Noteworthy News

Archive for April, 2013


CMS Proposes FY 2014 Medicare Payments

Medicare inpatient payments would rise 0.8 percent in FY 2014 under a new proposed regulation published last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The proposed inpatient prospective payment system regulation – all 1424 pages of it ­– also outlines a new approach to the calculation of Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH), introduces changes in Medicare’s value-based purchasing program and hospital readmissions reduction program, and unveils a new patients safety program to be launched in FY 2015. Learn more about Medicare’s proposed approach to paying hospitals and find a link to the full regulation itself [&hellip

MedPAC Reports to Congress

The independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues has submitted its annual report to Congress. In its report, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommends that Medicare increase its inpatient and outpatient payments to providers one percent in FY 2014; that it give no update to ambulatory surgical centers, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term-care hospitals; and that Congress repeal the sustainable growth rate formula (SGR) that determines Medicare payments to physicians and replace it with a ten-year path of statutory fee-schedule updates. Find a summary of MedPAC’s report, and a fact sheet summarizing it, here [&hellip

Medicaid Caps Per Enrollee?

Would limiting state Medicaid spending per enrollee help control Medicaid costs or would it just leave the states with a bigger proportion of Medicaid spending? How might such an approach differ from Medicaid block grants, another mechanism for controlling rising Medicaid costs that has been proposed in recent years? The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the publication Health Affairs have prepared a policy brief on Medicaid per capita caps – how they might work, what the advantages and disadvantages might be, and how they differ from Medicaid block grants.  Find the paper, “Per Capita Caps in Medicaid,” here on the [&hellip

Hospitals Ratchet Up Advocacy of Medicaid Expansion

Hospitals across the country are working with other interest groups to attempt to persuade their state governments to expand their Medicaid programs as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act. Some states still have not decided whether they will expand, and in a few states where governors have indicated their desire to do so, state legislators are opposing such action. Among the arguments that advocates of Medicaid expansion are making are that expansion will bring huge amounts of new federal money to their state; that it will help people who currently lack reasonable access to care; and that it will help [&hellip

New Study Draws Distinction Between Patient Satisfaction and Quality of Care

A happy patient may not necessarily be a well cared-for patient and an unhappy patient could be receiving excellent care, according to a new study. The Journal JAMA Surgery reports that there is little relationship between the satisfaction hospital patients express about their surgical experiences and the quality of care they received. In the April 2013 article “Patient Satisfaction as a Possible Indicator of Quality Surgical Care,” the study’s authors wrote that Patient satisfaction was independent of hospital compliance with surgical processes of quality care and with overall hospital employee safety culture, although a few individual domains of culture were [&hellip

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