Noteworthy News

Archive for May, 2017

 

New Book Addresses Social Risk Factors in Medicare

In the new book Accounting for Social Risk Factors in Medicare Payment, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine addresses the question of what social risk factors might be worth considering in Medicare value-based payment programs and how those risk factors might be reflected in value-based payments. The book, the culmination of a five-part NASEM process, focuses on five social risk factors: socio-economic position race, ethnicity, and cultural context gender social relationships residential and community context Addressing such factors in Medicare value-based payments, the book finds, can help achieve four important goals: reduce disparities in access, quality, and outcomes [&hellip

Medicare’s Costs Can Be High for Low-Income Beneficiaries

Despite enjoying Medicare coverage, low-income seniors can still spend a significant portion of their limited income on costs Medicare does not cover. According to a new study published by the Commonwealth Fund, more than 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries spend at least 20 percent of their income on health care – on things like premiums, cost-sharing, prescriptions, and dental and vision care, long-term care, and other services not covered by the federal program.  These costs pose a problem for many because nearly half of all Medicare participants have incomes below the federal poverty level, which is slightly less than $24,000 [&hellip

Hospital Uncompensated Care Down

As was surely expected, reforms introduced through implementation of the Affordable Care Act have driven down uncompensated care costs for many hospitals. How much? A new study published by the Commonwealth Fund offers the following findings: uncompensated care declines in expansion states are substantial relative to profit margins; for every dollar of uncompensated care costs hospitals in expansion states had in 2013, the Affordable Care Act erased 41 cents by 2015; and Medicaid expansion reduced uncompensated care burdens for safety-net hospitals that are not made whole by Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH). Learn more, including how the decline in [&hellip

More Insured Didn’t Affect Access

When the Affordable Care Act was debated and then passed, some observers questioned whether the health care system had enough providers to care for the millions of additional people who would be gaining coverage through the reform law.  In particular, some worried that those who already had insurance would find their access to care reduced because of the new, increased demand for care among the newly insured. Those fears appear to have been groundless.  In a new study published in the journal Health Affairs, researchers concluded that  …we found no consistent evidence that increases in the proportion of adults with [&hellip

MACPAC Meets

Last week the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met in Washington, D.C.  The agency performs policy and data analysis and offers recommendations to Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the states. During two days of meetings, MACPAC commissioners received the following presentations: Federal CHIP Funding Update: When Will States Exhaust Their Allotments? Review of June Report Chapter: Program Integrity in Medicaid Managed Care Review of June Report Chapter: Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic Medicare Savings Program: Eligible But Not Enrolled Medicaid Reform: Implications of Proposed Legislation Preliminary Findings From Evaluations of Medicaid Expansions Under Section [&hellip

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