Healthcare providers including MDs, DOs, dentists, podiatrists, psychiatrists and chiropractors that work in a Health Professional Shortage Area (and meet the requirements) can apply for the Medicare Physician Bonus Program which qualifies for a 10% reimbursement bonus if they’re providing services to Medicare beneficiaries in a medical shortage area. Medical providers can check online to see if their practice site is in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area and they can apply for the program online. Providers that have questions can also submit a request for analysis to our Bureau of Health Systems Development or Tracy Lenartz.
Posts Tagged ‘Medicare’
October 15 to December 7 is when ALL people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2013. Information on 2013 plans will be available beginning in October. People with Medicare can call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov for plan information. If a person is satisfied that their current plan will meet their needs for next year, they don’t need to do anything.
Kathy McCanna, Alan Oppenheim, and Connie Belden (from Licensing) and Kristy Benton (from Behavioral Health) recently jumped head-first into a new Arizona health-care initiative called No Place Like Home which is Arizona’s approach to the Partnership for Patients: Better Care, Lower Costs project. The project aims to prevent hospital-acquired conditions and hospital re-admissions. The name No Place Like Home means that it’s better to be at home than back in a hospital.
The (public-private) Partnership for Patients brings together leaders of major hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses, and patient advocates along with State and Federal governments in a shared effort to focus on preventing hospital-acquired conditions and decreasing hospital re-admissions. The No Place Like Home Campaign engages hospitals, rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities, hospices, home health agencies, community pharmacies, clinician offices, community-based organizations and other care providers in an intense collaborative to:
- Prevent 4,000 readmissions within 30 days of hospital discharge by June 30, 2013;
- Reduce the overall readmission rate for Medicare beneficiaries by 20%; and
- Decrease health-care expenditures related to these re-admissions.
Our partners are the Health Services Advisory Group, Inc. (HSAG), the Arizona Partnership Implementing Patient Safety (APIPS), the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) & AHCCCS. HSAG will manage the day-to-day operational aspects of the Campaign by providing staffing and resources to support participants. Our Licensing team (in their role with Medicare Surveys and Certification) will be an asset in providing assessment data that can be used for quality improvement strategies in Arizona. This Campaign is totally in keeping with the ADHS Vision of “Health and Wellness for all Arizonans” as well as our Strategic Map overarching goal to “Achieve targeted improvements in health outcomes”.
When I got into public health 25 years ago, it was kind of a boutique profession. Since then, it’s really gone mainstream- and public health is increasingly being recognized as a key element in driving down our country’s increasing health care costs. So if you’re a beginning or mid-career professional- get in on the ground floor and snap up your MPH right here in Phoenix.
Lucky for you, the U of A’s Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is offering a Master of Public Health (MPH) (with a concentration in Public Health Practice) in Phoenix at the Biomedical Campus. The next bolus of students will start this Fall. There’s still time to apply for the fall classes- but the May 1st application deadline is rapidly approaching.
The Phoenix program offers the Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice which prepares students to develop the public health skills needed to work in a variety of governmental and non-governmental settings including the local, county and state departments of health, the Indian Health Service, Medicaid and Medicare programs, hospitals, and community health centers. Students work as part of multidisciplinary teams and develop skills to manage and evaluate real-life public health programs.
Keeping off the pounds is tough at any age. Now seniors are getting a helping hand from Medicare. Last month Medicare announced that it’s adding coverage for nutritional and behavioral counseling for those who are obese as measured by body mass index or BMI. BMI is a tool which measures weight status for adults- and it’s broken into several categories: Underweight (Below 18.5), Normal (18.5 – 24.9), Overweight (25.0 – 29.9) and Obese (30.0 and above). This new program for Medicare beneficiaries is for folks with a BMI of 30 or more. You can use this BMI calculator to see where you stand.
The objective of this new preventive coverage is to reduce the impact of obesity and chronic disease among the 30% of folks men and women within Medicare are obese. For Medicare beneficiaries with a BMI over 30, counseling coverage includes: 1) One face-to-face visit every week for the first month; One face-to-face visit every other week for months 2 – 6; and One face-to-face visit every month for months 7 – 12 if the individual meets their weight-loss goals. Additional information on this exciting new preventive coverage can be found on the Medicare website.
Why is this new benefit important? Because most states now have adult obesity rates over 25%- resulting in higher risks for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, respiratory diseases and arthritis. In other words- obesity results in all kinds of bad health outcomes and cause a host of expensive down-stream treatment costs.
Our Behavioral Health team has completed the draft of our ($27M) 2012-2013 Joint Block Grant Application for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Services. This year SAMHSA streamlined the application process to allow States to apply for grant funds under one combined application and has moved away from a standardized reporting template, allowing the States to determine their own needs and service directions. Our (150 page) application has been posted for public comment (through August 26) on our grant application website. Folks can provide comments to email@example.com.
States use this Block Grant for prevention, treatment, recovery supports and other services that will supplement services covered by Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. For example, we use block grant funds to fill in for priority behavioral health treatment and support services for folks without insurance or for services not covered by Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance. Block grant funds also go toward primary prevention services like universal, selective and indicated prevention activities and services.