Noteworthy News

Archive for October, 2013


Senate Committee Talks Entitlement Reform (Cuts)

Higher Medicare Part B and Part D premiums for wealthier beneficiaries.   Reduced Medicare bad debt reimbursement.  Raising the Medicare eligibility age.  Reducing the scope of Medigap policies. These were among the entitlement “reforms” discussed when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew testified recently before the Senate Finance Committee. Many of the potential Medicare cuts lawmakers are contemplating would be especially damaging to the nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals, including the reduction in Medicare bad debt reimbursement discussed at the hearing. Learn more about Mr. Lew’s testimony and the potential Medicare cuts discussed by committee members in this CQ HealthBeat article presented [&hellip

An Urban Safety-Net ACO

In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, ten federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) joined forces to create an accountable care organization (ACO) as part of a Medicaid demonstration program.  Together, the FQHCs assumed full responsibility for the medical lives of a defined population. Read about how the FQHCs came together, what they did, and the results they produced in this Commonwealth Fund case study

Health Insurance Expansion to Leave Millions Behind

The Supreme Court decision that gave individual states the right to decide whether to expand their Medicaid programs as envisioned in the Affordable Care Act will result in millions of Americans not benefiting from the reform law’s health insurance expansion. Approximately half of the states have chosen not to expand their Medicaid programs, but those states account for two-thirds of all low-income African-Americans and single mothers and 60 percent of the uninsured working poor.  Because the 2010 reform law anticipated expanded Medicaid in all 50 states, these people will not be eligible for the law’s health insurance subsidies – even [&hellip

“Two-Midnight Rule” Put on Hold

Medicare has delayed implementation of its most recent attempt to help providers determine whether to bill the federal government for inpatient or observation care for hospitalized patients. Under the new rule, which was to have taken effect on October 1, patients who were expected to remain in the hospital for at least two midnights were to be considered admissions while those expected to stay for less time were to be classified as observation patients. The rule was issued in an attempt to clarify a situation that had been scrutinized based on less objective measures, often leaving hospitals feeling under-reimbursed for [&hellip

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