Noteworthy News

Archive for March, 2016


Medicare Hits Payment Target

Medicare has achieved its goal of tying 30 percent of all Medicare payments to alternative payment models a year early, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced. As of January of 2016, 30 percent of Medicare payments are tied to alternative payment models. In January of 2015, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced the target but said she hoped Medicare could achieve it by 2017. Among the alternative care models to which Medicare payments are now tied are: Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Pioneer ACOs Next Generation ACOs Comprehensive End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Care [&hellip

GAO Looks at Supplemental Medicaid Payments

Following up its own 2012 report that identified more than 500 hospitals receiving supplemental Medicaid payments that resulted in Medicaid payment surpluses, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has taken a broader look at supplemental payments state Medicaid programs make to hospitals and how those payments are used. In a limited study of hospitals in four states, GAO found that some hospitals used supplemental payments for purposes other than serving Medicaid patients and the uninsured – purposes such as ordinary operations, capital purchases, a poison control center, even a helicopter. GAO also found that hospitals were more likely to receive such [&hellip

MedPAC Meets, Considers Issues

Members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met last week in Washington, D.C. to discuss policies and potential recommendations to Congress on a number of Medicare payment issues. Among the issues on the agenda were: developing a unified payment system for post-acute care telehealth services improving Medicare Part D Part B drug payment policies improving the efficiency of oncology care in the Medicare fee-for-service program using competitive pricing to set beneficiary premiums in the Medicare Advantage and Medicare fee-for-service programs MedPAC is an independent agency that recommends Medicare payment policies to Congress. Its recommendations are not binding but are [&hellip

MedPAC Sees Room for More Telehealth

“If we are going to be relevant to the customers who will age into Medicare one day, we need to be offering these kinds of alternatives.” That alternative is telehealth services and the statement came from a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission at the agency’s recent meeting in Washington D.C. At that meeting, several MedPAC members agreed, suggesting that telehealth should be used more widely in the Medicare program than it currently is. Today, they noted, it is used primarily in the fee-for-service program and mostly to serve patients who live in rural areas. Learn more about why [&hellip

New Study Links Health, Housing

Low-income people with affordable housing are healthier than those who lack affordable housing. Or so concludes a new report from the Center for Outcomes Research and Education. According to the organization, its study is …one of the first studies to directly assess the impact on health care costs when low-income individuals move into affordable housing. Medicaid claims data were used to measure changes in health care costs and use, and survey data were used to examine health care access and quality. The study included 145 housing properties of three different types: family housing (FAM), permanent supportive housing (PSH), and housing [&hellip

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