Noteworthy News

Archive for November, 2017

 

Administration Moving Away From Value Pay?

First, new Medicare programs for lump-sums payments for cardiac care and joint replacements were scaled back. Then, additional doctors were exempted from a new payment system that would have paid them more for the results they produce than for the quantity of care they provide. Next, the Department of Health and Human Services presented a document outlining a new direction for its Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. And it announced that it was seeking input from doctors on payment policy. All suggest that if the Trump administration is not moving away for paying for quality rather than quantity it [&hellip

GAO Urges Medicare Action on Opioids

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is not doing enough to oversee the prescribing of opioids to Medicare beneficiaries. Or so concludes the U.S. Government Accountability Office. According to the GAO, CMS provides guidance to Medicare drug plans “…but does not analyze data specifically on opioids.”  Also, according to the GAO, …CMS does not identify providers who may be inappropriately prescribing large amounts of opioids separately from other drugs, and does not require plan sponsors to report actions they take when they identify such providers.  As a result, CMS is lacking information that it could use to assess how [&hellip

Hospitals Improving on Medicare Value-Based Measures

U.S. hospitals continue to improve their performance under Medicare’s value-based purchasing program. In FY 2018, 57 percent of hospitals will receive Medicare bonuses from the program, up from 55 percent in FY 2017.  Bonuses are generally small but for some hospitals will be more than three percent.  Roughly half of all hospitals will experience changes in their Medicare base rates.  The worst performers will see their payments decline 1.65 percent. In FY 2018, hospitals that succeed in the program will share $1.9 billion in bonus payments.  Funding for those payments in this budget-neutral program comes from CMS withholding two percent [&hellip

CMS Shares Vision for Medicaid

Medicaid is about to undergo major changes, CMS administrator Seema Verma outlined in a news release yesterday and in a speech to state Medicaid directors. According to the news release, those changes include: re-establishing a state-federal partnership that Verma believes has become too much federal and not enough state giving states greater freedom to innovate offering new guidelines for how states can align their individual programs with federal Medicaid objectives new guidance on section 1115 waivers longer section 1115 waivers with simpler review processes CMS willingness to consider proposals to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries Medicaid and CHIP “scorecards” [&hellip

CMS Offers States New Medicaid Path for Opioid Treatment

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new guidance to states advising them on how they can use section 1115 Medicaid waivers to improve access to treatment for Medicaid recipients struggling with opioid abuse problems. According to the 14-page guidance letter from CMS to state Medicaid directors, CMS is now offering a more flexible, streamlined approach to accelerate states’ ability to respond to the national opioid crisis while enhancing states’ monitoring and reporting of the impact of any changes imsplemented through these demonstrations.  As the opioid crisis continues to raise alarm and highlight the need for better [&hellip

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