Noteworthy News

Archive for February, 2013

 

States Can Cut Medicaid Payments, Administration Says

States are free to reduce payments to providers to keep down their Medicaid costs, the Obama administration has told a court considering a challenge to a 10 percent cut in provider payments by California’s Medicaid program. The administration weighed in on this subject in a legal brief submitted in a court case that will decide whether California can reduce its Medicaid payments to providers. If California’s defense of its Medicaid payment cuts proves successful, it could provide a blueprint for other states to reduce payments at a time when most states are preparing for a significant expansion of their Medicaid [&hellip

NAUH Members Cited for Excellence

The National Association of Urban Hospitals extends its congratulations to member hospitals Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, MA) and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (Philadelphia) for being named among the top 100 hospitals in the country in Truven Health Analytics’ annual rating of U.S. hospitals. For this rating, hospitals are evaluated on a combination of operational, financial, and clinical considerations. Congratulations Baystate and Penn Presbyterian!

Sequestration 101

Unless Congress and the President act in the next week, a process called “sequestration” – a product of the federal Budget Control Act of 2011 – will take effect in which significant cuts in federal spending will automatically and immediately take effect. Significantly, from the perspective of hospitals, all Medicare payments to hospitals will be cut two percent.  (Medicaid is not affected by sequestration).  Such a cut would be especially damaging to the nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals. But what is sequestration and what are its implications for Medicare and those who depend on Medicare to pay for their [&hellip

Communication and Medicare Readmissions

With all of the focus on hospital readmissions now that Medicare is penalizing hospitals for what it considers excessive readmissions of elderly patients, a new study suggests a simple reason for some of those readmissions:  poor communication. The study – actually, more of a small, informal survey – found that readmissions can often be traced to physicians failing to give clear instructions and failing to ensure that patients have the ability to carry out those instructions and patients failing to comprehend instructions and to carry out even some of those they do understand. The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) [&hellip

340B Program Draws Congressional Attention

A federal program that provides discounts on prescription drugs to hospitals and other providers that serve low-income patients is drawing new attention from members of Congress. The federal 340B prescription drug pricing program requires pharmaceutical companies to offer discounts to hospitals and clinics that serve low-income and uninsured patients.  The pharmaceutical industry is now charging that providers are benefiting financially from the program, earning profits when they are reimbursed by Medicare and other insurers for more than the cost of the discounted drugs the pharmaceutical companies sell them. Use of the 340B program has grown greatly, the pharmaceutical industry notes, [&hellip

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