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New Study: Medicare’s Readmission Penalties May Be Killing Patients

On the morning of December 21, I opened my copy of the New York Times to find an op-ed that said almost exactly what I had said in a two-part article The Health Care Blog posted two weeks earlier. The op-ed criticized the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), one of dozens of “value-based payment” programs imposed on the Medicare fee-for-service program by the Affordable Care Act. The HRRP punishes hospitals if their rate of readmissions within 30 days following discharge exceeds the national average. The subtitle of the op-ed was, “A well-intentioned program created by the Affordable Care Act may have led to patient deaths.”

Patient-Centered Care Key to Success for Patients, Health Care Staff

At the 2019 California Hospital Volunteer Leadership Conference, inspirational speaker and business coach Allison Massari will help attendees realize the immense value they offer to patients in need and the positive impact of going the extra mile. Massari will draw upon her own experiences as a burn survivor to help attendees: 

Find hope, opportunity and resilience in professional and personal journeys.
Learn how the companionship, friendship and help of volunteers and hospital staff can make a difference in patients’ recoveries. 
Understand how one volunteer can change a life. 

The conference will be held Feb. 11-13 in at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. To register, visit the conference website.

Allison Massari is an inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, artist and business coach who has been featured on ABC, NBC and FOX networks. She has also been named one of the top 10 best speakers for “motivation” and “personal development” in the United States by Meetings & Conventions Magazine. 

Regulations Rescinded on Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has rescinded regulations — effective Jan. 1 — under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) related to the use of financial incentives in employer-sponsored wellness programs. The EEOC’s action should prompt employers to review their employer wellness programs, particularly if a program offers financial incentives.

Newsom Health Care Agenda Includes CHA-Supported Proposals

Following his inauguration speech Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom released his health care agenda. In it, he outlined several strategies to expand health care coverage that are supported by CHA’s Board of Trustees:

Expansion of subsidies for low-income families
The establishment of an individual mandate
The provision of coverage for undocumented individuals

CHA Guidebook Explains Discharge Planning for Homeless Patients

The California Department of Public Health has issued All Facilities Letter 19-01 reminding hospitals of the new law requiring that they try to coordinate homeless patients’ discharge to appropriate area shelters or other community-based services. To help hospitals comply with the law, CHA has developed a guidebook titled Discharge Planning for Homeless Patients.