Noteworthy News

Archive for May, 2014


Steeper Penalties in Hospitals’ Future?

Hospitals could soon face larger penalties from the federal government for selected infractions. Under a new proposed regulation from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the agency may soon impose larger fines for  … failure to grant OIG timely access to records; ordering or prescribing while excluded from a government program; making false statements, omissions, or misrepresentations in an enrollment application; failure to report and return an overpayment; and making or using a false record or fraudulent claim. The OIG’s authority to do so comes from a number of sources, including the Affordable [&hellip

Safety-Net Hospital Finances Falling Behind Other Hospitals

While most hospitals have recovered from the worst of the recession, safety-net hospitals that were already weak before the recession now find a growing financial gap between themselves and other hospitals. So reports the new study “Hospital Financial Performance in the Recent Recession and Implications for Institutions That Remain Financially Weak,” which was published in the May edition of Health Affairs. According to a news release about the study, About 28 percent of the safety-net hospitals were financially weak in 2006.  While their financial performance dipped in 2008, these institutions rebounded by 2011.  However, the financial gap between the safety-net [&hellip

Access to Primary Care: So Far, So Good

The increase in the number of insured Americans as a result of Affordable Care Act reforms is not yet causing major problems with access to primary care services. While access problems have been reported in a few states – most notably Colorado, Kentucky, and Washington – providers are generally reporting that their preparations for an anticipated increase in the number of people seeking primary care services have enabled them to meet the expected increase in demand for such care. At the same time, however, insurers and providers note that they expect a second surge of increase in patients seeking primary [&hellip

Study Points to Risk of DSH Cuts

A new study suggests that future cuts in Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) and Medicaid DSH payments could pose problems for hospitals that serve large numbers of uninsured patients. According to a new report in the journal Health Affairs, Such cuts in government funding of uncompensated care could pose challenges to some providers, particularly in states that have not adopted the Medicaid expansion or where implementation of health care reform is proceeding slowly. Medicare DSH and Medicaid DSH payments help underwrite the uncompensated care hospitals provide to their uninsured patients.  All urban safety-net hospitals receive such payments. Even after Affordable [&hellip

Proposed Medicare Inpatient Regulation Released

How will Medicare pay hospitals for inpatient services in FY 2015? The answer to that question begins with a regulation:  the Medicare inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) regulation for FY 2015.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released that proposed regulation, in draft form.  Find it here. Interested parties have until June 30 to submit comments about the proposed regulation. The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has prepared a detailed memo highlighting the proposals of greatest interest to urban safety-net hospitals and distributed this memo to all NAUH members.  Representatives of urban safety-net hospitals that do [&hellip

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