Noteworthy News

Archive for January, 2015


Millions Live in ACA Coverage Gap

Nearly four million people who were supposed to be helped to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act remain uninsured today because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and not enough to qualify for the reform law’s health insurance subsidies. When the law was passed in 2010, it was supposed to provide Medicaid coverage for those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level and offer subsidies to other low-income earners.  But when the Supreme Court made the reform law’s mandatory Medicaid expansion optional for states and some states chose not to expand their Medicaid programs, [&hellip

NAUH Calls for More Medical Residency Slots

In December, the House Energy and Commerce Committee invited stakeholders to submit comments on Medicare’s graduate medical education (GME) program. The National Association of Urban Hospitals has responded with a letter that addresses several of the issues the committee highlighted, most notably the adequacy of Medicare’s GME program in its current form.  NAUH urged the committee to increase the number of medical residency slots, frozen by law since 1997, to help address the country’s growing shortage of physicians. Many urban safety-net hospitals are teaching hospitals, giving them a major stake in this issue. See NAUH’s comments on Medicare’s graduate medical [&hellip

Will High Court Help Pave the Way to Higher Medicaid Payments?

In a case that could have nation-wide implications for health care providers, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a lower court decision that ordered the state of Idaho to raise Medicaid payments to providers serving the developmentally disabled because the state’s payments were too low. While litigants in some states have used the courts in recent years to seek redress for what they believed were inadequate Medicaid payments, Supreme Court action on that matter could have national implications:  if the court supports the state of Idaho’s appeal of the order to raise fees it could limit the [&hellip

NAUH Comments on Medicare Bill

Late last year, Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Health Subcommittee, released his “Hospital Improvement for Payment Act of 2014.” At the time, Rep. Brady invited comment on his Medicare proposal, which was widely viewed as a preview of the agenda he intended to pursue in 2015. Yesterday the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) sent Mr. Brady extensive comments on his bill.  Among the many issues NAUH addressed in its letter are the bill’s proposal for a new way for Medicare to pay for short hospital stays; its call for the annual publication [&hellip

Why All the Fuss About the IPAB?

Ever since it was established in the Affordable Care Act, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) has been a magnet for criticism on both sides of the political aisle in Washington. Created to do what Congress is always reluctant to do – act when Medicare spending appears to be spiraling out of control – the IPAB exists today only on paper:  the president has never appointed anyone to its 15-member board, nor have the conditions that would require IPAB action under the reform 2010 reform law ever arisen. In a new commentary, the Commonwealth Fund takes a look at the [&hellip

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