Noteworthy News

Archive for November, 2011


Medicaid Helps Fuel State Budget Woes

The end of federal stimulus money, rising health care costs, and growing enrollments are causing Medicaid costs to rise much faster than state revenues, creating major financial problems for many states. While states face other financial pressures – most notably demand for assistance from local governments in the face of declining property tax revenue – Medicaid remains the biggest financial challenge states currently face. These are the findings of a survey conducted for the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers. This issue is of particular concern to urban safety-net hospitals, which serve more Medicaid patients [&hellip

NAUH Study Projects Job Loss Associated With Medicare Cuts

Impending and proposed Medicare spending cuts could lead to massive job losses in American hospitals. A new National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) study – “Future Medicare Cuts and Hospital Job Losses” – finds that hospitals could lose as many as 87,358 direct jobs because of Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) and other Medicare spending cuts associated with implementation of the Affordable Care Act and another 46,103 hospital jobs if additional Medicare cuts currently under consideration in Congress – the elimination of Medicare bad debt reimbursement and a 60 percent cut in Medicare indirect medical education payments (Medicare IME) – [&hellip

Supercommittee Failure Means Health Care Cuts

The failure of the congressional supercommittee to propose deficit reduction measures will lead directly to cuts in federal health care spending – cuts that will especially hurt urban safety-net hospitals. Beginning in 2013, all Medicare payments to providers will fall two percent.  Other areas likely to be cut include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), public health programs, HIV/AIDS funding, disease prevention efforts, and more. This year’s Budget Control Act mandated across-the-board spending cuts if Congress failed to adopt $1.2 trillion worth of deficit reduction measures by the end of the year. That same law exempts Medicaid from any of [&hellip

Supercommittee Failure Doesn’t End Threats to Medicare, Medicaid

The end of the congressional supercommittee does not spell the end of the threat to Medicare and Medicaid – and to urban safety-net hospitals. In fact, it may only be a brief pause. Congress and the administration will continue to wrestle with the budget deficit, and as they do, they will continue to look to Medicare and Medicaid as potential sources of savings.  Meanwhile, the spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act if the supercommittee failed are scheduled to take effect even as some in Congress are already looking to repeal them. Read more about the Medicare and Medicaid [&hellip

Targeting Medicaid Resources During Economic Downturns

As urban safety-net hospitals understand more than most, when the economy goes south, Medicaid enrollment goes north.  Congress, too, understands this, as demonstrated by its inclusion of extra Medicaid funding for states in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). But were those resources targeted appropriately?  Did they get to where they were needed most? An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded that while helpful, the additional federal money was not necessarily targeted to states where the problem was greatest. Congress asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to find a better way, and in response, the GAO [&hellip

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