Noteworthy News

Archive for August, 2015


Changes Coming For Medicare Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program

In response to the concerns of hospitals, Medicare is planning changes in its hospital-acquired condition reduction program. The program, a product of the Affordable Care Act, penalizes hospitals that perform poorest on measures designed to identify medical problems their patients incur while hospitalized. Hospital performance is judged based on criteria developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In the face of criticisms about the program’s design, overlapping measures, and more, CMS now plans to share more information with hospitals about how it scores their performance and also will update some of the measures upon which those scores [&hellip

Is Medicare “Pay for Performance” Doing the Job?

Three Medicare initiatives – its hospital readmissions reduction program, value-based purchasing program, and hospital-acquired condition program – were designed to improve the quality of care provided to beneficiaries while eventually reducing the cost of that care. But are they living up to their billing? That is the question considered in the Health Affairs article “Assessing Medicare’s Hospital Pay-For-Performance Programs and Whether They Are Achieving Their Goals.” Find the article here

Hospitals Stung By Readmissions Penalties

More than half of the nation’s hospitals are being penalized by Medicare for readmitting too patients. Together, they will loses $420 million in Medicare payments. The penalties are part of Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program, which penalizes hospitals for readmitting too many patients within 30 days of their discharge. The program was created by the Affordable Care Act to encourage hospitals to pay more attention to the quality of care they deliver and the care they take when discharging patients. Some hospitals are being penalized even though their performance has improved under the program. The National Association of Urban Hospitals [&hellip

CMS: No New Home Health Agencies, Ambulance Services in Some Cities

The federal government is extending its current moratorium on new home health agencies serving Medicare beneficiaries in and around selected cities across the country. The affected areas include the Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, and Miami metropolitan areas. The purpose of the moratorium is to reduce the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse. A similar moratorium on the introduction of new ambulance service providers has been extended in the Houston and Philadelphia areas. In both cases, a moratorium against the introduction of these services was already in place. The new moratorium extends those bans another six months. For further [&hellip

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