Restrictions to Opioid Drugs, A Legal and Moral Issue

Posted on 26. May, 2010 by in Hot Topics.

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Eastern European countries have the most limitations, impeding proper patient care.

A study in Europe cries foul over government regulations restricting access to opioid-based drugs such as morphine. Curbing the availability and access of the painkillers violates a patient’s human…

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Young White Adults Show Increased Incidence of Lower Stomach Cancer

Posted on 26. May, 2010 by in Breaking News.

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Study suggests new infection patterns may have been unmasked.

More whites ages 25 to 39 develop cancer of the lower stomach, said researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health. They…

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Know the Exceptions to Master Late Effect ICD-9 Coding

Posted on 26. May, 2010 by in Tool Kit.

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Late effect of CVA turns guidelines upside down.

When coding for late effects, sequencing is everything. Keep one rule of thumb and two exceptions in mind and you’ll be accurate every time.

Here’s When to Report Late Effects

A late…

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Know Your Patient’s Rights: Does Your Hospice NOE Pass Muster?

Posted on 26. May, 2010 by in Did You Know?.

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Don’t let these four common errors trip up your claims.

Are you sure your notice of election statement covers all the bases? The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Fall 2009 report found that that 33 percent of the hospice claims…

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Health Reform Law to Boost Hospice Care Popularity Among Patients

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by in Breaking News.

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Medicare requires giving up all curative treatments, which turns people off.

Medicare offers hospice care to any terminally ill individual with only six months or less to live. But many people refuse to join the program, because of one simple…

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Face-To-Face Encounters Affect Both HHAs And Hospices

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by in Breaking News.

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And HHAs may be on the hook retroactively.

If you were breathing a sigh of relief that your home health agency wouldn’t have to worry about face-to-face encounters after CMS’s announcement in the last Open Door Forum that they didn’t…

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Palliative Sedation in the Eyes of NHPCO

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by in Hot Topics.

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The organization draws the line between palliative sedation and many issues, including euthanasia.

Families and health care providers should consider palliative sedation as an option for imminently dying patients with intolerable pain, and unresponsiveness to other interventions, the National Hospice…

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County Public Health Office Scores Big on Palliative Care

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by in Hot Topics, Uncategorized.

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Lung patient was hospital-free for 5 straight weeks.

New York state’s Washington County has launched a new palliative care program that will keep chronically ill patients out of hospitals and in the comforts of their own homes.

Since it’s October…

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Get the Skinny on ICD-9 Symptom Coding

Posted on 12. May, 2010 by in Did You Know?.

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Read sequencing instructions to catch exceptions to the symptom coding rule.

You’ve heard it said before: Don’t code the symptom when you have a definitive diagnosis. But even when you keep this general guideline in mind, symptoms can still trip…

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Medicaid RACs Slated To Fire Up This Year

Posted on 12. May, 2010 by in Hot Topics.

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Will the new Medicaid bounty hunters duplicate MIC scrutiny?

If you submit claims to Medicaid, get ready for another set of eyes looking over your shoulder.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) calls for every state Medicaid program…

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