Noteworthy News

Archive for November, 2012


NAUH Opposes Further Cuts as Part of Fiscal Cliff Solution

The National Association of Urban Hospitals opposes many of the proposed “solutions” to the fiscal cliff crisis because those solutions would come at the expense of private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals. If implemented, such cuts would come on top of cuts urban safety-net hospitals are already experiencing.  The cuts already implemented, or scheduled for implementation soon, include: reduced annual Medicare updates penalties through Medicare’s new value-based purchasing program penalties through Medicare’s new readmissions prevention program a reduction of up to 75 percent in eligible hospitals’ Medicare DSH payments that takes effect next fall a two percent cut in Medicare payments [&hellip

Fiscal Cliff Poses Threat to Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

Congress and the Obama administration are now negotiating possible solutions to the fiscal cliff crisis. A number of the solutions that have been discussed in the recent past would pose especially major problems for urban safety-net hospitals.  Those “solutions” include: further reductions in annual Medicare updates reductions in hospitals’ Medicare outpatient evaluation and management (E&M) fees further reductions in Medicare bad debt reimbursement new limits on the provider taxes states can levy to finance their Medicaid program further reductions in Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) payments a reduction in the rate at which the federal government matches states’ share of [&hellip

Implications of Sequestration for Medicare, Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

What aspects of Medicare would be affected by sequestration?  What aspects would be exempt? And how will sequestration cuts affect overall Medicare spending? Sequestration has especially high stakes for the nation’s urban safety-net hospitals because they care for so many low-income seniors. Read more about sequestration and Medicare in “What Does Sequestration Mean to Medicare?” on the web site of the Medicare NewsGroup, where you also will find links to an explanation of sequestration and a discussion of the role Medicare is playing in fiscal cliff talks

Old Medicare Proposals Resurface in Fiscal Cliff Talks

Proposals for how to reduce federal Medicare spending that were once thought dead are finding new life in the current fiscal cliff crisis debate. In particular, recommendations offered by the 2010 Bowles-Simpson commission are being recirculated as Congress and the White House search for ways to avert the fiscal cliff. Among those that would affect hospitals are reductions in Medicare bad debt reimbursement and medical education payments. Other proposals, such as increasing Medicare beneficiaries’ cost-sharing and limiting Medigap coverage, would probably lead to increased bad debt for urban safety-net hosptials that care for especially large numbers of low-income seniors. Read [&hellip

Implications of Fiscal Cliff for Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

Among the most important aspects of the current fiscal cliff crisis are Medicare payments to physicians and Medicare sequestration.  Both have major implications for the nation’s private urban safety-net hospitals. Medicare payments to physicians are governed by the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula, or SGR.  According to that formula, Medicare payments to physicians will be cut 27 percent on January 1, 2013.  Since 2003, Congress has delayed implementation of similarly scheduled cuts – a process widely known as the “Medicare doc fix.” Under Medicare sequestration, the deficit reduction spending compromise crafted by Congress late last year calls for all Medicare [&hellip

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