Noteworthy News

Archive for August, 2014


Readmissions and Quality: Are They Related?

A new study casts doubt on a major principle underlying a good deal of recent federal health care policy. That principle holds that hospitals that have lower rates of 30-day readmissions of Medicare patients provide better, more economical care than those with higher readmission rates. But that may not be true. According to an examination of the performance of safety-net hospitals in California published in the journal Health Affairs, those safety-net hospitals are more likely than others to be penalized by Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction and value-based purchasing programs. At the same time, however, these same hospitals had lower 30-day, [&hellip

Translating Insurance Into Care

While the Affordable Care Act is enabling millions of Americans to obtain health insurance – many of them for the first time – many of the newly insured do not understand how their insurance works or how to use it to get the care they need. Across the country, advocacy groups, insurers, hospitals, and clinics are encountering newly insured people struggling to translate their new health insurance into health care, and many are employing outreach and educational programs to teach people how to enjoy the benefits of their new coverage. Learn more about the new challenges health care providers are [&hellip

NAUH Issues News Release

On the heels of the publication of a new Medicare regulation that imposes major cuts in qualified hospitals’ Medicare disproportionate share payments (Medicare DSH), the National Association of Urban Hospitals issued a press release asking Congress to protect urban safety-net hospitals by delaying all Medicare DSH cuts and directing the administration to adjust its approach to future Medicare DSH reductions. See the NAUH news release here

Protect Hospitals From Medicare DSH Cuts, NAUH Asks Congress

Protect urban safety-net hospitals from Medicare DSH cuts by delaying those cuts, the National Association of Urban Hospitals asked Congress yesterday. In a message to every member of Congress, NAUH observed that the Affordable Care Act-mandated requirement to reduce Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH) in anticipation of more people getting health insurance and hospitals providing less care to the uninsured was thrown off balance by the decision of many states not to expand their Medicaid programs in the wake of the Supreme Court decision making that expansion optional. Private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals are already struggling to accommodate [&hellip

Medicare Payment Rule FY 2015: Inpatient Rates to Rise 1.4 Percent

Medicare inpatient rates will increase 1.4 percent in FY 2015. But the already-shrinking Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) pool will be $900 million smaller than proposed in April. These and other payment policies were included in the recently unveiled Medicare inpatient prospective payment system regulation for FY 2015. The new regulation, to be published shortly in the Federal Register, also addresses changes in Medicare’s value-based purchasing program, hospital readmissions reduction program, and outlier threshold and introduces Medicare’s new hospital-acquired conditions program and changes in hospitals’ Medicare area wage indexes. The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has prepared a summary [&hellip

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