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Despite Uncertainty, States Plan to Raise Medicaid Rates

Even though events in Washington leave the future of Medicaid unclear, 44 states still intend to raise at least some of their Medicaid rates in 2018. Inpatient payments to hospitals are not among the major targets of the planned rate increases:  only 17 states plan to increase Medicaid inpatients payments while the others plan to keep those rates as they are or even reduce them. Learn more about trends in Medicaid enrollment, spending, and rates in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual survey of state Medicaid programs, the results of which can be found here

Helping With Homelessness Reduces ER Costs

Hospitals are finding that helping homeless, frequent emergency room visitors find housing can reduce their unreimbursed ER costs. Throughout the country, hospitals are investing money – in some cases, millions of dollars – in housing programs for the homeless.  What they are finding when they do so is that the stability of reliable housing – coupled with supportive social services – appears to be reducing the frequency with which such individuals appear in their ERs. Examples of such programs can be found in a number of urban areas:  Sacramento, Orlando, Portland, New York City, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Learn more [&hellip

NAUH Urges Senators to Oppose Graham-Cassidy Bill

NAUH has declared its opposition to the Graham-Cassidy proposal to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In a message to senators, NAUH stated that its opposition is based on the millions of people the bill would leave uninsured, its lack of federal protection for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, its failure to repeal massive Affordable Care Act cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments, and its proposal to reduce the limit the ability of states to levy provider taxes to finance some of their share of their Medicaid costs. NAUH’s message to senators explained that the association …welcomes proposals [&hellip

Long-Awaited 340B Guidance Withdrawn

The long-awaited “guidance” that was expected to bring potentially major changes to the federal section 340B prescription drug discount program has been withdrawn by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. The final guidance, based on proposed guidance released in mid-2015, was expected to redefine the patients, providers, and prescription drugs eligible to participate in the 340B program. The document was thought to be in the final stages of review by the Office of Management and Budget. Virtually all urban safety-net hospitals are eligible for and participate in the 340B program and it is essential [&hellip

A New Approach to Treating the Underserved

Last month Congress passed the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act. The new law calls for the U.S. Department of Health and Human services to study a New Mexico project that employs distance learning to enhance the ability of the medical community to serve medically underserved areas. Launched by the University of New Mexico in 2003, Project ECHO takes advantage of telehealth techniques to employ medical specialists who consult via videoconference with primary care providers. This approach can be employed to help patients in rural and underserved rural areas and to assist those with limited mobility who have difficulty traveling [&hellip

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