Noteworthy News

Archive for December, 2017

 

House to Set Sights on Medicare, Medicaid Cuts in 2018

The House of Representatives will pursue entitlement spending cuts next year, House Speaker Paul Ryan recently explained on a radio program. That means Medicare, Medicaid, and possibly even Social Security. Ryan said that We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit… Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements — because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking. Medicare and Medicaid cuts would be very harmful to the nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals. [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. last week. Among the issues on the agenda of the independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues were: payment adequacy for physicians and other health professional services An alternative to the merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) payment adequacy for hospital inpatient and outpatient services payment adequacy for ambulatory surgical center services the status of the Medicare Advantage program Find links to issue briefs on these subjects and the presentations offered at the meeting by going here, to the MedPAC web site

NAUH Asks Congress to Block 340B and Medicaid DSH Cuts

Pass legislation blocking cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH) and Medicare payments made to qualified providers for prescription drugs under the section 340B prescription drug discount program, NAUH has asked the leaders of the House and Senate. The 340B cut in question was adopted recently by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in a Medicare new regulation adopted in the fall.  The Medicaid DSH cut is mandated by the Affordable Care Act but has twice been delayed by Congress. See NAUH’s letter to congressional leaders here

ED Myths Exposed

The uninsured do not use emergency rooms more than the insured. And the expansion of health insurance coverage increases rather than decreases ER use. So concludes the new Health Affairs study “The Uninsured Do Not Use the Emergency Department More – They Use Other Care Less.”  Find the study here

New Help With Addressing Low-Income Patients’ Social Services Needs?

One of the long-time barriers to states and hospitals addressing low-income patients’ social services needs and the social determinants of health has been a lack of resources for such assistance.  Medicaid, in particular, has not been a financial participant in such efforts. But that may be changing. The new federal Medicaid managed care regulation, updated nearly two years ago, allows for the inclusion of some non-clinical services as covered Medicaid services and for funding for such services to be folded into Medicaid managed care plans’ capitation rates and medical loss ratios.  The updated regulation also encourages greater coordination of care [&hellip

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