Noteworthy News

 

Medicaid in the Spotlight

State-option work requirements. A cap on federal spending. New flexibility for states to address eligibility, benefits, and provider payments. Rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility expansion. Medicaid is under the policy microscope in Washington these days in ways it has not been for many years as the new administration continues to work to put its stamp on the federal government’s major program to provide health care to low-income Americans. These and other possible changes are of great interest to the nation’s private urban safety-net hospitals because these hospitals care for so many more Medicaid and low-income patients than the [&hellip

Safety-Net Hospitals Under the Gun

Safety-net hospitals across the country – including private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals – face a new challenge:  adjusting to several cuts in the supplemental payments they receive from the federal government to help them serve the low-income residents of the communities in which they are located. First there is a $2 billion cut in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicaid DSH).  These are payments made to hospitals that serve especially large numbers of low-income patients.  These payments help safety-net hospitals with the unreimbursed expenses they incur caring for such patients.  This cut, mandated by the Affordable Care Act but twice [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission held two days of public meetings in Washington, D.C. During the sessions MedPAC, a non-partisan legislative branch agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues, addressed the following subjects: a Medicare Advantage status report a Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) status report hospital inpatient and outpatient payments physician payments ambulatory surgical center, dialysis center, and hospice payments post-acute care facility payments the hospital readmissions reduction program telehealth accountable care organizations Go here to see the issue briefs and presentations used during the meetings

A New Use for Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers?

Historically, states have pursued section 1115 Medicaid waivers as a means of expanding Medicaid eligibility. But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services now appears to be looking at granting 1115 waivers to help states reduce their Medicaid populations. According to a new report published by the Commonwealth Fund, CMS is encouraging states – both Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states – to launch demonstration programs designed to reduce enrollment in “means-tested public assistance” programs such as Medicaid.  In their efforts to cut spending and reduce Medicaid enrollment, states are expected to seek section 1115 waivers to experiment with means of [&hellip

Administration Lays Groundwork for Medicaid Work Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued guidelines for states interested in adding a work requirement component to their Medicaid programs. With nearly a dozen states applying to implement controversial Medicaid work requirements, CMS has issued a guidance letter to state Medicaid directors outlining the criteria it will use when considering such applications. The new policy does not mandate work requirements in state Medicaid programs; it only presents the parameters CMS will use when considering the applications of states wishing to impose such requirements. For  more information about the new policy, see the following resources: CMS’s news release [&hellip

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