Noteworthy News

Archive for September, 2012


Dual Eligibles: A Bigger Challenge Than Expected?

Moving the dual-eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) population into managed care plans may be more difficult than expected if recent experience in California is any indication. According to a recent report about that state’s effort to move 240,000 dually eligible low-income seniors and people and with disabilities into managed care, the effort has run into numerous difficulties, including beneficiary anxiety and inability to understand the changes under way, lack of adequate information from the insurers, and problems recruiting providers to participate in care networks. This comes at the same time that the federal government is encouraging states to find better, more [&hellip

Residency Cap Impedes Growth in Physician Supply

The doctor shortage in the U.S. today is fueled in part by the limit on medical residency positions, which has not been raised in more than 15 years. The residency cap is driven by the federal government, which pays 75 percent of the costs associated with residency training programs and has not increased its financial support for such training since 1997. The U.S. currently has a shortage of primary care physicians, and that shortage is likely to grow if the Affordable Care Act adds to the ranks of the insured as most observers expect. Medical residents also are very important [&hellip

MedPAC to Meet This Week

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), which advises Congress on Medicare payment issues, will meet in Washington, D.C. this Thursday, September 6 and Friday, September 7. Among the issues on MedPAC’s meeting agenda are refinements in Medicare’s hospital readmissions program, geographic adjustments of Medicare payments, bundled payments for post-acute care, and outpatient therapy payments. While MedPAC’s policy recommendations are not binding on Congress, its views are considered very influential among members of Congress and often either lead to legislation or are part of future policy debates and deliberations. Because urban safety-net hospitals care for so many Medicare patients, MedPAC’s deliberations [&hellip

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