Post-Acute Care Post-acute care refers to a range of services that support the individual’s continued recovery from illness or injury, or management of a chronic illness or disability.  On June 19, 2013 the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee issued a letter to key communities requesting information and ideas on the types … Read more

August 19, 2013 Senate Finance Committee House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means United States Congress Submitted electronically to: and Re: Comments on Post Acute Care (PAC) Reform Proposals Dear Committee Members: The undersigned organizations, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the National Senior Citizens Law Center, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, … Read more

August 16, 2013   Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Health U.S. House of Representatives 1102 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515   Dear Committee Member:   On behalf of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), a coalition of national not-for-profit organizations representing over 60 million older Americans, we are writing to … Read more

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States found a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. See U.S. v. Windsor, Executor of the Estate of Spyer, et al (No. 12–307).[1]  In its ruling, the Court stated that Section Three of DOMA is a "deprivation of the equal liberty … Read more

Joining the discussion about hospitals' extended use of observation status, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a memorandum report that describes the nationwide use of observation and outpatient stays in calendar year 2012.  OIG reports that more than 600,000 Medicare beneficiaries had hospital stays lasting at least … Read more

Although a large and increasing number of Senators and Representatives now support bipartisan legislation to solve the problem of Observation Status, many beneficiaries and their families continue to face this outpatient status as a barrier to Medicare coverage of care in a skilled nursing facility.  This Alert describes the continuing problem, Congressional legislation, a survey … Read more

July 26, 2013 Daniel R. Levinson Inspector General Department of Health and Human Services 330 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20201 Submitted Electronically Dear Mr. Levinson: A report today that your office has canceled plans to investigate antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes is disappointing and alarming. Two years ago we answered your challenge to … Read more

Next week, Medicare celebrates its 48thbirthday.  Since 1965 Medicare has been a critical source of health and economic security for generations of Americans while evolving to meet the needs of those who rely on the successful program. Medicare brought millions of older Americans out of poverty, and continues to provide access to comprehensive health care … Read more

Created in 1956, the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)[1] provides modest but essential support to 14 million working-age individuals with disabilities and children.[2] Recently, the SSDI program has come under attack by policymakers and others critics who suggest that the program's spending is "out of control." Critics contend that unless drastic changes are made, … Read more

Medicare beneficiaries are being denied access to Medicare’s skilled nursing facility (SNF) benefit because acute care hospitals are increasingly classifying their patients as “outpatients” receiving observation services, rather than admitting them as inpatients.  Patients are called outpatients despite the fact that they may stay for many days and nights in hospital beds and receive medical … Read more