Noteworthy News

Archive for April, 2015


Proposed FY 2016 Medicare Payment Regulation Released

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its proposed Medicare inpatient prospective payment system regulation for FY 2016. Among the Medicare issues addressed in detail in the 1500-page draft regulation are: inpatient payment rates bundled payments Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH) quality reporting requirements the value-based purchasing program the hospital-acquired conditions program the hospital readmissions reduction program the two-midnight rule wage index adjustments The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has prepared a detailed summary of the proposed regulation tailored especially to the interests of urban safety-net hospitals, with a special emphasis on Medicare DSH [&hellip

NAUH Asks Congress to Reject Sequestration Increase

The National Association of Urban Hospitals has contacted every member of Congress to ask that they reject a proposal to increase future Medicare sequestration cuts to pay for a trade bill. Currently there is interest in Congress in adding 0.25 percentage points to the FY 2024 Medicare sequestration to help pay for the trade bill. In its message, NAUH noted that urban safety-net hospitals already have experienced significant Medicare cuts in recent years and that those cuts will be continuing well into the next decade. See NAUH’s message to Congress here

States to Have New Reform Tool

Come 2017, states will have a new tool at their disposal through which to pursue health care reform. At that time, states will be able to seek new state innovation waivers from the federal government that will enable them to change covered benefits and insurance subsidies; replace health insurance exchanges; modify the individual or employer mandate; and do other things so long as their efforts ensure continued access to comprehensive and affordable health insurance. The waivers, created under the Affordable Care Act, are good for five years. The Commonwealth Fund has published an issue brief that explains the section of [&hellip

Medicare Proposes Easing Path to Meaningful Use

The federal government has issued a proposal that would make it easier for hospitals to meet “meaningful use” requirements for 2015 through 2017. A draft rule published by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes a number of changes in meaningful use requirements, including: reducing from one year to 90 consecutive days the reporting period for the electronic health record reporting payment program; eliminating some current requirements and reducing others; changing the reporting period for hospitals from their fiscal year to a calendar year; and reducing the requirements for providers’ patients using technology to download and view [&hellip

Perspectives on Community Health Needs Assessments

Because one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to improve the health of communities, the 2010 health care reform law requires non-profit hospitals to undertake community health needs assessments of the areas they serve every three years and to implement strategies for the needs they identify in cooperation with other providers, public health agencies, and community groups. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has published a new issue brief on community health needs assessment. In “Community Health Needs Assessments – Aligning the Interests of Public Health and the Health Care Delivery System to Improve Population Health,” the IOM [&hellip

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