Noteworthy News

Archive for Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

 

Bill Seeks to Block 340B Cut

Legislation introduced in Congress would block the attempt by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to slash $1.6 billion in annual payments to hospitals for prescription drugs for outpatients prescribed through the federal section 340B prescription drug discount program. Earlier this month CMS finalized its plan to reduce controversial 340B payments and shift $1.6 billion in savings into Medicare provider payments.  If adopted, the bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) would prevent the reduction of 340B payments, which are made to hospitals that care for especially large proportions of low-income patients. The 340B [&hellip

CMS Guidance on MCO Payments is Good News for Safety-net Hospitals

New guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the use of directing supplemental Medicaid resources to hospitals through Medicaid managed care organizations is good news for many urban safety-net hospitals across the country. In many states, new revenue generated by state hospital taxes (assessments) are routed through the state’s Medicaid managed care plans.  Recently, however, it has not been clear whether the federal government would permit continued use of this mechanism. An early November bulletin from CMS, however, clarifies that this approach is still permissible, which is good news for many urban safety-net hospitals located in states [&hellip

A Different Perspective on Telehealth

Residents of urban areas often have the same access-to-care problems as rural residents, although the latter receive far more attention. So concludes a new report published on the Health Affairs Blog. According to the analysis, urban and rural residents have similar access problems – and among urban residents, the problems in some instances are even greater.  One distinction: …while rural America has access problems because there are not enough doctors, urban America has access problems because there are not enough appointments. One potential solution to this problem, the report suggests, is focusing on access instead of geography and making telehealth [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

The independent agency that advises Congress and the administration on Medicare payment policies met last week in Washington, D.C. Among the issues discussed at the meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission were: the merit-based incentive payment system telehealth a redesign of Medicare’s hospital value incentive program Many of the issues MedPAC addresses – including those noted above – are very important to urban safety-net hospitals. Find the presentations and issue briefs for these subjects and others discussed at the MedPAC meeting here, on MedPAC’s web site

340B Changes Would Hurt Hospital Margins

Proposed changes in the federal section 340B prescription drug discount program would hurt hospital margins. So says Moody’s Investors Service, the credit rating agency. According to Moody’s, the margins of non-profit hospitals are already under pressure because revenue increases are not keeping pace with prescription drug costs.  Reductions of payments under the 340B program recently proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would make a challenging situation worse, Moody’s speculates. Under the 340B program, eligible hospitals purchase prescription drugs at a discount, supply them to eligible outpatients, and use the savings they gain to provide additional services and [&hellip

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