Noteworthy News

Archive for June, 2015

 

Medicaid Expansion Not Significantly Improving Hospital Financial Health

While the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has helped millions of Americans gain health insurance, it has not translated (so far) into improved financial health for the hospitals providing those Medicaid services. This is the conclusion drawn recently by Moody’s Investor Services, the credit-rating company. According to Moody’s, hospital financial performance has improved across the board since implementation of the Affordable Care Act but has not improved more in states that expanded their Medicaid programs than it has in states that chose not to expand Medicaid eligibility. As a result, hospital operating margins in states that have expanded their Medicaid [&hellip

30-Day Readmission Standard Flawed, Study Suggests

A new study raises the possibility that Medicare’s policy of penalizing hospitals that readmit patients within 30 days of their discharge may be flawed. According to a new report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, risk factors for readmission often change within those 30 days. In addition, patients with chronic medical problems are more likely to need readmission. Even the time of day of discharge appears to affect patients’ likelihood of readmission, with those discharged between 8 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. less likely to be readmitted. The study also found that social determinants and insurance status also increase the likelihood [&hellip

But Does Coverage Mean Access?

More than 12 million people have joined the Medicaid rolls in the U.S. since the Affordable Care Act’s voluntary expansion of Medicaid eligibility began in January of 2014. Historically, however, many Medicaid patients have had a difficult time finding doctors willing to serve them because in many states, Medicaid payments are so low that doctors choose not to participate in the program. Is that still the case today? What challenges do Medicaid patients face when they need medical care? In a new article titled “You’ve Got Medicaid – Why Can’t You See the Doctor?”, U.S. News & World Report takes [&hellip

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