Noteworthy News

Archive for October, 2015

 

Patient-Centered Medical Homes Project Produces Mixed Results

A patient-centered medical homes program in Colorado reduced participants’ emergency room visits and hospital admissions. Yet it did not saving money. The program, involving 98,000 patients and 15 medical practices, reduced emergency room visits 9.3 percent from a baseline over three years and reduced hospital admissions for patients with more than two illnesses more than 10 percent over the same period of time. But it also saw a decline in participants’ primary care physician visits and mixed results for a number of quality indicators. Learn more about the program and the results it produced in this Commonwealth Fund report

One State’s Battle With DSH Cuts

Hospitals across the country are concerned about the degree to which the Affordable Care Act is reducing the Medicare disproportionate share hospital (Medicare DSH) payments that help underwrite the cost of the care they provide to uninsured patients. Those in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs are now receiving payments for at least some of those formerly uninsured patients because those individuals are now enrolled in Medicaid. In states that did not expand their Medicaid programs, however, hospitals face challenges coming from two directions: reduced Medicare DSH payments without the benefit of some of those uninsured patients enrolling in [&hellip

Medicare Cuts May be Part of Budget Deal

The agreement between the White House and congressional negotiators on a two-year budget deal and an increase in the federal debt ceiling will be paid for in part with reductions in Medicare payments. Under the reported agreement, negotiators agreed to increase federal spending $80 billion over two years, and that increase will almost certainly need to be offset by spending cuts. The New York Times has reported that “The Medicare savings would come from cuts in payments to doctors and other health care providers.” The budget agreement reportedly did not include specific spending cuts beyond extension of the current two [&hellip

Responding to Budget Deal, NAUH Urges Congress Not to Cut Medicare Payments

In the wake of the agreement between the White House and congressional leaders on a two-year budget deal and an increase in the federal debt ceiling, the National Association of Urban Hospitals has written to Congress asking members not to pay for the agreement with reductions in Medicare payments to hospitals. As part of the agreement, negotiators agreed to raise federal spending $80 billion over the next two years. That spending increase will almost certainly need to be offset with corresponding spending cuts, and amid reports that Medicare cuts will be among those reductions, NAUH has asked members of Congress [&hellip

Are Medicare ACOs Living Up to the Hype?

Not yet. At least that’s the conclusion to be drawn based on a report recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). According to a CMS fact sheet, …the 20 ACOs [accountable care organizations]in the Pioneer ACO Model and 333 Medicare Shared Shavings Program ACOs generated more than $411 million in total savings in 2014, which includes all ACOs’ savings and losses. At the same time, 97 ACOs qualified for shared savings payments of more than $422 million by meeting quality standards and their savings threshold. The results also show that ACOs with more experience in the [&hellip

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