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Nov. 22 Highlights from the Zimmet 2022 After Party

Highlights from the Zimmet 2022 After Party 

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the MedElite After Party, part of the Zimmet Conference 2022! Click on the video link above to watch the highlights from the event.


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On Aug. 19 Dr. Rekha Bhandari, CMO of The MedElite Group, posted to her LinkedIn page the following piece about the differences between hospice and palliative care, and the importance of both:

Understanding Hospice Care and Palliative Care

In a thoughtful essay that appeared on the website in August 2022, a New York City-based palliative care physician named Anna DeForest outlined the challenges facing those in her field, as well as hospice care.

DeForest mentioned that the primary goal in Western medicine is to prolong life, and then wondered what the cumulative effect might be on those in the field to have “a failure rate of one hundred percent,” since everybody dies. But more to the point, she discussed the fact that more often than not “a good death requires a little bit of time,” and that those working in hospice care help patients “navigate the process of becoming dead.”

Click the link above to read her full piece. 


Updates to long-term care facilities’ minimum health and safety standards, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 29, go into effect Oct. 24. These updates, part of a Biden-Harris Administration initiative to advance the quality of nursing home care and the safety in such facilities, also included new guidance in the State Operations Manual (SOM).

In announcing the new measures in June, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said:

“As the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted, we have a pressing moral responsibility to ensure that residents of long-term care facilities are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. CMS is proud to be leading President Biden’s initiative to improve the safety and quality of care in the nation’s nursing homes, and this set of improvements is our next step toward that goal.”

Compliance with these updates, first outlined in a fact sheet released before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address in March 2022, will be monitored by surveyors as they respond to routine and complaint-based inspections of nursing homes.

Here are the other key issues addressed in this new guidance:


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Dec. 22 What the White House is Doing for Mental Health

On Oct. 7 Dr. Rekha Bhandari, CMO of The MedElite Group, posted to her LinkedIn page the following piece about the dangers of social isolation among seniors:

The issue of seniors and social isolation came into sharper focus during the pandemic, with nursing homes locked down and those 65 and older too often left to fend for themselves, without the crucial support of loved ones. Immediately there were reminders that isolation is on par with smoking as a risk factor for mortality, and that it has been shown to cause or exacerbate such conditions as Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, neurodegenerative disorders and even cancer.

This will continue to be a concern going forward, given the aging U.S. population. The Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, 70 million Americans (or roughly two in 10) will be over the age of 65. Keeping them connected is a question of the personal and the technological, of maintaining one’s physical and mental health.

Click the link above to read her full piece.


Two of the loftier healthcare aims of President Joe Biden – one dating back to his days as vice president, the other stressed in his first State of the Union Address, in March 2022 – are, respectively, curtailing the cancer rate and addressing the mental health crisis in the U.S.

Both are part of The Calendar Year 2023 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Final Rule, which was announced on Nov. 1 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The rule, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023, will expand access to not only behavioral healthcare and cancer screening coverage but also dental care, while promoting innovation and coordinated care.

Medicare payments have been made under the PFS since 1992, and cover services rendered in various settings, including hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra reiterated in a news release the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to “expanding vital prevention and treatment services.”

“Providing whole-person support and services through Medicare,” he added, will improve health and well-being for millions of Americans and even save lives.”

While beginning the first of his two terms as vice president under Barack Obama in 2016, Biden launched the Cancer Moonshot, the aim of which was to “accelerate the rate of progress against cancer.” That announcement came the year after Biden’s son Beau died of brain cancer at the age of 46.

Since becoming president in January 2021 Biden has set a new goal of cutting the cancer rate by at least half over the next 25 years.

“The experience of cancer – of getting a cancer diagnosis, surviving cancer, losing someone to cancer – has touched virtually every American family,” reads the copy on the White House page summarizing the Moonshot. “This is personal for the President and First Lady, like it is for so many of you.”

