April 2013

Observation Status Reform

The House and the Senate introduced legislation, the "Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013" (S.569), that would allow time spent in a hospital under “observation status” to count toward the requisite three-day hospital stay for Medicare coverage of skilled nursing care. Reforming “observation status” is an important public policy priority for all Elder Care attorneys and health care providers.

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National Healthcare Decisions Day: How Can We Improve Advance Planning?

Tomorrow (April 16) is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a massive effort by national, state, and community organizations to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making.

Over 80 percent of older adults recognize the importance of planning ahead -- for having a plan in place for healthcare decisions, who makes them and what decisions will be made -- in the event they can't do so themselves. Yet only about a third have actually implemented such a plan: that is, signed an advance healthcare directive or done anything more than just had a brief conversation with a loved one ("I don't want to be hooked up to a machine!").

Why is the uptake on advance healthcare decision-making so slight? What can we do to improve?

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How to establish residency in Tennessee

From time to time we encounter a family that is contemplating a move for an elder family member to Tennessee and we are asked about establishing residency.

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