Noteworthy News

Archive for October, 2013


Enrollment in Medicaid is Strong

While the well-documented shortcomings of the web site are causing problems for the insurance expansion component of the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid expansion aspect of that law appears to be proceeding as expected. Between enrollment through state exchanges, outreach in low-income communities that started months ago, and the ability of those newly eligible for Medicaid under the reform law to sign up for benefits at government offices instead of through web sites, a number of states are reporting strong Medicaid enrollment numbers during the first month of Medicaid expansion. Among the states where Medicaid enrollment has been strong [&hellip

NAUH Asks Budget Conferees Not to Cut Medicare, Medicaid

As the congressional budget conference committee begins work, the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has asked the committee’s members to protect urban safety-net hospitals from further Medicare and Medicaid cuts. In a message sent to all of the conferees, NAUH notes the numerous cuts these hospitals have only recently incurred ­– Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) and Medicaid DSH cuts, Medicare bad debt reimbursement reductions, and others – and noted that any further cuts could jeopardize jobs and access to care in communities served by urban safety-net hospitals across the country. Read NAUH’s complete message to the budget conferees [&hellip

Budget Talks Could Focus on Sequestration

Upcoming federal budget talks may very well focus on addressing what are perceived to be the more damaging cuts resulting from sequestration – the two percent across-the-board cut in federal spending required under the 2011 Budget Control Act. While Medicaid was not affected by the sequester, all Medicare payments have been cut two percent since January 1, 2012, and other health care-related funding has been affected by the law as well. The nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals have unquestionably felt the effects of this reduction in Medicare revenue. Now, participants in the budget conference committee created as part of [&hellip

Quantity vs. Quality: Hospitals Look to the Future

Hospitals are increasingly seeing a future in which they are paid more for the quality of the care they provide to their patients than for the quantity of services they deliver. This change has been inspired largely by the Affordable Care Act, but private insurers are increasingly following the same path. USA Today looked at three hospital groups in Nashville – a five-hospital non-profit group, a for-profit group, and a university-affiliated non-profit – and examined how they are tackling the challenges they now face.  Read about how they are approaching these new challenges here

Millions to Fall Into Coverage Gap

More than five million adult Americans will fall into the Affordable Care Act’s Supreme Court-created coverage gap in states that have chosen not to expand their Medicaid programs. In those 26 states, adults whom the reform law intended to be covered by Medicaid will still earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid yet also will fall below the income level needed to qualify for Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies. This gap was created when the Supreme Court made the reform law-mandated Medicaid expansion optional for individual states, and so far, 26 states have chosen not to expand their [&hellip

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