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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2653, 4/28/2015
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Senators Highlight Urgency of Reducing Medicare Appeals Backlog
How Two Sisters are Using Origami to Raise Money for Water Wells
For Your Information: Call for Presentations for Pre-Conferences at the NAHC Annual Meeting
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Senators Highlight Urgency of Reducing Medicare Appeals Backlog

The US Senate Finance Committee today held a hearing on how to make the Medicare audits and appeals system more efficient. The Medicare appeals system is currently backlogged with at least 500,000 cases pending review.  During the hearing titled, “Creating a More Efficient and Level Playing Field: Audit and Appeals Issues in Medicare,” Senators heard testimony from three witnesses, each representing a different level of appeal. 

In his opening statement, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) noted that preventing improper Medicare payments is a “serious issue.”  However, he said that the “insurmountable increase in appeals” has resulted in long delays for beneficiaries to find out whether their services are covered.  “When any Medicare contractor – either an auditor or a contractor that processes claims – decides that a claim should not be paid, it has a real effect on beneficiaries and providers, which is why it is so important that the appeals process allow these appeals to be heard in a timely and consistent fashion.”

Hatch also raised concern about the fact that the majority of payment appeals are found in favor of the defendant.  He cited statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, stating that over 60 percent of appeals were found in favor of the defendant. “Such a high rate of reversals raises questions about how the initial decisions are being made and whether providers and beneficiaries are facing undue burdens on the front end,” he said, noting that Administrative Law Judges have “more flexibility in their decision-making than Medicare contractors do.”

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How Two Sisters are Using Origami to Raise Money for Water Wells
NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris Commends Isabelle and Katherine Adams for Helping People Stay in Their Homes by Providing Access to Water

For nearly four years, Isabelle and Katherine Adams have been folding origami in order help bring clean water to people around the world.  Their project, called Paper for Water, raises money for wells across the world through donations they receive for their origami Christmas ornaments and decorations.

Val J. Halamandaris, the President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, sat down with Isabelle, 11, and Katherine, 9, last week to discuss Paper for Water.  The Caring Institute, an affiliate of NAHC, in 2013 awarded the sisters the Caring Youth Award for their efforts. 

One of NAHC’s guiding principles is to support people in their homes.  Halamandaris commended the sisters for, in their own way, helping people stay in their homes by providing access to water, which is one essential thing that everyone needs. 

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Call for Presentations for Pre-Conferences at the NAHC Annual Meeting
The deadline for submitting proposals is May 18th!

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today announced its Call for Presentations for prospective faculty to submit pre-conference presentation proposals for the 2015 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee.  NAHC encourages all members, including associate members and vendors, to participate as faculty in the 2015 Annual Meeting Pre-Conferences.  The deadline for submitting proposals is May 18.

As previously reported, NAHC has posted 90 educational offerings for the 2015 NAHC Annual Meeting, which will take place October 29-30 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.  Individuals who attend the 2015 Annual Meeting will have the opportunity to earn up to 20 Continuing Education credits in-person through the general session and pre-conference opportunities, as well as many additional credits through programs that will be made available online.

NAHC is now in the process of soliciting prospective faculty to submit proposals for pre-conference presentations for the Annual Meeting.  All NAHC members can submit pre-conference presentation proposals. For guidelines and to submit a proposal click here!


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