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So far Paul Natinsky has created 152 blog entries.

Statewide Physical-Mental Health Integration Could Happen In 3 Years

Language added to the state budget to trigger the statewide implementation of blended physical and mental health services is designed to put to rest the debate about how the blending of care should be done, according to the state’s health plans that favor the language.

“Everybody is tired of the issue. They’re tired of the persistent debate. They want action, they want integration, and they want, more importantly, improved outcomes,” said Dominick Pallone, executive director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans (MAHP), adding later, “The boilerplate debate is getting pretty old for everybody.”

But the state’s community mental health (CMH) organizations see the language as paving the way to “a full […]

Statewide Physical-Mental Health Integration Could Happen In 3 Years2019-10-16T20:39:34+00:00

New Medicare Readmission Penalties Hits 2,583 Hospitals

By JORDAN RAU
Medicare cut payments to 2,583 hospitals Oct. 1, continuing the Affordable Care Act’s eight-year campaign to financially pressure hospitals into reducing the number of patients who return for a second stay within a month.

The severity and broad application of the penalties, which Medicare estimates will cost hospitals $563 million over a year, follows the trend of the past few years. Of the 3,129 general hospitals evaluated in the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, 83 percent received a penalty, which will be deducted from each payment for a Medicare patient stay over the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

Although Medicare began applying the penalties in 2012, disagreements continue about whether […]

New Medicare Readmission Penalties Hits 2,583 Hospitals2019-10-16T20:35:39+00:00

LANSING LINES

Pay Raises For Health Workers Abound In DHHS Budget
A number of workers employed in state human services-related fields will be getting raises under the Fiscal Year 2020 budget approved for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by the Legislature Sept. 24.

SB 0139 earned the most Democratic support in the House, where it passed 64-44. The Democrats who crossed over to vote yes with Republicans were Reps. John Cherry (D-Flint), Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn), Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo), Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), Leslie Love (D-Detroit), Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) and Angela Witwer (D-Delta Twp.).

Rep. Steven Johnson (R-Wayland) voted no with most of the Dems. Reps. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) and […]

LANSING LINES2019-10-16T20:30:10+00:00

CMS Issues Rule On Affiliations To Provider Enrollment

By ANDREW B. WACHLER & KAITLIN A. NUCCI
Wachler & Associates, P.C

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released its final rule with comment period regarding the disclosure of affiliations in the provider enrollment process. This rule will take effect on November 4, 2019. This rule provides the authority to revoke or deny enrollment based on the disclosure of any affiliations that CMS determines poses an undue risk of fraud, waste, or abuse. Although the plan is to have this rule be applicable to all providers, CMS is starting out with a phase-in approach, where the rule will be applied to initially enrolling or revalidating providers that CMS has specifically […]

CMS Issues Rule On Affiliations To Provider Enrollment2019-10-16T20:25:14+00:00

Preventive Care, Really?

By ALLAN DOBZYNIAK, MD
We are developing new technological gimmicks to measure every activity throughout our day, blood pressure (BP), pulse (P), respirations, stairs climbed, walking time, calorie burn, sleep time, and on and on. Soon we will be device-covered from head to toe. To what end? There are shelves upon shelves of magical elixirs and pills to cure any symptom, prevent aging and definitely improve on God’s or nature’s original design. Can you imagine the size of the bag necessary to carry all of these magical medicinals?

Our health care providers are obsessing over preventive care, with hardly time anymore to treat sick people. Our government is determined to turn primary […]

Preventive Care, Really?2019-10-16T20:22:29+00:00

Gov Orders All Flavored Vaping Products Off Shelves

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer offered three emergency rules Sep. 4 banning all flavored vaping products from Michigan shelves amid what Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said is a youth vaping “public health emergency.”

“This is a health crisis and in a health crisis, I have the ability to take action and we’re taking it,” Whitmer said. “There are 13-year-olds who are vaping fruit loops right now. They are doing life-long damage and have no idea they are engaging in a substance that they’re going to be addicted to maybe for the rest of their lives,” she said.

The governor said she is the nation’s first chief executive to move against the vaping […]

Gov Orders All Flavored Vaping Products Off Shelves2019-09-20T20:50:38+00:00

Breaking A 10-Year Streak, The Number Of Uninsured Americans Rises

By PHIL GALEWITZ
For the first time in a decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen — by about 2 million people in 2018 — according to the annual U.S. Census Bureau report released this month.

The Census found that 8.5 percent of the U.S. population went without medical insurance for all of 2018, up from 7.9 percent in 2017. By contrast, in 2013, before the Affordable Care Act took full effect, 13.3 percent were uninsured. It was the first year-to-year increase since 2008-09, Census officials said.

Census officials said most of drop in health coverage was related to a 0.7 percent decline in Medicaid participants. The number of people […]

Breaking A 10-Year Streak, The Number Of Uninsured Americans Rises2019-09-20T20:44:15+00:00

Licensing Boards Focus On Boundary Issues

By JESSE ADAM MARKOS, Esq.
Wachler & Associates, P.C

In the past few years there has been growing public concern about professional boundary issues in healthcare with the increase in reported cases of providers interacting inappropriately with patients. As a result, state licensing boards have become increasingly proactive in investigating such allegations. In fact, the Ohio Medical Board recently announced plans to review and potentially reopen nearly 2,000 closed cases of alleged sexual misconduct or impropriety by physicians in Ohio over the past 25 years to determine whether any credible evidence of criminal or otherwise inappropriate behavior had been previously overlooked.

The Ohio Medical Board’s review of cases that were previously closed […]

Licensing Boards Focus On Boundary Issues2019-09-20T20:42:50+00:00

GCMS Executive Director Peter Levine Announces Retirement

After 33 years of service as Executive Director of the Genesee County Medical Society, Pete Levine announced his retirement as of July 1, 2019. Levine said, “It has been an honor to serve as Executive Director of GCMS and work with such exceptional physicians and practice managers to improve healthcare in our community.”

During his retirement, Levine said he will enjoy more time with family, pursuing his personal interests, providing selected consultations, as well as continuing to represent GCMS at the Greater Flint Health Coalition.
Pete will also voice his insights and perspectives in these pages and continue as an editorial advisor to Healthcare Michigan.

“We are grateful for Pete’s many years of […]

GCMS Executive Director Peter Levine Announces Retirement2019-09-20T20:35:55+00:00

Inclusion And The Community Of Caregivers

By EWA MATUSZEWSKI
The circle of care is wide – and getting wider. With all the national conversation around diversity and inclusion, I think the healthcare field can give itself a pat on the back, at least on the inclusion side. I refer to a different kind of inclusion here – and that’s the inclusion of a broad spectrum of caregivers as an extension of the care team – and ultimately into the world of reimbursement.

For too long, the focus was chiefly on the physician when it came to care and reimbursement, but the value of the care team has grown too strong (based on supporting data and anecdotal evidence) to […]

Inclusion And The Community Of Caregivers2019-09-20T20:32:20+00:00