Between 2011 to 2016, Medicare fee-for-service drug spending increased from $17.6 billion to $28 billion under Medicare Part B. Medicare Part D total spending has almost doubled from 2010 to 2016, increasing from $77.5 billion to $146.1 billion, with costs projected to increase further, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Drug prices for beneficiaries in the U.S. are also on the rise and can be found in places like Europe for up to 80% cheaper, according to NPR. The cause? A market full of hurdles and barriers to creating biosimilars (drugs with the same or similar active ingredients as the original and often available at a reduced price); current laws that prevent vendors from negotiating drug prices; and outrageous prices for essential drugs that treat ever-more-common chronic conditions, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis C.
The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) studies can serve as a good alert system for long-term care facilities as well as the regulators who monitor them. We’ve compiled a list of relevant reports and recommendations published by the OIG in 2018 to help you prioritize your quality and compliance goals for this year.
Surgical dressings are limited to primary dressings, which are therapeutic or protective coverings applied directly to wounds or lesions that are on the skin or are caused by an opening to the skin, and to secondary dressings that are therapeutic or protective (i.e., are needed to secure the primary dressing).
After speaking with a few subject matter experts about the new tax laws, Billing Alert for Long-Term Care has the good, the bad, and the salvageable for 2019 tax reform. For some long-term care (LTC) facilities, these changes will have significant dollar impacts on 2018 tax returns, while other facilities will slip through the IRS’ narrow cracks mostly unaffected. Just as the care plan for each resident should be individualized to his or her care needs, each facility’s approach to taxes this year should be customized to its unique situation. Here are a few changes to keep in mind and discuss with your certified public accountant (CPA) before submitting this year’s tax return.