Noteworthy News

Archive for February, 2012


New Report Explores “Medical Homes”

Greater use of “medical homes” appears to be one of the centerpiece strategies of health care reform.  A new approach to primary care, its proponents believe it offers the promise of both better and more efficient care. Preparing the health care system to embrace and work effectively with medical homes, however, is a challenge.  A new Commonwealth Fund report, Guiding Transformation:  How Medical Practices Can Become Patients-Centered Medical Homes, examines these challenges and addresses how they can be overcome.  Read a summary of that report and download the entire document here

Insurers Turn Attention to the Chronically Ill

Private health insurers are now paying more attention to relatively small numbers of patients who consume large amounts of health care services. Traditionally, public sector insurers, most notably Medicaid programs, have invested greater time and effort in managing the care of chronically ill patients, but as the Affordable Care Act is implemented, this is now a concern for private insurers as well.  Under health care reform, insurers will neither be able to charge higher premiums for people with chronic medical conditions nor deny them coverage, so they are developing new ways to help manage the care of such individuals more [&hellip

CMS Unveils Stage 2 “Meaningful Use” Criteria

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its proposed regulation presenting the stage two requirements for achieving “meaningful use” of health care information technology that providers will have to meet to receive special, supplemental Medicare and Medicaid funding to support the development of their health care IT capabilities.  This funding was created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). While most hospitals should qualify for supplemental Medicare funding, many will not meet the baseline criteria for receiving supplemental Medicaid funds.  NAUH believes that most urban safety-net hospitals will qualify for the Medicaid funding as [&hellip

Growth in Health Care Costs Slows in Massachusetts

Health care costs in Massachusetts are rising at only about the same rate as the state’s economic growth as a whole. Why?  Does it have anything to do with the state’s health care reform? Kaiser Health News posed these questions to four leading health care economists.  Learn what they think in “Can Massachusetts Lead the Way on Controlling Health Care Costs?” a Kaiser Health News report

New Mexico Contemplating Medicaid Changes

The state of New Mexico is considering revamping its Medicaid program to manage care more effectively, reduce avoidable hospital readmissions and unnecessary ER use, and make greater use of managed care for Native Americans. The plan calls for no changes in eligibility, benefits, or payments to providers. The newspaper The New Mexican noted that “the loss of money to hospitals for re-admitting patients would likely only affect urban facilities at first, state officials said.” New Mexico’s Medicaid program currently serves 560,000 beneficiaries. To learn more about the New Mexico proposal, read an article in The New Mexican here and download [&hellip

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