Noteworthy News

Archive for July, 2012


New Program to Link Patient Satisfaction, Medicare Payments

A new federal initiative will use patient satisfaction to help determine Medicare payments to hospitals. Under the new value-based purchasing program it will launch in October, Medicare will use the results of patient responses to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey (HCAHPS) as a factor in determining its payments to hospitals. As reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, not everyone believes there is a tangible link between patient satisfaction and the quality of care a hospital provides – and not everyone believes the HCAHPS survey accurately measures either. In addition, a recent article in the Archives of [&hellip

Court Ruling Didn’t Affect “Maintenance-of-Effort” Requirement

The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act only held that the law could not compel states to expand their Medicaid program or risk all of their federal Medicaid funding; it did not address the reform law’s maintenance-of-effort requirement, which is in effect until 2014. So says the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in a July 16 memo prepared for several members of Congress. According to CRS, the Supreme Court viewed the Medicaid expansion as a new program and its decision addressed only that new program.  The maintenance-of-effort requirement, which prohibits states from tightening their Medicaid eligibility criteria before 2014, [&hellip

DSH and the Affordable Care Act

The National Health Law Program has prepared a useful Q&A about how the Affordable Care Act and its Medicaid expansion will affect Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) and Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) payments, both of which are so important to urban safety-net hospitals. Download that summary here

Safety-Net Hospitals Could Lose Ground Under New Medicare Payment Plan

The value-based purchasing program that Medicare plans to unroll in October could result in reduced payments to the nation’s safety-net hospitals. A report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that safety-net hospitals receive lower scores in measures that Medicare will use as part of its new value-based purchasing program.  Those scores are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. As a result of those lower scores, the article “Patient Experience in Safety-Net Hospitals:  Implications for Improving Care and Value-Based Purchasing” concluded that safety-net hospitals could receive lower Medicare payments that [&hellip

States Ask HHS for Guidance on Court Medicaid Ruling

How does the Supreme Court’s decision in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act affect states and their Medicaid programs?  How has that decision changed what states are required to do and what options they have? Both the National Governors Association and the National Association of Medicaid Directors have written to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in search of guidance in light of the recent Supreme Court decision and its rejection of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion mandate.  Her answers have significant implications for the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) and urban safety-net hospitals across the [&hellip

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