Monday, July 31, 2017

Developments on Social Security Disability Eligibility and Budget Plans

There’s been a lot of talk about Social Security as predictions and budget plans come out. For one, Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Stephen Goss claimed that the program will be able to provide full benefits to eligible recipients in the next 17 years. That’s five years longer than the fund’s solvency last year.

The increase is linked to a drop in Disability Insurance (DI) applications, which occurred after a growth caused by the economic downturn in 2008. There was a peak in applications in 2010, when the number reached 2 million compared to the 1.5 million recorded in 2007. However, the number of people applying for Disability Insurance has been declining since 2013 and the current rate is lower than the number recorded in 2007. Read more from this blog:

Friday, July 28, 2017

Disability Social Security Funds Outlook Seen as Bleak in the Coming Years

Recently, the Social Security’s board of trustees released a yearly report on the long-term financial health of its trust fund, saying that the numbers will likely drop in 17 years. These funds come from the Social Security taxes that both employers and workers pay, which are also invested and used to provide retirement, survivor and disability benefits to around 61 million Americans.

Unfortunately, disability social security is one of the programs that will be greatly affected if the gloomy prediction about the trust fund comes true. According to the report, the asset reserves of the Old-Age Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds reached $2.85 trillion last year. That’s $35 billion higher than in 2016 and the figures are expected to continue increasing in the next few years. Read more from this blog:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Officials Looking at Ways to Stabilize Costs in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace

There’s a lot of legislative debates going on in the country these days, but there’s one thing that politicians across party lines can agree upon: universal healthcare is important. However, legislators differ on how to implement such a wide-reaching program.

Should the country’s universal healthcare system be replaced or tweaked? This is the biggest question lingering over this landmark legislation, the legacy of Former President Barack Obama.

One of the biggest challenges faced by the program today is the soaring costs of buying insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplace in some states. While the ultimate fate of the ACA hangs in the balance, officials are trying to find ways to tweak its current shortcomings. Read more from this blog:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Despite Uncertainty in Eligibility for Medicaid, Enrollees Say They are Satisfied with Care

While there is much uncertainty regarding the future of Americans when it comes to their eligibility for Medicaid, enrollees are currently saying that they are satisfied with the care they have been receiving. In fact, they have said that they are generally satisfied with their overall experience in the program. They also said that they had been largely able to gain access to essential care.

Enrollees Currently Reporting Care Satisfaction Amid Uncertainty

The recent survey analysis was published by JAMA Internal Medicine. The data used was from the first national Medicaid Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System survey that had been administered in 46 states as well as Washington, D.C. For the study, four groups of adults who were enrolled in Medicaid were sampled. Read more from this blog:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hospital Revenue Cycle Management Performance Can Be Improved by Looking Inwards

One healthcare executive has stated that hospitals ought to focus more on internal factors versus external ones when it comes to working on a hospital revenue cycle management turnaround. That means that healthcare executives should stop blaming market factors for their unimpressive hospital revenue cycle performance. Instead, they should turn their attention to shrinking hospital margins and lagging accounts receivable.

Per Healthcare Management Partners Managing Director Derek Pierce, if a hospital is unable to collect their cash quickly enough, it may mean that management is not focusing on the right things. That’s exactly why when certain key hospital revenue cycle performance metrics appear to be declining, Pierce advises hospital executives to turn to their internal management processes to start their turnaround. Read more from this blog:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Key to Lowering Patient Cost is Value-Based Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management

A certain point has been made clear during the recent Value-Based Care Summit in Chicago by Xtelligent Media. In enabling healthcare organizations to align their healthcare revenue cycle management with value-based reimbursements, they need to start breaking down both financial and clinical siloes that have been established using the fee-for-service payment models. Moreover, everyone in each healthcare organization must learn to work together better.

According to Carmela Roberts, JD, CEO and Administrator of Valley OB-GYN Clinic in Michigan, there is a need to promote collaboration among all hospital staff, including those serving operational, financial and clinical duties. This, according to her, would be the key to developing a value cycle instead of the traditional healthcare revenue cycle.

Balancing Quality Services and Cost Efficiency

The value cycle looks to cover all the processes that can optimize financial, operational and clinical opportunities to achieve the best possible health outcomes at the lowest possible cost. As such, it would include a number of traditional revenue cycle management components, including charge capture, claims management, compliance and pricing. Read more from this blog:

Monday, July 17, 2017

What Is Revenue Cycle Management? Hospitals Seem to Fail to Capitalize on Its Benefits

Hospitals could bring in more revenue if they choose to focus on revenue cycle performance over costs. In fact, some hospitals are even showing a concerning flat performance in revenue cycle management.

