Noteworthy News

Archive for May, 2013


Health Problems, Not Geography, Dictate Medicare Costs According to New Study

Medicare spends more where patients are sicker and not based on where those sick patients live, according to a new study. This is the case because people in some parts of the country are sicker than people in other parts, necessitating greater expenditures by Medicare. The new study, published in the journal Medicare Care Research and Review, contradicts previous work by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, which has long held that the geographic variation in Medicare spending is based on how medicine is practiced in different parts of the country and not on the clinical challenges [&hellip

Medicaid Pay Raise Isn’t Reaching Docs

The Affordable Care Act-mandated fee increase for primary care physicians serving Medicaid patients is not reaching those physicians. Or so reports the Washington Post, which writes that only a few states are paying primary care providers more money to serve Medicaid patients. The pay raise is considered an important tool to help encourage more primary care providers to serve Medicaid patients at a time when Medicaid enrollment is expected to increase significantly because of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provisions.  Under the health reform law, Medicaid payments for primary care services, traditionally very low, are to be raised to [&hellip

Medicare Readmissions Penalties Show Signs of Hitting Safety-Net Hospitals Hardest

Penalties assessed by Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program appear to be falling especially hard on hospitals that serve large numbers of low-income patients. This is the conclusion reached by researchers analyzing the program’s impact on California hospitals.  There, they found that most of the state’s hospitals that paid the stiffest penalties for Medicare readmissions are located in areas with large populations of low-income patients. The article “Medicare penalizes hospitals with high readmissions,” published by the Center for Health Reporting, notes that Several of the hospitals paying big penalties this year are scattered up and down the sprawling Central Valley, from [&hellip

NAUH Endorses Bill to Delay Implementation of DSH Cuts

The National Association of Urban Hospitals has conveyed to Congress its support of a bill to delay implementation of cuts in Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) and Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) payments. The cuts, mandated by the Affordable Care Act, are scheduled to take effect beginning in FY 2014 – this coming October – but the DSH Reduction Relief Act of 2013, sponsored by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), calls for delaying their implementation for two years. Go here to read NAUH’s message to members of Congress urging them to support the bill

Congressman Calls for Delay on DSH Cuts

Cuts in Medicare DSH and Medicaid DSH payments, scheduled to be take effect beginning in FY 2014, would be delayed for two years under a new bill proposed in Congress. Under the DSH Reduction Relief Act of 2013, Affordable Care Act-mandated cuts in Medicare disproportionate share payments (Medicare DSH) and Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH) would not begin until FY 2016, instead of in FY 2014, as the reform law requires. The bill was proposed by Representative John Lewis (D-GA). The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) supports this bill and its members are advocating its adoption. Read more [&hellip

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