Noteworthy News

Archive for June, 2012


Illinois Adopts Massive Medicaid Cuts

Reduced payments to hospitals and doctors, stricter eligibility criteria, the elimination of prescription drug discounts for low-income seniors, and reduced dental benefits are among the payment and service reductions included in a $1.6 billion cut in Illinois’s Medicaid program. Hundreds of thousands of the state’s residents are expected to lose their Medicaid eligibility when the cuts take effect on July 1. Read more about them in this Chicago Tribune article

NAUH’s June 2012 Newsletter

Read about Medicare’s plans for paying hospitals for inpatient care in FY 2013 – both what its proposed inpatient prospective payment system regulation says and what it does not say – in the June 2012 edition of NAUH Update, the National Association of Urban Hospital’s newsletter. Among the provisions in that proposed regulation is a new hospital readmissions reduction program.  While this new program would judge all hospitals according to a single set of criteria, the American Heart Association recently shared research that found that hospital readmission rates are more closely tied to socioeconomic factors and access-to-care issues than they [&hellip

Safety-Net Hospitals Await Medicaid DSH Cuts

Across the country, safety-net hospitals are bracing for major cuts in their Medicaid disproportionate share (DSH) payments starting in FY 2014, when a provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring such cuts takes effect. Under the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured patients hospitals treat is expected to decline as health insurance becomes more affordable and accessible, theoretically reducing hospitals’ need for Medicaid DSH revenue.  Under the reform law, federal spending on Medicaid DSH will be slashed $18 billion over six years. Historically, Medicaid DSH has been viewed as a program to help hospitals that treat especially large numbers [&hellip

Forum on Safety-Net Hospitals

Health care reform presents a number of challenges to safety-net hospitals.  Recently, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Commonwealth Fund hosted a forum, “The Health of Safety-Net Hospitals:  How are They Faring?  What’s the Outlook?” to discuss these challenges. Among the issues addressed in the forum were the financial challenges safety-net hospitals face in the coming years as a result of health care reform and implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the response of safety-net hospitals to these challenges; the special challenges safety-net hospitals face as a result of social, economic, and environmental conditions in the communities they serve; [&hellip

Working to Contain Medicaid Costs

Policy experts and providers have long known that small numbers of Medicaid recipients account for significant proportions of overall Medicaid costs. In a new report, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease notes the opportunity this presents for policy-makers to develop approaches that bend the Medicaid cost curve by implementing programs that reduce the use of hospital emergency rooms and inpatient services among patients with chronic medical conditions. Containing these costs, the report concludes, will require better coordination of care, better integration of care, and supportive public policy that encourages states to test new approaches. Learn more about how states and [&hellip

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