Noteworthy News

Archive for June, 2011

 

S-10 Survey Shows Confusion Over Uncompensated Care Reporting

Hospitals are unsure how to report their uncompensated care to Medicare – and it may end up costing them money. When the Affordable Care Act-mandated 75 percent cut in hospitals’ Medicare DSH payments takes effect in FY 2014, that cut will be offset, in part, based on how much uncompensated care hospitals provide.  While it is not yet known how Medicare will determine how much uncompensated care hospitals deliver, speculation centers on its possible use of the newly revised S-10 form in the Medicare cost report. With this in mind, NAUH conducted an online survey of private, non-profit urban safety-net [&hellip

NAUH Asks Congress to Protect Urban Safety-Net Hospitals During Deficit Reduction Negotiations

NAUH has written to Congress to ask members to protect urban safety-net hospitals during deficit reduction negotiations and in any legislation that emerges from those negotiations. In a message to all members of Congress, NAUH noted that private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals already face the prospect of billions of dollars in cuts in the coming years, including enormous Medicare DSH and Medicaid DSH cuts.  NAUH noted that the negotiations appear to be discussing additional Medicare and Medicaid DSH cuts, cuts in Medicare bad debt reimbursement, and cuts in indirect medical education (IME) and graduate medical education (GME) payments. NAUH asked [&hellip

NAUH WRITES TO CMS ABOUT PROPOSED MEDICARE INPATIENT REGULATION

NAUH has submitted formal comments to CMS about its proposed Medicare inpatient payment system regulation for FY 2012. While expressing support for several aspects of the proposed regulation, NAUH objected strenuously to CMS’s proposal to implement a 3.15 percent permanent reduction in inpatient payments because of alleged “upcoding” by hospitals under Medicare’s MS-DRG system.  NAUH also objected to CMS’s proposal to raise the Medicare outlier threshold in FY 2012.  According to NAUH, CMS should reduce the threshold, not raise it, because Medicare consistently fails to meet Congress’s standard for outlier spending. NAUH’s letter also addressed changes in the Medicare area [&hellip

IRS Gives Non-Profit Hospitals a Break on Reporting Requirements

The IRS will be giving non-profit hospitals a break on their tax year 2010 reporting.  Schedule H of IRS Form 990 for hospitals’ tax filing includes a new Part V, Section B that addresses requirements for non-profit hospitals that were included in the Affordable Care Act.  Those requirements address hospital financial assistance policies, community health needs assessments, charges for care, and billing and collection practices.  According to a June 9 IRS announcement, the agency “has decided to make the entire Part V.B optional for the 2010 tax year to give the hospital community more time to familiarize itself with the [&hellip

As currently envisioned by the federal government, Medicare ACOs may not be right for urban safety-net hospitals

Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, are a promising but increasingly controversial part of the Affordable Care Act.  In early April, CMS issued a proposed regulation governing its Medicare Shared Savings Program; this was the long-awaited ACO regulation.  NAUH has sent CMS extensive comments regarding the proposed regulation. In this letter, NAUH cites obstacles to urban safety-net hospital participation, including the lack of resources most of these hospitals suffer and the imbalance between the potential rewards the program offers and the risks they would face.  NAUH also notes that the program fails to take into account the potentially substantial Medicaid  savings [&hellip

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