Noteworthy News

Archive for November, 2014

 

MedPAC Meets, Addresses Hospital Issues

The independent federal agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues met last week in Washington and addressed a number of issues of importance to hospitals. Among the issues discussed by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) were: beneficiary access to hospital care and how service volume affects hospital costs hospital short stay policy issues per beneficiary payment for primary care the 340B drug pricing program site-neutral payments for selected conditions treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities and skilled nursing homes payment policies to promote the use of services based on clinical evidence Find links to the presentations offered by MedPAC [&hellip

Study Suggests Key to Avoiding Medicare Readmissions

Researchers from the Columbia Business School believe they have identified the key to reducing Medicare readmissions. Keep patients in the hospital for one more day. The Columbia study “Should Hospitals Keep Their Patients Longer?  The Role of Inpatient and Outpatient Care in Reducing Readmissions” was based on an analysis of hospital records for 6.6 million patients between 2008 and 2011. The study compared the value of one additional day of hospitalization to that of better post-discharge management of patient care.  It found virtually no difference between the two types of additional interventions for heart failure patients but a significant difference [&hellip

No-Hospitalization Group Plans To Be Banned

Companies will no longer be able to provide their employees with group health insurance plans that do not cover inpatient hospitalization. This news came in a recent notice published by the Internal Revenue Service. Recently, many large employers with lower-wage workers were purchasing low-cost health insurance that does not cover hospitalization.  The IRS, however, has ruled that such plans do not meet the Affordable Care Act’s minimum value threshold.  Companies were only able to purchase such plans because they are not required meet the reform law’s essential health benefits package requirement, which applies only to plans offered to individuals on [&hellip

Suit Against Medicare Rate Cut Continues

Hospital groups are suing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) over the 0.2 percent rate cut in Medicare inpatient payments during the 2014 fiscal year. According to the hospital groups, CMS failed to provide a rationale for the rate cut and denied interested parties access to the data and analysis underlying its rate cut decision. At the heart of the cut was CMS’s expectation that implementation of Medicare’s controversial “two-midnight rule” would result in an increase in admissions.  The rule was never fully implemented. CMS has asked the court to dismiss the suit. Learn more about the suit [&hellip

MACPAC Not Yet Sold on Continuing Medicaid Primary Care Pay Increase

The independent federal agency that advises Congress on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program is not ready to endorse continuing the Affordable Care Act’s two-year increase in Medicaid primary care fees as a means of encouraging more doctors to serve Medicaid patients. At its October 30-31 public meeting in Washington, D.C., the staff of the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) reported that it has begun looking into the effectiveness of the temporary pay increase in persuading more doctors to care for Medicaid recipients.  Among its preliminary findings are that The payment increase had [&hellip

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