Noteworthy News

Archive for October, 2012


Medicare DSH Cuts Loom for Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

Urban safety-net hospitals across the country will soon lose important funding that helps them care for many of their low-income and uninsured patients:  their Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH). Come 2014, the Affordable Care Act mandates a significant cut in hospitals’ Medicare DSH payments.  The underlying rationale for this cut is that once the health care reform law’s individual insurance mandate takes effect and states begin greatly expanding Medicaid eligibility (a reform law mandate made optional by this year’s Supreme Court decision), hospitals will have fewer such patients and less need for supplemental DSH funding. But as a [&hellip

New Medicare Wrinkle May Harm Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

A new Medicare program that bases payments to hospitals in part on patient satisfaction with those hospitals could be especially harmful to urban safety-net hospitals. The Medicare value-based purchasing program, which took effect on October 1, will withhold one percent of all hospitals’ Medicare payments and then redistribute that money based on hospitals’ compliance with selected standards-of-care requirements and on the results of surveys of hospitalized Medicare patients.  The withheld one percent will then be redistributed to hospitals that perform well based on these criteria.  Beginning in 2017, two percent of hospitals’ Medicare payments will be withheld and eventually redistributed [&hellip

A New Model for Urban Health Care?

In a New York City community where the only hospital closed two years ago, new ways of meeting the health care needs of urban residents are slowly emerging. Among those new ways:  new clinics, clinics based in drug stores, urgent care centers, even a free-standing emergency room currently in the works.  Behind these new developments are several hospital chains that hope to use outpatient facilities to feed patients in the city’s Greenwich Village community to their inpatient facilities outside that community. Read more about how the closing of an urban hospital has given rise to a new approach to delivering [&hellip

HHS OIG Charts 2013 Investigations

The U.S. Department  of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has revealed some of its investigative plans for 2013. The OIG’s work plan includes a number of projects of interest to hospitals, including one on non-hospital-owned physician practices that bill Medicare for outpatient services as provider-based practices; an inquiry into whether Medicare payments to hospitals should be bundled for care provided to patients within 14 days of their discharge; a look at how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) monitors controversial Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC audits); and others. Because they typically care for so [&hellip

Donations Up for Non-Profit Hospitals

Charitable contributions to non-profit hospitals and health systems rose 8.2 percent last year. In all, these organizations raised $8.9 billion in donations, according to a new report by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. The FY 2011 figure eclipses the previous high of $8.6 billion, set in FY 2008. Donations are a vital source of revenue for many private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals. Read more about last year’s fund-raising efforts by hospitals and health systems in this Association for Healthcare Philanthropy news release.  Also available are a fact sheet summarizing the report and the report itself, which can be found here

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