In his first State of the Union Address, he stressed that mental-health services should be accessible to all Americans, and his fiscal year budget for 2023 contained a provision doubling the funding for programs integrating physical and mental health.

The PFS final rule builds upon that, as it “ensures that the people we serve will experience coordinated care and that they have access to prevention and treatment services for substance use, mental health services, crisis intervention and pain care,” as CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in the aforementioned news release.


Winter preparedness is especially important for seniors, so healthcare providers would do well to encourage those age 65 and over to take the necessary steps to keep themselves safe over the coming months.

Those steps include the following:


While the pandemic has abated to some degree, it is still lingering. In early November 2022, for example, an average of 334 Americans were dying every day from COVID-19, and Dr. Ashish Jha, head of the White House Covid task force, has said that 70 percent of the deaths are among those 75 and older.

Small wonder that Jha told Yahoo Finance in October that getting the vaccine could be “the difference between life and death.”

Getting a flu shot is no less important. Dr. Leslie Kernisan, a geriatrician, cited CDC statistics showing that in an average year before the pandemic, influenza impacted between nine million and 45 million Americans, led to as many as 810,100 hospitalizations and resulted in between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths.

The bottom line: Seniors need their shots.


Falls are the leading cause of accidental death among seniors, and the danger obviously ramps up in the winter time, when outdoor areas can be snow-covered and/or icy and even indoor floors can wind up slippery, should someone walk in with wet footwear.

Caregivers and healthcare providers would do well to heed the advice offered on the website, which urges that the outdoor steps and walkways around seniors’ dwellings be cleared of snow and ice. Also, seniors should be made aware of the necessity of wearing footwear with non-skid soles, and replacing the tips of canes that might have been worn smooth.


The National Institutes of Health reports that we lose body heat faster as we age, and that that can lead to hypothermia, which in turn can result in issues impacting the heart, liver and kidneys.

It goes without saying, then, that it is best to urge seniors to stay indoors, but that doesn’t go quite far enough. They also need to make sure they are dressed warmly – in layers, preferably – and that they set the heat at 65 degrees or higher. The NIH took note of a Vermont man who had his thermostat at 62 and was saved only by the timely arrival of his son.

If seniors must venture out – and sometimes it’s just unavoidable, should they have an appointment, etc. – they should be urged to wear not only a hat, gloves and coat, but also a scarf to cover their nose and mouth.


There is nothing like cozying up to a fireplace in the wintertime, but the dangers of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning are very real.

As a result, seniors should be urged to make sure their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have up-to-date batteries, and that their chimneys and flues are inspected each year. Also, a word about space heaters – they need to be at least three feet away from curtains, bedding and furniture, according to

Jan. 23 Looking Ahead Into 2023

On Jan. 12 Dr. Rekha Bhandari, CMO of The MedElite Group, posted to her LinkedIn page the following piece about the dangers of social isolation among seniors:

Stemming the tide of avoidable transfers from nursing homes to hospitals is a significant challenge for the healthcare industry. There are questions about just how significant – one study said as many as half could be avoided, another 60 percent, another 70 percent – but suffice it to say that some measures are in order, given the threats to patients’ physical and psychological well-being such transfers represent.

It might be as complicated as improving the manner in which card studies (i.e., surveys about the manner in which any given patient receives care) are performed. Or it might be as simple as a text chain.

Both measures are in the works.

Click the link above to read her full piece.


In an attempt to streamline providers’ workflows, boost cost-effectiveness and improve patients’ care journey, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), introduced on Dec. 19 a rule proposal entitled “Adoption of Standards for Health Care Attachments Transactions and Electronic Signatures, and Modification to Referral Certification and Authorization Transaction Standard (CMS-0053-P).”

The rule, if finalized, would establish standards for electronic signatures used in transactions involving medical charts, X-rays and provider notes, according to a news release. It would also modify transactions consummated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and according to an estimate by the CMS, save $454 million a year in administrative costs.

As CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks LaSure said in the release:

The proposed rule further aims to streamline the healthcare-claim process by “providing structured, standardized electronic data to payers.” Additionally, it “proposes to adopt a modification to the standard for the referral certification and authorization transaction, thereby reducing potential barriers to adopting value-based payments,” which, again, will reduce administrative costs and burdens on providers.

The issue of standardizing electronic transactions has been one that has been under consideration since HIPAA was enacted by Congress, in 1996 – specifically, another CMS release said, through a codicil that called for “Administrative Simplification.” And indeed, there were attempts, in 1998 and 2005, to standardize electronic signatures. In 1998, stakeholders did not believe such technology had reached maturity, and in 2005 they could not reach a consensus on how best to use that which was available.

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, includes a requirement that the Secretary of Health & Human Services adopt standards for healthcare claim attachments.

The rule can be reviewed here, and according to the release, the CMS welcomes comments from all interested parties, particularly “patients and their families, providers, clinicians, consumer advocates, health plans, and health care professional associations.” The deadline for doing so is March 22, 2023.


The holidays are over; so now what? Everyone’s mood is bound to drop, just like the temperatures. The website asserted that seniors are especially susceptible to the winter blues, due to limited social contact, lack of sunlight and/or inactivity.

What starts as the blues could devolve into Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), an affliction that impacts some 10 million American adults and is characterized by fatigue, lethargy, weight gain and irritability (among other symptoms), and can only be treated by a trained clinician.

So the question is, how can we help seniors through this difficult time? Here are some tips:


Natural light is often the tonic for the blues, for scientific reasons: Vitamin D helps improve one’s mood. As a result, we would do well to make sure seniors’ blinds are open during the day, to let in as much sunlight as possible. And it wouldn’t hurt to venture outside on occasion, though bundling up is crucial, given their susceptibility to the cold.

Exposure to Vitamin D, albeit that which can be consumed through one’s diet, was also the subject of a University of Georgia study cited by The study drew a correlation between mental health and a deficiency of this vitamin, meaning seniors (and, well, everyone) would do well to load up on foods like eggs, seafood and the like.


Doesn’t mean they have to venture outdoors; that’s what treadmills are for. But it is crucial to move one’s bones. There is not only the physical benefit, but also the emotional one, courtesy of the endorphin release. Whether that’s through walking, biking, dancing or even gardening, it doesn’t matter. The net effect is the same


There is no shortage of ways to engage one’s creative side. Maybe it involves baking or photography. Maybe it involves knitting or scrapbooking or crafting. The point is, it activates the brain and relieves stress, including that which can result from the winter doldrums.


This is crucial not only in wintertime, but all the time. The deleterious effects of social isolation have been well-documented. And while it might be more difficult in the colder months, it is vital that we make sure seniors mingle.

Feb 2023 Huge Celebrity Guest at Our Annual After Party

The MedElite Group hosted its annual after-party following the 2023 eCap Summit on February 6th, in Miami, Florida. The eCap Summit is one of the leading healthcare conferences in the country, with this year’s event consisting of 1500 people, including some of the most influential owners and operators in the industry.
This year’s after-party featured a surprise special guest: former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal! O’Neal treated guests to a fireside chat and meet-and-greet, and we thank him for making the event one to remember.

Thank you to everyone for a memorable evening, and we are already looking forward to next year!


On Jan. 25th, Dr. Rekha Bhandari, CMO of The MedElite Group, posted to HIT Consultant the following piece covering blockchain’s implications in the healthcare sector:

Interoperability remains the Holy Grail in healthcare, the goal to which all organizations aspire. The urgency to remove silos and improve communication between various systems and organizations is paramount, as it promises to lead to greater efficiency and improved outcomes while at the same time lowering costs – and not a moment too soon, given the fact that the world’s population is aging and there is a growing shortage of clinicians.

