Noteworthy News

Archive for December, 2013


Where are the Uninsured?

A new interactive map from the New York Times enables readers to explore the entire country, county by county, and see how many of each county’s residents are uninsured, how many are publicly insured, and how many are privately insured. Find the map here

MedPAC Mulling Medicare Pay Raise, Other Changes in Hospital Payments

MedPAC is considering recommending to Congress that Medicare increase inpatient payments to hospitals by 3.2 percent in FY 2015, reduce or eliminate the differences in what it pays for selected outpatient services based on where those services are provided, and reduce payments to long-term-care hospitals. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues, discussed these and other possible recommendations during its recent meeting in Washington, D.C.  At this point, these recommendations are only at the discussion stage; they have not been submitted to Congress. Read more about MedPAC’s recent deliberations and reactions to [&hellip

Loss of DSH Will Hurt Safety-Net Hospitals

While the Affordable Care Act offers promise for greatly reducing the number of uninsured patients hospitals serve, it will not help the nation’s undocumented residents, who will not have access to the reform law’s various health insurance expansion provisions. How will this affect hospitals in the communities in which undocumented residents live?  How will it affect the safety-net hospitals that provide most of that care but that will be losing some of the Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) revenue that has long helped underwrite this care? The organization Connecticut Health Investigative Team took a closer look at at how this [&hellip

NAUH Asks Congress to Delay Medicare DSH Cuts

With Congress currently considering a proposed budget agreement that would, among other things, delay implementation of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) payment cuts for two years, the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has asked Congress to delay implementation of Medicare DSH cuts as well. See NAUH’s message to Congress here

Medicare Readmissions Again Down

One component of the Affordable Care Act appears to be having a clear effect:  the fight against avoidable Medicare readmissions. The Medicare readmissions rate, 19 percent before Medicare introduced its hospital readmissions reduction program in 2012, fell to 18.5 percent last year.  Now, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reporting that the readmissions rate has fallen again:  to less than 18 percent during the first eight months of 2013. The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has long objected to the Medicare hospital readmissions reduction program, maintaining that it unfairly penalizes safety-net hospitals that care for patients [&hellip

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