How the Government Shutdown Affects Healthcare

goverment shutdown

Although the Government is partially shutdown and not receiving a paycheck has not affected me, I still work in the healthcare industry so I wanted to do some research on how it is or isn’t affecting my industry.  Whether it is healthcare, health insurance, FDA, CDC, CMS, it is all tied in to healthcare in some form or fashion, and previous shutdowns have affected my industry in the past, so that makes me automatically interested.

Upon doing my research I learned that Congress had already passed five bills that funded 3/4 of the federal government that included DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) and DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs) and that funding is effective through September, which hopefully protects Medicare, Medicaid, CDC, and the FDA.  This is flu season, so tracking of the flu virus is very important as well as those that want the flu vaccine.

Since there is still 7 bills that have not been passed, this could put a damper on those health related fields, so at this time the only services that have not been affected in the partial government shutdown are those that meet immediate needs of patients, medical staff and facilities.  Those industries providing care to Native American tribes will not be paid until the administration reaches an agreement.

Some agencies that have currently run out of funding will go without pay including some health inspectors at the border, but they are still scheduled to work through the shutdown as well as some workers being furloughed.

Although there are a vast majority of health workers that have not been affected by the partial government shutdown, there are still many who have gone without pay and will continue to go without pay in my industry until an agreement has been reached.

Do your research on how this shutdown could affect your industry as the government does not just affect the airport and parks.  If this shutdown goes on any longer, who knows how many industries will be affected since it does not look like there is an agreement in site.

 

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Knowledge is Power

With all the rules and regulations of the medical industry, it is important to hire people with knowledge of the industry.  I think I have preached this for years as I saw things getting more and more complicated when it comes to medical billing, collections, and insurance.  You can no longer have the pretty little girl at the front desk greeting everyone with a big smile and a good morning anymore.  That pretty little girl must know about insurance regulations, copays, outstanding balances, how to read an EOB, how to explain an EOB, and much more these days.

Without this front end knowledge you will find that your billers are wasting time correcting in-house errors and that your collectors are swamped appealing denials from error made in house.  This is why 65% of denied claims are never re-worked.  No one has the staff to keep up with the errors made by fellow co-workers.  I know everyone has to start somewhere, I did.  If you are willing to give that someone the opportunity to work in this industry, at least give the tools and training and coaching that is required for growth and advancement.  If your practice does not have a true training protocol in place, you should not hire staff without prior medical knowledge.  You are costing your practice millions of dollars on the back-end.  THINK ABOUT IT!  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!

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New Medicare Cards

Medicare will mail new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Your new card will have a new Medicare number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security number. This will help to protect your identity. The new card won’t change your coverage or benefits.

You don’t need to take any action to get your new Medicare card. Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare number or other personal information. Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by phone, email, or by approaching you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you.

Medicare card

What is glioblastoma, the brain cancer John McCain has been diagnosed with?

This is the kind of brain cancer that killed Sen. Ted Kennedy, CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook said

As the news traveled quickly about Senator John McCain’s brain tumor diagnosis, CBS News chief medical correspondent joined CBSN’s “Red & Blue” to explain what it means for the 80-year-old politician.

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Dr. Jon LaPook said this is “a primary brain tumor” which started in McCain’s brain and that it didn’t spread there from somewhere else. The recent diagnosis follows the senator’s procedure on Friday to remove a blood clot from above his right eye.

LaPook mentioned that he had been wondering why doctors were waiting for a pathology report before deciding on further treatment for McCain. He adds that the most likely possibility was metastatic melanoma, since McCain had battled that in the past.

“I was quite surprised to find out that it was glioblastoma … a very serious type of brain tumor,” LaPook added. “The problem with glioblastoma is at the time that it is discovered, there are almost always microscopic cells that have spread elsewhere in the brain because it spreads along the nerve cells.”

Now with the statement out Wednesday night, the senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options.

“The next thing to do would be chemotherapy, radiation,” LaPook said. “He’s in for a battle, this is a very serious kind of cancer and it’s the kind of cancer that killed Ted Kennedy. Despite all the research that’s been going on, we haven’t made adequate progress.”

ome of the symptoms of glioblastoma, according to Dr. LaPook, include headache, general malaise, visual problems (including double vision).

READ MORE:  www.msn.com

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