What Does Sebelius Resignation Mean for Case Management?
On April 11, 2014, it was announced that Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, is resigning after five years in the position. President Obama intends to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, to the HHS position.
While this is big national news, what does it mean for case management? Here are a few key points about how this change may affect healthcare, you and your patients:
- The Burwell resignation offers a fresh start to relations between the Department of Health and Human Services and Congress surrounding topics such as the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. She was confirmed to her current position as Budget Director by a vote of 96-0.
- Sylvia Burwell brings a background in economics and the federal budget to HHS. Given that the agency is responsible for spending over $800 billion annually, mostly through Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security but also through many other health-related programs, her expertise should lead to capable execution of the annual budgets sent to her by Congress.
- With midterm elections only seven months away, the resignation may have a small effect on the issue of Obamacare. A new Secretary defuses the Obamacare topic slightly in campaign season.
Almost everyone who works in healthcare is affected by funding or regulations that come under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, almost everyone knows someone who is affected by the Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security programs. These programs and HHS as a whole will have new leadership soon, allowing the agency to have more time to focus on the programs for which it is responsible instead of controversies, and a new leader with a strong budgetary background to show the way.
Medicare Transitional Care Act of 2012
CMSA shows support for Bill, which is designed to improve transitions of care for high risk Medicare beneficiaries
On September 14, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Thomas Petri (R-WI), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the bipartisan Medicare Transitional Care Act of 2012, legislation that seeks to improve transitions of care for Medicare beneficiaries at highest risk for readmission as they move from the hospital setting to their home, skilled nursing facility or next point of care. The Case Management Society of America is in support of the Bill, which the organization believes would directly address continuity of care problems by increasing patient support and ensuring appropriate follow-up care during and after the transition period.
The legislation incorporates many of NTOCC’s principles, such as aligning the transitional service requirements with NTOCC’s “Seven Essential Intervention Categories”—seven key elements found in evidence-based care interventions— and the integration of all members of the care team in executing effective care transitions.
The full proposed text legislation is available at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r112:E14SE2-0027:/ or via PDF by clicking here. Also, click here to view the CMSA Letter of Support.