Noteworthy News

Archive for February, 2016


MACPAC: Medicaid DSH Payments Not Always Reaching Targeted Providers

In many cases, Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH) are being made to hospitals that do not necessarily serve especially large proportions of Medicaid and other low-income patients. So concludes a new report from The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that performs policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the states on issues affecting Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). According to a new MACPAC report, Medicaid DSH payments provide substantial support to safety-net [&hellip

CMS Proposes Changes in Medicare ACO Benchmarking

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a major change in how performance benchmarking is done for participants in its Medicare shared savings program. According to a CMS news release announcing the newly proposed regulation that includes this change, Key proposals include: Recognizing that health cost trends vary in communities across the country by using regional, rather than national, spending growth trends when establishing and updating an ACO’s rebased benchmark. Adjusting an ACO’s rebased benchmark when it enters a second or subsequent agreement period by a percentage (increased over time) of the difference between fee-for-service spending in the [&hellip

New Medicaid Regulation Clarifies Access to Home Health Services

Under a new regulation unveiled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, physicians and other authorized providers now must document their face-to-face encounters with patients when they are authorizing home health services but those encounters can be conducted through telehealth. This approach, already part of the Medicare program, applies only to Medicaid fee-for-service patients and not to those served by managed care plans. In addition, the rule regulates how recently providers must have their encounters with patients when prescribing home health services and provides those services in settings other than the home. For a closer look at the new [&hellip

Feds Issue Guidance on Reducing Medicare Readmissions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a new report advising hospitals how to reduce readmissions among their racially and ethnically diverse Medicare patients. According to a CMS news release, the guidance …is designed to assist hospital leaders and stakeholders focused on quality, safety, and care redesign in identifying root causes and solutions for preventing avoidable readmissions among racially and ethnically diverse Medicare beneficiaries. The guidance also notes that Racial and ethnic minority populations are more likely than their white counterparts to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge for certain chronic conditions, such as heart failure, heart [&hellip

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