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VIP treatment for children with special medical needs Print E-mail
Written by FHInews   
Thursday, 07 November 2019 11:55

Palm Beach County based PPEC provider delivers

Launched in September 2014 by Susie Mantilla and John Lage, VIP Kidz is a place where medically involved children may attend Monday through Friday for up to 12 hours a day with a physician’s prescription and provides skilled nursing, therapy intervention, as well as educational and recreational activities. Based in Palm Beach County, VIP Kidz is focused on providing services for children from birth to 21 years of age with special medical needs who require skilled nursing care whether it is intermittent, short or long term.  VIP Kidz, is licensed by the State of Florida as a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Center (PPEC) and is a fully insured facility.

"We wanted to create a colorful and vibrant place with compassionate medical staff as well as interactive with the children attending the facility," states Ms. Mantilla.

At each location, children are placed into rooms according to age and developmental levels. The West Palm Beach location has expanded to 10,000 square feet. The Loxahatchee Grove location is nearly 6,000 square feet. Toys, activities and therapy materials are chosen according to their cognitive levels. The social activities are especially popular and include carnival theme days, birthday parties and an annual Mother’s Day lunch - just to  mention a few.

"But happiness and love is what abounds throughout the facilities," according to Mr. Lage. “Projecting love  to all our children through our center is the major fiber of our philosophy.”

Apparently the formula is working. In just five short years, VIP Kidz has grown to two locations: Loxahatchee and West Palm Beach and has the capacity to serve 128 children. Each location provides on-site occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy. These therapies are provided by skilled, pediatric trained clinicians. VIP Kidz also provides after school care and transportation throughout Palm Beach County. Meanwhile, expansion is in the works at both locations in order to have a fully equipped sensory room.

The team has grown too. In addition to the owners, The VIP Kidz team now includes a Medical Director, a Director of Nursing, a Family Resource Specialist, several Nurses, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, an Occupational Therapist, a Speech Therapist, EMT/Paramedics, Care Assistants, an Office Manager and a Director of Transportation. 

"It truly takes everyone to make the centers work seamlessly," states Ms. Mantilla. "It takes a village to raise a child."

The teams also works tirelessly to get the word out in  the community about the services VIP Kidz provides. New enrollees are referred to the centers through a multiplicity of avenues and include primary care physician, neurologists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists and gastroenterologists. In addition, hospitals also refer patients as early as birth who can benefit from the services offered. It's the 21st century so the organization's website, Instagram and Facebook are also a referral source for VIP Kidz. Certain non-profit organizations also send patients to the facility. That said, "Word of mouth through satisfied parents are our best referral source," states Mr. Lage.

VIP Kidz works with all insurances to accept children who require these services. Medicaid covers PPEC services as well as transportation services 100% in order to ensure the children can access the center for the care they need.

"God inspired us to create this," asserts Ms. Mantilla. "We are honored and feel blessed to have this opportunity to serve."

To learn more, please visit
The Real Cost of the Opioid Epidemic: An Estimated $179 Billion In Just 1 Year Print E-mail
Written by Selena Simmons-Duffin | NPR   
Thursday, 24 October 2019 00:00

There's a reckoning underway in the courts about the damage wrought by the opioid crisis and who should pay for it. Thousands of cities and counties are suing drugmakers and distributors in federal court. One tentative dollar amount floated earlier this week to settle with four of the companies: $48 billion. It sounds like a lot of money, but it doesn't come close to accounting for the full cost of the epidemic, according to recent estimates - let alone what it might cost to fix it. Of course, there's a profound human toll that dollars and cents can't capture. Almost 400,000 people have died since 1999 from overdoses related to prescription or illicit opioids. Since 2016, the number of opioid deaths per year rivals or has exceeded the number from traffic accidents. These are lives thrown into chaos, families torn apart - you can't put a dollar figure on those things. But the economic impact is important to understand. The most recent estimate of those costs comes from the Society of Actuaries and actuarial consulting firm Milliman in a report published this month.

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AMA, MGMA to Congress: Don't hand power to insurers in surprise billing fix Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 21 October 2019 17:06

Joanne Finnegan reports for Fierce Healthcare on Oct. 17, 2019:

Congress' attempt to solve the surprise billing resolution has turned into a battle between providers and insurers. More than 100 physician organizations fired the latest volley, urging Congress in a letter released Thursday not to turn more power over to health insurers. The groups, which represent hundreds of thousands of physicians, asked Congress to find a balanced approach as members hammer out legislation to solve the surprise medical bill issue that has resulted in patients receiving unexpected bills, sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars, for care they received by out-of-network providers.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
Why Hospitals Are Getting Into the Housing Business Print E-mail
Written by FHInews   
Tuesday, 08 October 2019 16:18

Markian Hawryluk reports for KHN on 10.4.19:

Legally and morally, hospitals cannot discharge patients if they have no safe place to go. So patients who are homeless, frail or live alone, or have unstable housing, can occupy hospital beds for weeks or months - long after their acute medical problem is resolved...To address the problem, hospitals from Baltimore to St. Louis to Sacramento, Calif., are exploring ways to help patients find a home.

"Hospitals are facing higher costs, lower reimbursements and shrinking profit margins; this is true especially for the safety net hospitals," states Eneida O. Roldan, MD, MPH, MBA, CEO, FIU Health Care Network. Meanwhile, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), passed in 1986, requires every hospital that accepts payment from Medicare to provide adequate treatment to everyone regardless of ability to pay. "It is usually the uninsured and underinsured that delay care and hence arrive in emergency rooms with multiple morbidities that lead to admissions," according to Dr. Roldan. "Prolonged length of stay is usually the case for these patients and today's hospitals have woken to the fact that it is cost efficient and humane to care for these patients outside the hospital walls."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2019 16:32
Proposed CMS Medicare Rule Signals New Era of Orthopedics Print E-mail
Written by BDO   
Friday, 04 October 2019 17:27

A recently proposed CMS rule signals that the healthcare industry should brace for another wave of orthopedic-related consolidations-especially those driven by private equity and health systems seeking to enter joint ventures with larger orthopedic practices.

In its 2020 Medicare payment rule, CMS proposed several orthopedic-related changes, including for:

• Ambulatory surgery center (ASC) facilities - Adding knee replacement and repair procedures as approved services
• Hospital outpatient facilities - Adding hip replacements as an approved service, shifting them away from their historical inpatient-only setting

At the same time, CMS has also updated its Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced Model to include an outpatient component of knee replacements. The move from inpatient to outpatient and ASCs began several years ago, but these collective changes from CMS represent a focused push to expedite that trend, which threatens a highly lucrative revenue stream for hospitals.  

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 November 2019 17:45
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