Noteworthy News

Archive for January, 2017

 

Implications of ACA Repeal for Medicaid

How might repeal of the Affordable Care Act affect Medicaid? Medicaid beneficiaries? States and providers? Because they care for so many Medicaid patients, including many who enrolled in Medicaid as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the answers to these questions are of special importance to the nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals. These issues and more are considered in the new Commonwealth Fund report “Medicaid’s Future: What Might ACA Repeal Mean?” Find it here

MedPAC Meets

Last week the independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues met for two days in Washington, D.C. Among the issues on the agenda of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission were: payments for hospital inpatient and outpatient services, ambulatory surgery centers, dialysis facilities, and hospice care payments for post-acute-care providers a unified payment system for post-acute-care services Medicare Advantage Medicare Part B and Part D payments Medicare-covered primary care services implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 Go here for links to the issue briefs and presentations used at the MedPAC meeting and for a [&hellip

Urban Hospitals in ACOS Better at Reducing Some Readmissions Rates

A new study has found that hospitals located in metropolitan areas that participate in accountable care organizations are doing a better job than other hospitals of reducing 30-day readmissions rates for Medicare patients who originally were discharged into skilled nursing facilities. It appears this improved performance can be attributed to two things: better discharge planning and better coordination with the skilled nursing facilities. To learn more go here to see the study “ACO-Affiliated Hospitals Reduced Rehospitalizations from Skilled Nursing Facilities Faster Than Other Hospitals.”

ACOs Serving High Proportions of Racial and Ethnic Minorities Lag in Quality Performance

Accountable care organizations that serve large numbers of minority patients score lower on Medicare quality measures than other ACOs, a new study has found. According to the study, ACOs serving larger numbers of minority patients perform worse than other ACOs on 25 of 44 Medicare performance measures – and that performance does not improve over time. The study also pointed out that the minority patients served by ACOs are generally poorer and sicker than other ACO participants. These are the very patients typically served in especially large numbers by urban safety-net hospitals. Learn more about these and other findings in [&hellip

Bundled Payments Reduce Hip, Knee Replacement Costs

Medicare’s bundled payment program for knee and hip replacements is reducing the cost of such treatments, a study has found. According to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine, the Medicare bundled payment program, known as the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program, has driven down the cost of the those joint replacements more than 20 percent or $5500 a case. Most of the savings have been derived through a significant decrease in the use of post-acute care, according to the study. This decrease occurred, moreover, at a time when Medicare spending on joint replacement rose five percent. Learn more from [&hellip

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