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CMSS Healthcare Staffing

Giving Starts the Receiving Process

Brian Deir - Thursday, September 02, 2010
CMSS is proud to sponsor two of our recruiters (Michelle Blakley and Anna Deir) in an event that will raise funds for our local Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head Island, please go to their website at www.bgchhi.org

The event is a 2 hour spinning  class that will be held at our community health club on the 18th of September, 2010.

Both Michelle and Anna are asking for your help in this fundraiser. They have each pledged to raise $500.00 and are asking you for your donations. (Please provide your correct mailing address)

If you are interested in donating, please send a check made out to the Boys and Girls Club to our P.O. Box address:

CMSS
P.O. Box 23317
Hilton Head Island, SC 29925

We thank you for your generosity and please let us know if we can help you in any way.

Michelle Blakley and Anna Deir
CMSS
1-866-425-9505

Therapy Cap Update

Brian Deir - Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today, members of Congress reintroduced identical bills in the House and Senate that would permanently repeal the cap on outpatient physical therapy services. Sens Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Senate's measure. The House legislation is sponsored by Reps Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Xavier Becerra (D-CA). 

With discussion on permanent reform of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) ramping up, Congress also must address long-term repeal of the therapy cap, an arbitrary limit on services that often are medically necessary for patients. Both flawed policies were created in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act and should be repealed this year. Given the opportunity to act on both SGR and the therapy cap, this should be the last time cap repeal legislation should need to be introduced, says APTA.  

Access to physical therapist services has long enjoyed broad bipartisan support, with approximately 200 members of Congress supporting therapy cap repeal legislation every congressional session.

If Congress does not act on legislation by December 31, the 2-tier exceptions process that was extended through 2013 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR 8), will expire.

Read comments from the bills' sponsors in APTA's press release

H.R. 4213. Critical Legislation for seniors

Brian Deir - Saturday, March 13, 2010
C’mon HR 4213!
Once again we are up against a possible expiration on the Therapy cap exceptions process on April 1st.  We are thankful to the Senate for passing this important extension of benefits for our most frail seniors. This piece of legislation is piggybacking on a provision that would eliminate the 21 percent Medicare cut for Doctors until the end of the year.  The positives are that these provisions have strong bipartisan support. However finding funds to pay for these extensions are the crux of the debate. That is what will be discussed in the House hopefully in the next couple of weeks. If it passes the House it goes to the President for a signature. Democrats would gladly move forward with adding the cost to the current deficit but Republicans want to find a source such as the stimulus to fund the bill .
Either way the House is going to have an up or down vote by the end of March because so many Medicare beneficiaries would be hit so hard by a sudden drop in benefits and Doctors willing to see Medicare patients. Please keep pestering your Congressman to be in favor of this critical Bill.

Are you having a tough time finding the perfect therapy job

Anna Deir - Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Medical professionals such as physical, occupational or speech therapists as well as assistants tend to utilize the services of independent recruiters to find their ideal job.  Some of the responsibilities of an independent recruiter are to get to know all employers in an area, telemarket for openings, research the area for top salaries, cost of living, crime and any other information pertinent to your needs.  If there is a therapy job opening that you can not find, an independent recruiter will find it.  They utilize many resources that you may not be familiar with or have no time to research.  It is their job to know.

Disabled patients to benefit from Medicare change

Brian Deir - Tuesday, March 09, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of Medicare patients with severe chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer's would get continuing access to rehab and other services under a change agreed to by the Obama administration, advocates said Tuesday.

The proposed agreement in a national class action suit would allow Medicare patients to keep receiving physical and occupational therapy and other skilled services at home or in a nursing home so they can remain stable, said Gill Deford, a lawyer with the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

That's been a problem for some because of a longstanding Medicare policy that says patients must show improvement to keep getting rehab. Deford's group and other organizations representing patients challenged it.

"If you have a chronic condition, by definition you are not improving," said Deford, the lead attorney on the case. "Our view is that Medicare regulations were intended to allow people to maintain their health status. They don't have to show they are getting any better. The point is to allow them not to get any worse, if possible."

The agreement was filed with Chief Judge Christina Reiss of the U.S. District Court in Vermont. It is expected to affect tens of thousands — maybe hundreds of thousands — of patients nationally. Those who stand to benefit include not only people with intractable conditions like Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and chronic lung disease. Those who are growing weaker because of advancing age, placing them at greater risk of falls and other problems, could also be helped.

The impact on Medicare's budget is unclear, partly because program rules are not always rigidly enforced. Even with a requirement that patients must continue to show improvement, billing contractors sometimes defer to the clinical judgment of doctors and therapists. A patient's underlying disease may be advancing, but therapy might help them keep up strength up and do more to take care of themselves. Still, that's no guarantee that Medicare will pay.

"That's what the point of this case is," said Deford, adding that his center has represented many people repeatedly denied coverage for rehabilitation services. "This will allow them to have access." Advocates say Medicare could break even financially, if patients don't have to go to the hospital.

In court papers, Medicare denied that it imposes an inflexible standard that patients must continue to improve to keep receiving rehab services. Indeed, there is no such requirement in law. Medicare said other factors come into play, such as the patient's medical condition and whether treatment is reasonable and necessary. Government lawyers called the policy change a clarification.

"This settlement clarifies existing Medicare policy," said Erin Shields Britt, a spokeswoman for the federal Health and Human Services department. "We expect no changes in access to services or costs."

Nonetheless, the Medicare policy manual will be changed to spell out that coverage of rehabilitation services "does not turn on the presence or absence of a beneficiary's potential for improvement from the therapy, but rather on the beneficiary's need for skilled care," according to the proposed settlement.

Deford said it could be several months before the settlement is finalized in court, and perhaps another year before Medicare formally completes the policy change. But patients may start seeing a change sooner.

"I'm hoping the new coverage rules will de facto take effect before they are formally revised," said Deford.

Most of the immediate beneficiaries will be the parents of the baby boom generation and younger disabled people, who are also entitled to Medicare coverage. But the change could have its greatest significance for the boomers, many of whom are expected to try to live independently into their 80s and 90s.

The Medicare change was first reported by The New York Times.