Noteworthy News

Archive for March, 2015


Urban Homelessness and Health Care

Homelessness is a problem especially prevalent in urban areas, and numerous studies have shown that homelessness contributes to and exacerbates medical problems like cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes while also aggravating often-untreated chronic medical conditions. Last year the National Research Council’s Science and Technology for Sustainability Program, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities sponsored a roundtable event titled “Homelessness and Urban Sustainability:  Implications of Changes to the US Health System on a Vulnerable Population.” Now, [&hellip

NAUH Endorses Bill to Improve Medicare Readmissions Reduction Program

The National Association of Urban Hospitals has endorsed a new bill to add risk adjustment to Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program. The Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Act, sponsored in the Senate (S. 688) by senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and in the House (H.R. 1343) by representatives Jim Renacci (R-OH) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), would require Medicare to modify its hospital readmissions reduction program based on the socio-economic risk factors posed by the patients individual hospitals serve. Ever since the program was introduced, NAUH has maintained that it fails to reflect the special [&hellip

Medicare Unveils New ACO

The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is launching a new accountable care organization (ACO) model through which providers can join together to serve Medicare patients. The “Next Generation ACO” seeks to build on the experience, insight, and feedback gained through the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the Pioneer ACO model and give providers more tools for managing care and resources while also enabling them to take on more financial risk and earn greater financial rewards for doing so successfully. A broader objective is to move Medicare closer to its stated goal of paying most providers based on the [&hellip

Congress to Consider Adding Risk Adjustment to Medicare Readmissions Program

A new bill introduced in Congress this week would require Medicare to consider the socio-economic status of the patients individual hospitals serve as part of its hospital readmissions reduction program. The Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmissions Program Act of 2015 was introduced as S. 688 in the Senate, sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), and in the House by Representatives Jim Renacci (R-OH) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) as H.R. 1343. Rep. Renacci introduced a similar measure last year.  NAUH endorsed that bill.  This year’s version has bipartisan sponsorship in both the House and Senate. [&hellip

MedPAC Looks at Short-Stay Issues

The agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues is preparing to suggest changes in how Medicare approaches paying for short hospital stays. At last week’s meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), commissioners received a staff presentation on issues surrounding Medicare payments for short hospital stays and discussed possible recommendations for changes in how Medicare pays for those short hospital stays. Among the possibilities discussed at the recent MedPAC meeting are revising how Medicare’s recovery audit contractors program (RAC audits) looks at short hospital stays; revising the three-day-stay requirement for Medicare to cover post-discharge skilled nursing care; penalizing [&hellip

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