Noteworthy News

Archive for June, 2012


Court Affirms Reform Law, Changes Medicaid Provision

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the 2009 Affordable Care Act – including the much-disputed mandate that everyone obtain health insurance. The court’s only disagreement with the reform law was with its provision requiring states to expand Medicaid eligibility as a future condition of obtaining federal Medicaid matching funds.  The court ruled that expanding Medicaid eligibility should be optional and that states that choose not to expand their Medicaid programs would still receive the federal matching funds to which they have always been entitled. In the wake of this decision, NAUH is very concerned about the interplay between [&hellip

New Rules to Limit Hospital Collection Practices

The federal government has released new proposed rules governing how hospitals may go about collecting payments from patients who owe them money. Under the new rules, hospitals would need to do more to explain to patients their policies governing charity care and reduced-cost care.  In addition, certain aggressive collection practices – like attempting to collect from patients waiting for care in emergency rooms – would be banned. The proposed rules include provisions governing how hospitals may charge uninsured patients. The new rules could have an especially significant impact on private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals because of the especially large numbers [&hellip

NAUH Comments on Proposed Medicare Payment Regulation

The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has expressed reservations about eight aspects of the proposed Medicare inpatient prospective payment regulation governing Medicare payments for FY 2013. In a formal comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS),  NAUH addressed the proposed Medicare inpatient payment update, the new outlier threshold, Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) payments, medical education payments, the hospital readmissions reduction program, the value-based purchasing program, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), and sole-community hospitals. The proposed regulation was published in May and will take effect, as amended, in October.  NAUH [&hellip

Supreme Court Decision Has Huge Medicaid Implications

When the Supreme Court rules on the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, its decision will have enormous implications for states, low-income and uninsured people, and health care providers. Among the many features of the health care reform act on which the Supreme Court will rule is the single biggest expansion of eligibility since Medicaid was introduced in the mid-1960s. As they await the court’s decision, many states already are laying the groundwork for the addition of between 15 million and 20 million people to the nation’s Medicaid rolls. Urban safety-net hospitals, too, have a considerable stake in the court’s [&hellip

States Ramping Up Medicaid Efforts

With a partial rebound of their tax revenues now in evidence, many states are taking advantage of the breathing room they have not had in recent years to pursue changes in how they serve their Medicaid populations and pay for that care. Some states are still in cost-containment mode, cutting capitation rates and payments to hospitals and other providers, limiting ER visits and inpatient stays, introducing or expanding co-pays and Medicaid premiums, and attempting to tighten eligibility criteria. Other states, meanwhile, are seeking new ways, often with the help of federal grant money, to better integrate physical and behavioral health [&hellip

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