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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

Health Reform Helps Hospitals in Medicaid Expansion States

The Affordable Care Act’s enhancement of access to health insurance, whether through Medicaid expansion or the subsidization of insurance premiums for working-class and some middle-class Americans, has improved the financial health of hospitals. Especially hospitals in Medicaid expansion states. According to a new report from the Urban Institute, Using data through fiscal year 2015, this new analysis finds that the Medicaid expansion under the ACA increased Medicaid revenue by $5.0 million per hospital, reduced costs of uncompensated care by $3.2 million per hospital, and improved average operating margins by 2.5 percentage points. This study also finds that the financial benefits [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

The Medicare Payment Advisory Committee met last week in Washington, D.C. Among the issues on MedPAC’s agenda were: using premium support in Medicare regional variation in Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D spending and service use measuring low-value care in Medicare the role of Medicare policy in provider consolidation Find the issue briefs and presentations that supported MedPAC commissioners’ discussion of these issues here and find a transcript of the two days of meetings 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

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