issue will help strengthen relationships and prevent Medicare ID theft in your community.

Additionally, when Medicare fraud becomes rampant, it’s an easy decision for legislatures to tighten the belts on the Medicare system. It saves the system some money, and looks great on election day. Unfortunately, it means that the true savings are often negligible, yet the additional expense and increased scrutiny for good quality Medicare providers is a hardship.

Source: CNN

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Hispanics More Likely to be Admitted to Poor Quality Nursing Homes

Mary Fennell, study leader and professor of sociology and community health at Brown University, found that the elderly among the Hispanic population are more likely than non-Hispanics to live in nursing homes of poor quality.

In traditional Hispanic households, care for family seniors has been handled by adult daughters at home. The dilemma is that there are an increasing amount of young Hispanic women that work outside the home.

When daughters are working full time and unable to attend to older family members during the day, they must seek out a solution. According to Fennell’s study, some 4.5 million senior Hispanics are expected to need care sometime in 2010.

From 2000-2005, the percent of Hispanic residents increased from 5 percent to 6.4 percent, but the percentage of non-Hispanic white residents dropped from just under 83 percent to 79.4 percent.

To reach the oringinal article that this post was inspired from or for more information about this study, click here.