Noteworthy News

Archive for July, 2014


IOM Releases Graduate Medical Education Report

‘’…there is an unquestionable imperative to assess and optimize the effectiveness of the public’s investment in GME (graduate medical education).” So says the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its new report Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation’s Health Needs. The IOM also calls for “significant changes to GME financing and governance to address current deficiencies and better shape the physician workforce for the future.” The report notes that government today, mostly through Medicare, plays the primary role in financing graduate medical education.  It observes that while there is a common perception that the nation faces a shortage of physicians, [&hellip

Group to Assess Impact of Socioeconomic Factors on Care

The National Quality Forum (NQF) will perform a “robust trial” to assess the role and impact of sociodemographic factors on health care outcomes. In a news release, the NQF announced that Sociodemographic factors can be socioeconomic, e.g., income, education, and occupation, and demographic, e.g., race, ethnicity, and primary language. Growing evidence shows that sociodemographic factors may influence patient outcomes, which has implications for comparative performance measurement used in pay-for-performance programs. Among the socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors the NQF will consider are income, education, and occupation, and demographic considerations such as race, ethnicity, and primary language. With the Affordable Care Act [&hellip

Congressman Rallies Support for Medicare Readmissions Bill

Congressman James Renacci has put out a call to his fellow House members to support H.R. 4188, the Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmissions Program Act. The bill seeks to improve Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program, which penalizes hospitals that are deemed to have “too many” Medicare readmissions, but adding a risk adjustment component to reflect the additional challenges that some hospitals – like urban safety-net hospitals – face because they serve low-income patients who often are more difficult to treat than the typical hospital patient. In a “Dear Colleague” letter, Representative Renacci invites his House colleagues to join [&hellip

GAO Compares Medicaid, Private Insurance Rates

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has completed a new study that compares how physicians are paid by Medicaid (both fee-for-service (FFS) and managed care plans) and private insurers. Looking at payments for 26 different physician evaluation and management (E&M), the agency also compared payments both before and after passage of the temporary increases mandated by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA). Among the GAO’s findings: Among the three types of E/M services analyzed (office visits, hospital care, and emergency care), Medicaid payments generally were lower than private insurance for all three types, but the magnitude [&hellip

CMS Seeks to Jump-Start Medicaid Innovation

A new federal program seeks to encourage states to work faster to find ways to improve care and improve the health of their Medicaid patients and to reduce health care costs through payment and service delivery reforms. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program is a collaboration between the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, and other federal agencies and centers.  According to a CMS fact sheet, the program …aims to jumpstart innovation in key areas while supporting states in their efforts to [&hellip

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