Noteworthy News

Archive for December, 2012


NAUH Sets Leadership for 2013

The National Association of Urban Hospitals has elected new leadership, including a new executive committee and board of directors, for 2013. NAUH’s new president is Keith Hovan, president and CEO of the Southcoast Health System. Go here to see NAUH’s complete executive committee and here to see its board of directors for

Medicare Reveals First Results of Quality Program

Slightly more than half of all U.S. hospitals will receive enhanced payments from Medicare and slightly fewer than half will see their payments reduced slightly as a result of the first reporting period for Medicare’s new value-based purchasing program. The largest bonus will be awarded to Treasure Valley Hospital, in Utah.  Each of its Medicare payments will rise 0.83 percent.  The largest penalty will be assessed to Auburn Community Hospital, in Syracuse, which will see its Medicare payments reduced 0.9 percent.  Two-thirds of all hospitals will see their payments rise or fall less than 0.25 percent. Medicare’s value-based purchasing program, [&hellip

GAO Finds Problems With Medicaid DSH Payments

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is now reviewing audits of states’ Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH) to hospitals and is raising questions about states’ compliance with federal requirements for those payments. Based on its analysis of state Medicaid DSH audits, GAO found that states are making Medicaid DSH payments to hospitals that exceed those hospitals’ uncompensated care costs and are inaccurately calculating those hospital uncompensated care costs.  The GAO also found that states are not always targeting their Medicaid DSH payments to the hospitals that provide the most uncompensated care. States are required to submit audits and data [&hellip

Capital Spending May Dip Because of Reimbursement Concerns

Hospitals expect to spend less on capital needs in 2013 because of continuing concern over reduced reimbursement, especially from Medicare. Hospitals have already been targeted for cuts in Medicare bad debt reimbursement and face $155 billion in additional Medicare cuts as well as a two percent reduction in payments if Congress does not address the fiscal cliff and sequestration cuts take effect on January 1.  In addition, hospitals have experienced Medicare coding adjustments and face further cuts as a result of Medicare’s value-based purchasing program. These and other cuts, a Premier healthcare alliance survey found, will hurt growth in hospital [&hellip

Hospitals Test New Approach to Frequent ER Visitors

In a foundation-funded experiment, six hospitals across the country are trying a new way to care for patients who are thought to visit their emergency rooms too often. With financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the hospitals are employing a patient-centered approach that seeks to identify why certain patients visit their ERs so often and then attempt to address those causes in ways that ultimately will improve such patients’ health while reducing ER costs. Among the reasons the hospitals have found that certain patients visit their ERs too often are language issues with their doctors; lack of money [&hellip

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