Two new resources offer myriad story ideas

The recently released 2014 work plan sets up how the Inspector General’s office of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will scrutinize claims CMS pays to hospitals, nursing homes, and home care agencies, as well as for prescription drugs, medical equipment and other care services.

Among them: Part A (inpatient claims, such as the two-midnight rule for hospital admissions, high level-therapy at SNFs, interrupted long-term facility stays, new oversight of hospital pharmaceutical compounding, and questionable Part B claims. There is a wealth of potential story ideas within the report, particularly when coupled with available data from Hospital Compare (available from AHCJ), Nursing Home Compare (available from AHCJ) and Home Health Compare.

New research on Alzheimer’s

A new report from Alzheimer’s Disease International and The Compass Group, Nutrition and Dementia, investigates whether the right nutrition might help the millions worldwide with this disease. Researchers found that malnutrition – or what they call under-nutrition – was a major problem; 20 percent to 45 percent of those with dementia experience “significant” weight loss over a year. The report also looks at dietary factors across the lifespan that may affect onset of dementia later in life. For more information about how to cover nutrition and aging, check out Melinda Hemmelgarn’s tip sheet.

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