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Pricey Land Complicates Options For Ailing NYC Hospital

This article by Pete Brush first appeared Law360.com on March 27, 2013.

Law360, New York (March 27, 2013, 10:10 PM ET) — Sky-high valuations for the real estate on which Brooklyn, N.Y.’s nearly insolvent Long Island College Hospital sits, estimated to be as much as $500 million, are creating a “perverse financial incentive” and complicating legal efforts by labor unions to save it, bankruptcy and other experts said Wednesday.

The comments come as unions, including the New York State Nurses Association and their political allies, have vowed to take legal steps to keep the 155-year-old hospital in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood from being shuttered and sold to developers.

Labor won a round in March, when a state trial judge said an initial vote to shut down the hospital ran afoul of open meetings law. That ruling marked only a fleeting victory, however.

The Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, which owns LICH after an ill-fated 2010 merger, promptly held another meeting and voted for closure a second time, in full view of hundreds of doctors and nurses who work there. Continue reading →

Prepayment Review RACs Coming Soon

Under the aegis of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA), Congress directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a three-year demonstration program using Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) to detect and correct improper payments within Medicare. By all government accounts, the original RAC demonstration program was successful, ending with more than $1.03 billion recovered. According to CMS, approximately 96% of these payments were overpayments collected from providers (85% of which were collected from hospital providers), and the remaining 4% were underpayments.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) took the partnership between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the States to a new level by introducing RAC-like audits for Medicaid.  The Medicaid Integrity Program (MIP) offers a unique opportunity to identify, recover and prevent inappropriate Medicaid payments.  Medicaid Integrity Contractors (MICs) work with CMS to carry out this program.  It is also designed to support the efforts of State Medicaid agencies through a combination of oversight and technical assistance. Continue reading →

Reducing Stress During Flu Season

Craig Boyd Garner
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“In order to learn the most important lessons of life, one must each day surmount a fear.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson, American lecturer, essayist, and poet

The flu – Suddenly it is everywhere. We read about it in the paper and see it on the news. We listen in fear to reports on how it invades our hospitals and schools, contaminating drinking fountains, public bathrooms, and restaurants. Each winter this invisible little bug returns with seemingly greater authority to disrupt our daily lives and spread paranoia throughout the community.

01/03/2011

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Anticipating Emergencies: The 411 on 911

Craig Boyd Garner
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There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.” –Charles Dickens, English novelist

12/08/2010

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Eye on the Elderly- Helping Seniors in the Hospital Setting

Craig Boyd Garner
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“All diseases run into one, old age.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

11/12/2010

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Excising the Fear From Surgery

Craig Boyd Garner
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He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

10/28/2010

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Medicine By the Numbers Part II: The Hospital Bill

“Everything unknown is magnified.” -Publius Cornelius Tacitus, senator and a historian of the Roman Empire  [audio:http://hospitalstay.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/03-Numbers-Dont-Lie-1.mp3|titles=03 Numbers Don't Lie 1]

This article first appeared on the PBS Website This Emotional Life.

Hospital stays can be incredibly stressful. From that open blue gown you and your new roommate must wear to understanding your diagnosis and accompanying treatment, most patients feel overwhelmed and disoriented. When you finally get to go home, weeks may pass, the discharge and rehabilitation process hopefully become manageable, and life returns to normal.  But just as soon as the anxiety from that hospital stay begins to subside, one day there it sits, waiting in your mailbox – an enigma of lines, abbreviations, and numbers that can only mean one thing: your hospital bill.

Perhaps even more than the actual hospital stay, the hospital bill can be difficult to understand. The bill will likely contain an abundance of codes and abbreviations, and it may look more like a cryptographic algorithm than a bill. Depending on the length of a hospital stay, for some the hospital bill can create a psychosomatic reaction strong enough to land you right back in the emergency department—the place where this whole thing probably started.  Before irreversible frustration and despair set in, however, here are some tips to help you understand the sum total of your hospital stay. Continue reading →

Caring for the Caregivers – Surviving the Hospital Discharge, Part 2

Craig Boyd Garner
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Plato wrote:  Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

09/27/2010

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Mental Health and The Family Tree

Craig Boyd Garner
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“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” – Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Russian novelist and philosopher

09/17/2010

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Medicine by the Numbers

Craig Boyd Garner
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Lewis Carroll wrote: If you want to inspire confidence, give plenty of statistics. It does not matter that they should be accurate, or even intelligible, as long as there is enough of them.”

08/19/2010

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