Noteworthy News

Archive for February, 2016


Cutting ER Visits: Harder Than Expected

The first two years of major expansion of access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act did not produce the significant reduction in hospital ER visits that many expected. Or so reports a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, even though eight million people gained health insurance under the health reform law in 2013 and 2014, ER visit rates changed little. Still, the CDC survey found some progress: visits among Medicaid patients and the uninsured fell slightly, although Medicaid patents still frequent hospital ERs more than the privately insured. Among those [&hellip

Medicaid Implications of the President’s FY 2017 Proposed Budget

The National Association of Medicaid Directors has published a detailed memo outlining how President Obama’s proposed FY 2017 would affect Medicaid. See that memo here

NAUH Reiterates Call for Readmissions Program Risk Adjustment

In a letter to the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and its Health Committee, the National Association of Urban Hospitals has again called on Congress to pass legislation requiring Medicare to add risk adjustment to its hospital readmissions reduction program. The letter, spurred by a new CMS publication, Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries, that in NAUH’s estimation incorrectly identifies why some hospitals have greater readmissions problems than others, cites the growing body of evidence showing that urban safety-net hospitals and others like them are treated unfairly by the readmissions reduction program. [&hellip

Report on the State of Urban Health Care

Kaiser Health News has published a five-part report on the challenges facing urban health care providers in the nation’s cities. The Kaiser report, “Special Report, Baltimore’s Other Divide,” consists of five parts: In Freddie Gray’s Neighborhood, The Best Medical Care is Close But Elusive Baltimore Hospitals Work to Repair Frayed Trust in Black Communities Quest for Blood Pressure Cuff Highlights Inequality At Clinic, Poverty Magnifies Health Problems Hospital Trying to Win Community’s Trust Go here on the Kaiser Health News web site for an introduction to the series and links to all five parts

NAUH Weighs in on New Medicare Site-Neutral Payment Law

Last November Congress passed a law that established a new, site-neutral Medicare payment policy for newly acquired, provider-based, off-campus outpatient departments. In response to protests about the new law, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee invited the provider community to share its views on the law. In a letter to the committee, the National Association of Urban Hospitals identified four specific circumstances under which urban safety-net hospitals believe outpatient payments should not be made on a site-neutral basis: when a new outpatient project was under way at the time of the bill’s passage; when an outpatient project would [&hellip

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