More and more, blockchain – a secure, decentralized digital ledger most often associated with cryptocurrency – is being viewed as a pathway toward achieving interoperability, or building bridges between “data islands” – i.e., the organizations and systems where patient data might be stored (but not shared).

That’s how they were described by Sriram Bharadwaj, vice president of digital innovation and applications at Franciscan Health, a Midwestern organization, on the website Health IT Analytics. More often labeled data silos, the frequent inability to share information between them leaves clinicians in a position where they do not always have a full picture of a patient’s medical history, and thus unable to provide the best care. Blockchain can address this issue, and help create unified patient records (UPRs).

Additionally, wider availability of information would go a long way toward compiling population health metrics, a crucial element in establishing health policy and programs.

(Click the link above to read her full piece.)


Healthcare-related jobs saw a boost in employment outlook last month thanks to a broad January hiring surge. The US reportedly added nearly double the amount of jobs expected in January across all sectors, which, according to Investopedia, pushed the collective unemployment rate to its lowest point in decades.

In healthcare, employment gains were among the highest for a specific sector, ranking alongside or just behind leisure and hospitality, government, and retail trade. The sector added nearly 58,000 jobs – with many openings occurring in doctors’ offices and outpatient facilities.

This optimistic news comes amidst the ongoing healthcare fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to fuel widespread burnout, harm healthcare facility staffing, and ultimately stunt job growth rates from returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, the industry has remained resilient, ending 2022 with improved job growth.

With Q1 2023 already well underway, these recent findings stand to offer hope to a healthcare field that, in many ways, is finding its feet again en route to a brighter, more progressive future.


February is American Heart Month, an important time of year for people to take inventory of their cardiovascular health. Leading a healthy, active lifestyle and identifying key cardiovascular risk factors are key aspects of heart self-care. Here are five ways to boost your heart health this year and beyond:


There are countless benefits to establishing a healthier diet, and cardiovascular well-being is one of the most crucial. The US Department of Health and Human Services suggests eating less saturated fat, reducing sodium intake, consuming more fiber, and broadly committing to more heart-healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.


Whether it’s running, yoga, or something else, regular exercise is a great way to build and support good cardiovascular health. Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends taking part in aerobic exercise (walking, running, swimming), resistance training (weight lifting, body-resistance training), and flexibility work (stretching, balance improvement) as great avenues for boosting heart health.

When it comes to avoiding heart-related illness and trauma, prevention and foresight are crucial. This fact takes many forms – from knowing the signs of heart attack to pinpointing key risk factors and predispositions to certain diseases and conditions. Be sure to schedule annual visits with your doctor and pay attention to symptoms that may warrant further examination.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports that around 1 in every 5 deaths in the US is related to smoking – and heart disease is one of the most common forms of smoking-related death, as it significantly harms the heart and blood vessels over time. The path to quitting can be difficult, but such a commitment can yield countless health-related benefits ranging from disease prevention to improved circulation.

Today, there are countless reasons to feel stressed – from work to world events. While stress can seem innocuous to some, its potential health effects can burden many parts of the body and mind, including the cardiovascular system. Luckily, for as many stressors as there are in the world, there are almost just as many ways to combat those feelings. Broadly speaking, consider investing time in breathing and meditation practices, therapeutic healthcare options, and other lifestyle changes focused on eliminating anxiety triggers and bolstering personal interests and points of comfort.


Mar. 23 This Spring, Invest in a Happier, Healthier You

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare sector continues to grapple with countless operational deficiencies – namely, a growing nursing shortage stemming from overwhelming patient backlogs and personnel burnout, which is occurring in tandem with expedited retirements. This crisis has created a vicious cycle in which key medical professionals are vanishing when they are needed most.

In turn, many healthcare institutions are shifting their attention to increased international recruitment efforts, understanding that merely depending on traveling nurses is no longer sustainable or cost-effective. The result is that one of every six US nurses is now from outside the country (though the trend is hardly exclusive to the US).

Still, even as this approach offers temporary solutions, demand in the nursing sector remains high, and for the field to adequately address the issue in a long-term sense, it must streamline federal authorization, alleviate unnecessary protocol snags, and remain committed to ethical and empathetic recruitment processes.

(Click the link above to read her full piece.)

The Chartis Group this week announced a new facility aimed at curbing medical practitioner burnout. The Chartis Center for Burnout Solutions is a joint venture between Chartis and newly-acquired DES Health Consulting, and it will feature a staff consisting of psychologists versed in the healthcare field’s unique mental and emotional challenges.

In a press release published on February 22nd, Chartis Chief Physician Executive Dr. Roger Ray called the project an asset to helping clients “gather deep insights on their workforce, then implement proactive, data-driven solutions that improve wellness and resiliency.”

“The healthcare workforce is a vital part of our communities,” Ray said, “and addressing their health is key to helping our clients materially improve healthcare.

As more healthcare institutions grapple with the residual impact of COVID-19, many facilities continue to struggle with personnel-related deficiencies stemming from staff burnout. Such problems stand to jeopardize care quality and continuity as staff numbers dwindle and patient backlogs mount.

Chartis’s new initiative marks an important turning point in addressing this critical issue, embodying the healthcare field’s commitment to its active personnel’s health and well-being.

Spring is just around the corner, and that means better weather, longer days, and various other reasons to get excited. Amidst these pleasant diversions, it can be easy to overlook certain seasonal aspects of personal health. From allergies to dehydration, the warmer months pose several healthcare considerations to keep front-of-mind as you enjoy the nicer weather. Here are five ways to make sure your spring is healthy and happy:

If you suffer from spring-related allergies, be sure to take proactive measures to prevent and manage your worst symptoms. Stock up on medication, keep up-to-date on daily pollen counts, avoid certain symptom triggers, and schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss high-level allergy concerns.

Hydration is a must during the spring – especially as the season begins its transition into summer. This fact is especially true if you compete in outdoor sports or aerobic exercise, which can quickly sap you of adequate hydration. Try to consume at least 16 ounces of fluid before an activity or exercise, maintaining hydration as much as possible during the event and recovering with at least 16 more ounces per pound lost after.

It’s easy to get excited about warm weather after the dull, cold winter months, and this often tricks people into over-exerting themselves during activity or exercise. In turn, these individuals risk incurring overuse injuries that prevent them from enjoying the nicer conditions. This spring, be sure to remain mindful of your physical limitations as you participate in your favorite activities.

Annual doctor check-ups are an important part of preventative healthcare, and in the spring, they can ensure you are physically ready to participate in warm-weather activities. Whether you are a young athlete preparing for a spring sports season or an adult preparing for a new exercise regimen, a spring physical is a great way to take stock and achieve peace of mind.

As the days get longer and the weather stays warm at later hours, it can be easy to forgo healthy sleeping habits to maximize your seasonal enjoyment. The warmer temperatures can also make sleeping more uncomfortable without proper inside accommodations. Therefore, it is crucial to commit to a consistent sleeping routine once spring begins, adapting your sleeping environment to make the process as easy as possible.

May 23 Transform Your Workplace: Four Steps to a Healthier and Happier Team with MedElite

Welcome to the latest edition of the MedElite newsletter! In today’s issue, we’ll discuss how you can transform your workplace into a healthier and happier environment for your team.

We compiled four essential steps that can help improve employee well-being and increase productivity. From auditing occupational risks to promoting greater inclusion and diversity, we explore essential best practices for promoting employee wellness.

With MedElite‘s guidance, you can create a workplace that fosters a positive and thriving work culture. Let’s dive into these practical tips and get jumpstart your organization’s health-centered transformation today

From the CMO:

On March 31st, Dr. Rekha Bhandari, CMO of The MedElite Group, published to LinkedIn Pulse the following piece exploring the ongoing hiring crisis in healthcare, noting how the field might strike a stronger balance of care quality and cost in the future:






Balancing Quality and Cost: Addressing Healthcare’s Staffing Crisis in 2023

The early 2020s have been a turbulent period for the healthcare sector, beginning with the sudden logistical shock of COVID-19 and, lately, entering a period of relative uncertainty in several regards. While healthcare profit pools are poised to see considerable growth in the coming years, many industry institutions are currently still struggling from a personnel standpoint. Enduring patient backlogs, staff burnout, and ongoing residual health concerns are just a few factors jeopardizing these entities’ ability to remain medically effective and financially viable.

As a result, healthcare leaders continue to search for ways to mitigate costs in the name of consistent, quality care. For the industry to properly fulfill its projected growth, it must establish a stronger balance between value-based care and cost-effective staffing.

Achieving this harmony is proving difficult, and one unfortunate byproduct of this process has been a general reduction in backfilling personnel holes – even in some ERs, which are cutting certain hiring initiatives in favor of alternative staffing strategies.

(Click the link above to read her full piece.)

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently proposed new rules for the use of clinical decision support (CDS) tools and artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. The proposed rules seek to establish standardization and interoperability for CDS and AI technology to improve the quality and safety of patient care. The rules would also promote transparency in developing and implementing these tools, ensuring that patients and healthcare providers have access to accurate and up-to-date information.

One of the key aspects of the proposed rules is the incorporation of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), which would create a national infrastructure for securely sharing electronic health information. This framework would enable healthcare providers to exchange patient data more easily and efficiently, improving communication between providers and ultimately enhancing patient care.

Additionally, the rules would require CDS and AI developers to follow a standardized development process and provide clear documentation of their tools’ performance and capabilities. This change would help build trust in the technology among healthcare providers and patients alike, as they would have more information about tool design and functionality.

Overall, the new ONC rules have the potential to bolster trust, transparency, and overall efficiency in healthcare on behalf of a wider range of patients. By establishing standards for CDS and AI technology, and by promoting the secure exchange of patient information, these changes could help ensure that patients receive the best possible care – all while supporting innovation in healthcare technology at large.

Health at Work: Quick Steps to a Healthier Workplace

Workplace health is paramount in building and maintaining a proper quality of life; this fact has become increasingly clear as business culture evolves to bolster employee safety and well-being. Every year, World Day for Safety and Health at Work (April 28th) calls additional attention to this topic, highlighting how workplaces can mitigate prevailing health and safety risks, establish a stronger internal culture, and ultimately advocate for their workers in new and effective ways – actions that have only become more crucial amidst COVID-19.

That said, here are four quick ways workplace leaders can improve workplace safety and overall health for their employees:

Audit For Occupational Risks

Perhaps the most obvious way leaders can ensure a safer, healthier workplace is to take stock of existing occupational risks and deficiencies. Such changes will vary depending on the industry or line of work, but broadly speaking, leaders should make sure their work environment is clean, compliant with all relevant health codes and regulations, and conducive to workers’ safety as they navigate their daily obligations.

Foster a Stronger Workplace Culture

In addition to ensuring their workers’ physical well-being, leaders should also make necessary changes to support employee mental and emotional health – and, in many cases, this starts with general workplace culture. Cultural change is inherently a communal effort, with leaders setting a proper example in fostering cohesion, tolerance, transparency, and camaraderie.

Emphasize a More Inclusive, Aligned Hiring Process

Cultural changes should also include hiring and acquisition protocol, with leaders tailoring such efforts to inclusion and alignment in terms of appropriate staffing. New additions should not only represent a broad dedication to diversity and equity – they should also complement and augment existing team culture and functionality.

Keep Ahead of Emerging Risks

Foresight is critical to workplace safety and health; this applies to everything from regular auditing initiatives to constant insight into macro business and healthcare trends. In this sense, leaders must keep an eye on emerging risks threatening the integrity of their working environment, taking preemptive steps to ensure occupational and cultural health, reduce stress, and keep employees in the best position for success.


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