Noteworthy News

Archive for January, 2013


The Importance of Medicare DSH

The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) frequently speaks out and writes about the importance of Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments, or Medicare DSH, to the nation’s urban safety-net hospitals. The vast majority of private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals are Medicare DSH hospitals. But what is Medicare DSH?  How does a hospital qualify for Medicare DSH payments? Learn more about Medicare DSH,  why it was created, why it is so important to eligible hospitals, and how it is about to change as a result of the Affordable Care Act in this FAQ on the Medicare Newsgroup web site

Medicaid Primary Care Fee Increases: How Much?

The Affordable Care Act requires state Medicaid programs to raise primary care provider fees to Medicare levels in calendar years 2013 and 2014.  The purpose of the rate increase is to improve access to Medicaid services at a time when the program will be adding millions to its rolls across the country. But how much will those primary care fees actually rise? According to a survey conducted by the Urban Institute for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Medicaid primary care fees currently average 66 percent of Medicare fees and currently range from  58 percent of the national [&hellip

States Finding it Hard to Say No to Federal Medicaid Money

While many of the nation’s governors have ideological problems with many aspects of the Affordable Care Act, it appears that more of them are preparing to accept one major facet of the bill with which they particularly disagree:  Medicaid expansion. When the law passed, the mandatory expansion of Medicaid eligibility was one of its most controversial aspects and encountered a great deal of resistance from many governors.  When the Supreme Court ruled last year that the mandate was unconstitutional, many governors indicated that they would decline the now-optional Medicaid expansion. But as the time for implementing the Medicaid expansion draws [&hellip

Readmissions Unrelated to Original Problem?

A new study has found that most hospital readmissions among Medicare patients are unrelated to the medical problem that necessitated their original admission. In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers analyzed more than 650,000 readmissions of Medicare fee-for-service patients originally admitted to the hospital for heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia from 2007 to 2009 and found that in the vast majority of cases, the readmissions were necessary for reasons other than the cause of the original admission. The study controlled for patients’ age, gender, and race and found no meaningful variations based [&hellip

Teaching, Large, and Safety-Net Hospitals More Likely to Face Medicare Penalties

Safety-net hospitals, large hospitals, and teaching hospitals are more likely to face penalties from Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program than other hospitals. According to a new study, 45 percent of safety-net hospitals are likely to face readmissions penalties, compared to 30 percent of other hospitals; 40 percent of large hospitals will face penalties, compared to just 28 percent of small hospitals; and 44 percent of teaching hospitals will face penalties, compared to 33 percent of non-teaching hospitals. This means the new policy will hit the nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals especially hard.  In addition to being safety-net hospitals, all [&hellip

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