According to best practices firm Advisory Board, various health systems and hospitals are missing out on a huge opportunity to increase revenue due to lagging revenue cycle performance. In fact, an average hospital with 350 beds has overlooked an opportunity to earn as much as $22 million in revenue capture, according to the firm’s analysis.

What seems to be the problem? According to National Partner for Consulting at Advisory Board James Green, a number of critical benchmarks have been continuously sliding or have remained stagnant since 2011. Because of this, Green believes that there is now a need for “strategic overhaul.” That also means meeting the four key challenges that face revenue cycle performance today. Read more from this blog:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Here’s Something That Revenue Cycle Management Companies Can Look Forward to: Good CAGR Rate

The revenue cycle management industry has a lot to look forward to. Recent data reveals that the market is set to experience significant growth by 2021. This is expected to benefit both the services and software segment.

Impressive CAGR Growth Foreseen in the Future

According to a recent study by Research N Reports, the global revenue cycle management market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate or CAGR of +12 percent. There is said to be a wide range of factors driving this projected growth. Among these are regulatory compliance, which encourage the use of various revenue cycle management solutions, and government support.

Meanwhile, process improvements implemented by health organizations, particularly by using revenue cycle management systems, are considered as a significant growth factor as well. Other contributing factors include the subsequent growth seen in insurance coverage as well as the increase in the number of patients. Read more from this blog:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Labor Force Participation Is Key Assumption Behind Proposed Disability Social Security Budget Cuts

Before he became commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump swore to his supporters that there would be no cuts to Social Security under his administration. That was then. Today, social security is facing significant budget cuts. In fact, it might not even survive during the ten years that it would gradually lose funding.

Drastic Budget Cut on Social Security Proposed Over The Next 10 Years

According to budget director Mick Mulvaney, the Trump administration is proposing a massive $72 billion spending cut on both disability social security benefits and Supplemental Security income. If approved, the said cuts would be done gradually over a span of 10 years. Previously, the Social Security Administration has already undergone a 10 percent budget cut back in 2010. Read more from this blog.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New Social Security Disability Eligibility Policy Makes Application Harder

Filing for social security disability is already tough in itself. With the new policies implemented by the Social Security agency recently, it’s only bound to get tougher, especially for those seeking approval for their disabilities insurance applications.

The New Policy

Just this spring, the agency announced that they will now be implementing additional safeguards to the eligibility process, specifically for the purpose of fighting fraud, as well as streamlining the application process. Among the more controversial facets of this new policy is the removal of the special consideration usually given to a patient’s long-time doctor.

The consideration came in the form of acknowledging and giving merit to the long-term relationship between patient and doctor. Under the new policy, however, the history of the patient-doctor relationship is practically dismissed and merely put in the same category or level as to that of, say, a one-time medical consultant for the patient. In order for the doctor’s history with the patient to be recognized, therefore, they now bear the burden of giving proof that their findings and opinions on the diagnosis of the patient do matter, and should, in fact, be the primary reference instead of the third-party doctor that will be provided. Read more from this blog:

Monday, July 3, 2017

Patients Are Denied Eligibility for Social Security After New Rule Imposed To Counter Fraud, Backlog

As Republicans and Democrats continue to debate the future of the social security program disability program, one thing is become strikingly clear. Many Americans are suffering as a result of long backlogs, which might consequently mean more delays for any disability case to be heard and possibly approved.

According to former Social Security Administration acting deputy commissioner Jason Fichtner, the backlog had actually started around the time of the recession. He said that at that time, a great number of people who applied for benefits were disabled. However, it did not mean that they were unable to work. Because of this trend, such a backlog has begun snowballing.

Social Security Backlog Has Caused Long Wait Times for Hearings

Today, more than a million Americans are currently waiting for their hearings. Depending on the state, waiting for a hearing may take an average of almost 600 days. On the other hand, getting a hearing is anything but reassuring for most Americans. Read more from this blog.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Affordable Care Act Marketplace: Growing Uncertainty, Losing Providers

It’s been a rough year for Obamacare, and if the developments in Washington are any indication, it’s not going to be better anytime soon. In the past several months alone, the program has experienced a rapid decline in the number of enrollees, including dropouts.

The reason behind this is pretty obvious: the new administration had been harping on their plan to repeal and replace the Obamacare, and the Republicans in Congress did not waste any time getting to work on it. There was a snag, however, and the proposed replacements for Obamacare were not deemed good enough to pass legislation. So for now, the Obamacare act remains standing, albeit very tenuously.

Lingering Concerns

Because of these developments, insurance providers are understandably wary about continuing on with their business. As such, many of them have been closing shop, much to the dismay of their enrollees. Read more from this blog: