Legislative Watch 9 On March 29, Sen. McConnell (R-Ky) introduced S. 1658 (Family Choice in Long Term Care Act), a bill to ensure group insurance portability and provide a number of t a x incentives for families and older adults to encourage financing of their own long-term care insurance plans. The American Health Care Association has endorsed the bill. S. 1658 would give more Americans access to long-term care insurance and significantly reduce state and federal Medicaid expenditures for long-term care in the future.
Device Offers Nonsurgical Alternative for Female Stress Urinary Incontinence 9 Approximately 5.4 million women in the United States have stress urinary incontinence. Options for managing the incontinence range from surgery to use of adult diapers. Despite its widespread incidence, 50% to 75% of people with incontinence fail to seek medical care. A new device controls urine loss and improves the quality of life for many women with stress urinary incontinence. The discreet, disposable, self-administered device controis urine leakage significantly better than any other nonsurgical method, and its success rate compares favorably with that of surgical intervention without the risks of surgery. The device is designed to
GERIATRIC NURSING Volume 17, Number 4
immediately prevent urine loss on insertion into the urethra. The insert is a single-use device about one fifth the size of a tampon. It is inserted by the patient into the urethra, and the small balloon tip is inflated with a removable, reusable applicator. The balloon rests at the bladder neck, immediately preventing the flow of urine. When the patient wants to void, she pulls ,an attached string, which deflates the balloon, and then removes and disposes of the device. The 1-year experience with the insert is documented in the June 1996 edition of the Journal of Endourology. The device, already in use in England, Germany, Scandinavia, and The Netherlands, is currently an investigational device in the United States.
HCFA News 9 The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has announced that California Physicians' Service (Blue Shield of California) plans not to renew its claims processing contract in early 1997. The HCFA has selected the National Heritage Insurance Company (NHIC) to process Part B Medicare claims. Blue Shield of California has agreed to remain a contractor until the new contractor assumes the workload early next year. VVVV
HCFA has selected 25 managed care plans in eight cities and five rural areas as final candidates in the
New Medicare Choices demonstration. Most of the plans are located in market areas that currently have limited Medicare enrollment in managed care. Medicare Choices is designed to give Medicare beneficiaries expanded choices among types of managed care plans and test new ways to pay for managed care.
New Standards for Restraint and Seclusion 9 New standards for restraint and seclusion for 1996 have been approved by OBRA for implementation. The new standards help health care organizations focus on the patient and the associated risk of use versus nonuse of restraint and seclusion. At times, restraint and seclusion are essential measures to protect patients from harming themselves, other patients, or staff. At other times, such measures as preventive and alternative interventions can be used to reduce the need for restraint and seclusion. The standards address processes and activities that: 9 Identify areas of organization leadership and action that will limit use to clinically justified situations 9 Guide an organization's efforts to prevent the need to restrain or seclude patients 9 Provide a patient-focused framework to guide any actual use of restraint or seclusion through clinical protocols or individual orders