Noteworthy News

Archive for December, 2011

 

States Cutting Medicaid

Across the country, states are reducing Medicaid benefits and cutting Medicaid payments to providers. According to a recent survey, 33 states are trying to reduce Medicaid payments to providers and another 16 hope to freeze those payments. All of this is taking place as millions are expected to become eligible for Medicaid in 2014, when the Medicaid expansion directed by the Affordable Care Act takes effect. Reductions in Medicaid benefits and payments to providers are especially damaging to urban safety-net hospitals, which care for far larger proportions of Medicaid patients than the typical American hospital.  The Obama administration reportedly is [&hellip

Senators Seek Closer Look at Graduate Medical Education

Seven U.S. senators have asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to “conduct an independent review of the governance and financing of our system of graduate medical education.” Expressing concern about the overall effectiveness of the graduate medical education (GME) system, the senators – both Republicans and Democrats – wrote that among their interests are “accreditation; reimbursement policy; using GME to better predict and assure adequate workforce supply by type of provider, specialty, and demographic mix; distribution of physicians; the role of GME in the current care of the underserved; the impact of changes in GME on access to health care; [&hellip

Urban Hospitals Could Take Hit From Medicare Readmission Penalties

Low-income patients are more likely to pose problems for hospitals seeking to avoid new Medicare penalties for readmissions, according to a new analysis performed by Kaiser Health News. According to the analysis, low-income patients require readmission more frequently than other patients because they cannot afford their prescriptions, are more likely to have other medical conditions that cause complications, fail to understand medical instructions, and cannot afford proper nutrition. As new penalties for readmissions take effect, urban hospitals will almost certainly be more vulnerable to those penalties than others because of the especially large numbers of low-income elderly patients they treat. [&hellip

Medicare Editorials

Medicare payment policy is absolutely critical to the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) and urban safety-net hospitals.  Both the Washington Post and New York Times offered Sunday editorials on Medicare. Read the Post’s editorial here and the Times’s editorial here

Medicaid Provider Taxes

A growing number of states are using provider taxes to help fund their Medicaid programs.  Such taxes have become an important means for states to raise their share of Medicaid funding during difficult economic times. At the same time, provider taxes are coming under increasing fire in Washington.  During several recent deficit reduction efforts in the past year, policy-makers have debated reducing the ability of states to use provider taxes or barring the use of such taxes entirely. The loss of provider taxes as a means of raising money would no doubt lead many states to consider reducing their commitment [&hellip

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