Noteworthy News

Archive for March, 2016


Improving Insurance Enrollment for Legal Immigrants

While the Affordable Care Act has led to impressive increases in the number of Americans with health insurance, the current enrollment poses a number of challenges for legal immigrants: those in the U.S. legally who lack insurance and are qualified to obtain coverage through the federally facilitated marketplace and state exchanges. Researchers at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families have identified a number of obstacles to enrollment for legal immigrants, including complicated applications, and have recommended ways of addressing this and other obstacles standing in the path of legal immigrants obtaining health insurance. This is an important issue for [&hellip

Hospitals, Non-Profit Status, and Community Benefit

For years debate has raged over what non-profit hospitals must do to retain that non-profit status. That debate has gone from a general concept of what constitutes “community benefit” to local government challenges to the non-profit status of hospitals based on the general notion that they were not providing enough community benefits to merit the special tax status. The debate was raised to a new level in 2010 when the Affordable Care Act established, for the first time, national standards detailing what hospitals must do to retain their tax-exempt status. In a new issue brief, the journal Health Affairs takes [&hellip

Hospitals Not Using Observation Status to Avoid Readmissions Penalties

Hospitals are not moving returning patients to observation status to avoid incurring financial penalties under Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program, according to new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Since that program’s inception, more than 3300 hospitals have reduced the rate at which they readmit Medicare patients within 30 days of their discharge from the hospital. A moderate increase in the classification of Medicare patients in observation status led some critics to suggest that observation status was being used to avoid penalties for readmissions. The study disagrees, concluding that …we found a change in the rate of readmissions [&hellip

Do Return ER Visits Yield Better Outcomes?

Patients who visit hospital emergency rooms for care, return home, and then return to the ER within 30 days have better outcomes than those who are admitted to the hospital from the ER. And their care costs less as well. This according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. What does this mean? According to the study’s abstract, These findings suggest that hospital admissions associated with return visits to the ED may not adequately capture deficits in the quality of care delivered during an ED visit. To learn more about the study and its surprising [&hellip

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