Noteworthy News

 

Medicare Penalizes Hospitals for Avoidable Injuries, Illnesses

Medicare is reducing payments to 751 hospitals because of the high rate at which their patients have suffered avoidable injuries and illnesses while in the hospital. The penalties come under Medicare’s Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, which was established by the Affordable Care Act. Among the penalized hospitals, more than half were penalized last year as well 115 are academic medical centers – about one-third of all such facilities more than one-third of all safety-net hospitals were penalized Over the years NAUH has argued that the program is unfair to urban safety-net hospitals because it fails to give any weight to [&hellip

The Continued Need for Medicaid DSH

While the Affordable Care Act has greatly increased the number of Americans with health insurance and reduced the demand for uncompensated care from hospitals, many hospitals still see significant numbers of uninsured patients. Some of those patients simply have not taken advantage of the health reform law’s creation of easier access to affordable insurance while others live in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. Hospitals that care for especially large numbers of such uninsured patients qualify for Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, commonly referred to as Medicaid DSH.  The purpose of these payments is to help these hospitals [&hellip

Medicaid Directors Meet

The National Association of Medicaid Directors held its fall conference recently outside Washington, D.C. This is an important event at which policy-makers and policy experts meet to discuss Medicaid programs, trends, challenges, and opportunities. Many of the materials used during that conference are now publicly available, including video clips from speeches by CMS Administrator Seema Verma and others and presentations on a number of subjects, including: Medicaid’s role in supporting community engagement and economic mobility busting the silos of physical and behavioral health care alternative payment models and addressing the social determinants of health early intervention in behavioral health the [&hellip

MACPAC Meets

The non-partisan legislative branch agency that advises Congress, the administration, and the states on Medicaid and CHIP-related issues met recently in Washington, D.C. The following is the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission’s own summary of its meeting. The December 2017 meeting of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission began with a brief update on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Although federal funding for the CHIP expired at the end of September, legislation to renew funding was still pending in Congress. The Commission then heard from a panel discussing state tools to manage drug utilization [&hellip

Senators Seek 340B Reprieve

A bipartisan group of senators has written to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer expressing concern about cuts in Medicare Medicare prescription drug payments to qualified providers as a result of new regulations governing the section 340B prescription drug discount program.  Those cuts have been adopted by regulation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and will take effect beginning on January 1, 2018. Under the regulation adopted by CMS, Medicare payments for prescription drugs dispensed on an outpatient basis to low-income patients will be reduced to qualified providers by $1.6 billion in the [&hellip

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