Noteworthy News

Archive for November, 2012


NAUH Seeks Congress’s Help in Fiscal Cliff Talks

In a message delivered yesterday (November 15), the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) asked every member of Congress to urge their caucus leaders to reject any further cuts in Medicare and Medicaid when they meet with the White House to negotiate a solution to the fiscal cliff crisis. The message cited the significant Medicare cuts hospitals are already experiencing and the major cuts from sequestration and the FY 2014 cut in Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) payments and warned that any further Medicare or Medicaid cuts would jeopardize the ability of many private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals to continue [&hellip

Report Calls for Billions in Hospital Cuts

A report by the Center for American Progress proposes billions of dollars in payment cuts to hospitals as a way of helping to prevent the country from falling off the fiscal cliff. In its new report “The Senior Protection Plan:  $385 Billion in Health Care Savings Without Harming Beneficiaries,” the Center for American Progress proposes $61 billion in hospital payment cuts over the next ten years – cuts over and above those already enacted in the Affordable Care Act and other legislation of recent years. Among the proposals:  greatly reduced Medicare inpatient annual payment updates; the elimination of payment differentials [&hellip

Medicaid Expansion: Will They or Won’t They?

With President Obama re-elected and Congress unlikely to repeal the Affordable Care Act, many of the nation’s governors face a major decision:  will they expand their Medicaid programs as the law originally intended? The original health care reform law made that expansion mandatory, but earlier this year, the Supreme Court left the expansion decision to individual states.  While some governors have already declared their intention to expand their Medicaid programs and others have announced that they will not, many have not yet announced their decision.  Some appeared to be hoping that a Romney victory and a repeal of the reform [&hellip

Post-Election Diagnosis for Health Care

While President Obama’s re-election probably spells the end of talk of repealing the Affordable Care Act, many questions remain about how – and how completely – the health care reform law passed in 2010 will be implemented. In the days following the election, observers are asking these and other questions. In the article “Federal Deficit Talks Could Impact Obama’s Moves on Health Law,” Kaiser Health News speculates about the future of some of the more controversial and expensive aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board; the extensive insurance subsidies for which many Americans [&hellip

MedPAC Mulls Outpatient Payments

MedPAC members continue to debate whether equalizing the payments for outpatient services delivered in physicians’ offices and in hospital outpatient facilities and departments makes for good public policy.  Currently, hospitals receive additional payments for outpatient evaluation and management (E&M). Some commissioners and advocates argued at MedPAC’s November 2 meeting that the federal government should pay for Medicare services based on the services themselves, not on where they are provided.  Others maintained that hospitals have inherently greater costs because of the additional service capacity they bring and that it is appropriate for Medicare to help pay for that capacity because it [&hellip

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