Noteworthy News

Archive for September, 2011


Docs Fight Medicaid ER Limits

Emergency physicians are fighting a state’s plan to limit non-emergency visits to hospital ERs. The Washington state chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians is suing the state over its plan to limit Medicaid patients to three non-emergency ER visits a year.  Among the conditions the state is saying will not be considered emergencies are chest pains, breathing problems, and miscarriages. With states constantly looking for new ways to limit their Medicaid expenses, the Washington plan could be a harbinger of things to come – and a lawsuit worth monitoring for providers everywhere. Read the Seattle Times account of [&hellip

States Lobby “Supercommittee” to Spare Medicaid

State officials are urging the congressional “supercommittee” to spare their Medicaid programs from major federal spending cuts. State officials from both sides of the political aisle are increasingly working together to lobby the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reject cost-cutting proposals that would hurt their state budgets.  At the same time, many of those officials are supporting proposals to introduce new, money-saving ways to serve so-called dual eligibles – people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Read a Reuters account of the states’ efforts here

CMS Pushes Back Health Exchange Comment Deadline

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended its deadline for commenting on a proposed regulation governing health insurance exchanges (HIE) created under the Affordable Care Act.  The deadline, originally September 28, 2011, has been extended to October 31,

President’s Proposal Includes Bad News for Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

Reduced Medicare bad debt reimbursement.  Lower medical education payments.  Tighter eligibility requirements for inpatient rehab care.  Rebased Medicaid DSH payments.  These are all among the $320 billion in health care cuts proposed in the President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction released earlier this week – and together, these and other proposed cuts would be bad news for urban safety-net hospitals. In all, President Obama’s proposal calls for $248 billion in Medicare cuts over ten years and $72 billion in Medicaid cuts over a similar period of time.  The Medicaid cuts include new limits on the provider taxes that [&hellip

Supercommittee: To Act or Not to Act on Medicaid?

Would it be better for urban safety-net hospitals if Congress failed to adopt any Medicaid proposals offered by the congressional supercommittee (the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction)? If Congress rejects the committee’s proposals, a number of federal spending cuts automatically take effect immediately – but Medicaid is exempt from those cuts. Or does it make more sense for Congress to tackle Medicaid, once and for all? Read an interesting Kaiser Health News blog that addresses this issue

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