Noteworthy News

Archive for health care reform


States to Have New Reform Tool

Come 2017, states will have a new tool at their disposal through which to pursue health care reform. At that time, states will be able to seek new state innovation waivers from the federal government that will enable them to change covered benefits and insurance subsidies; replace health insurance exchanges; modify the individual or employer mandate; and do other things so long as their efforts ensure continued access to comprehensive and affordable health insurance. The waivers, created under the Affordable Care Act, are good for five years. The Commonwealth Fund has published an issue brief that explains the section of [&hellip

Looking at Payment and Delivery System Reform

Last fall the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation brought together grant recipients and national experts to talk about health care payment and delivery system reform design and implementation issues. Now, the foundation has released a brief paper that addresses what the experts consider to be the three greatest challenges in the pursuit of such reform: Aligning alternative payments with clinician compensation Considering social determinants of health in payment reform models Repurposing hospital resources The paper also takes a look at whether health care payments should be subject to risk adjustment to reflect the social and economic barriers to better health and [&hellip

NAUH Publishes New Study

The National Association of Urban Hospitals today released a new study that examines thefinancial impact on urban safety-net hospitals of health care reform and other cuts in Medicare payments on urban safety-net hospitals. The study, The Disproportionate Impact of Medicare Cuts and Health Care Reform on Urban Safety-Net Hospitals, shows that these cuts – in Medicare disproportionate share payments (Medicare DSH), from productivity adjustments and documentation and coding adjustments, in bad debt reimbursement, in hospital readmissions reduction program penalties, and Medicare sequestration cuts – are taking a significant financial toll on urban safety-net hospitals.  The study documents both the disproportionate [&hellip

Readmissions and Quality: Are They Related?

A new study casts doubt on a major principle underlying a good deal of recent federal health care policy. That principle holds that hospitals that have lower rates of 30-day readmissions of Medicare patients provide better, more economical care than those with higher readmission rates. But that may not be true. According to an examination of the performance of safety-net hospitals in California published in the journal Health Affairs, those safety-net hospitals are more likely than others to be penalized by Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction and value-based purchasing programs. At the same time, however, these same hospitals had lower 30-day, [&hellip

Protect Hospitals From Medicare DSH Cuts, NAUH Asks Congress

Protect urban safety-net hospitals from Medicare DSH cuts by delaying those cuts, the National Association of Urban Hospitals asked Congress yesterday. In a message to every member of Congress, NAUH observed that the Affordable Care Act-mandated requirement to reduce Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH) in anticipation of more people getting health insurance and hospitals providing less care to the uninsured was thrown off balance by the decision of many states not to expand their Medicaid programs in the wake of the Supreme Court decision making that expansion optional. Private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals are already struggling to accommodate [&hellip

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