CMS issues blanket waivers for New York, New Jersey areas   11/05/2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Saturday approved blanket waivers of certain requirements for all hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospice and end-stage renal disease facilities in areas of New York and New Jersey affected by superstorm Sandy. Individual facilities need not apply to CMS to take advantage of these waivers. Among other actions, the blanket waivers authorize the states to process requests for certified bed increases by hospitals or nursing homes; waive the three-day prior hospitalization requirement for Medicare coverage of a skilled nursing facility stay, certain data transmission requirements for SNFs and home health agencies, and certain aide supervision requirements for home health and hospice providers. In addition, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius temporarily waived or modified other Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program requirements, which allows states or individual health care providers to request a waiver of those requirements by e-mailing their CMS Regional Office or State Survey Agency. The request must describe the provider and its justification for a waiver. HHS issued a similar, non-blanket waiver for New York last week.
Video contest lets providers showcase care coordination efforts   11/05/2012
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is accepting 2-3 minute videos for a contest that will highlight innovative efforts by hospitals, primary care practices and post-acute care facilities to improve care transitions and reduce avoidable readmissions, especially for patients transitioning from the hospital to home or interim/long-term care. Nurses, care coordinators, patients and others are invited to submit a video through Nov. 17. Winners will receive recognition from RWJF, a professionally produced video showcasing their innovation, and the opportunity to discuss their work with patients and health care providers nationwide. For more information, visit
Reminder: AHA Town Hall webcast Wednesday   11/05/2012
Tune in for the next AHA members-only Town Hall Interactive webcast on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock, Executive Vice President Rick Pollack and Senior Vice President of Federal Relations Tom Nickels will discuss the election results and what they may mean for the hospital field. Hosted by AHA leaders, members-only Town Hall Interactive webcasts focus on advocacy and other important developments in the hospital and health care field. For more information, call (800) 424-4301.