Noteworthy News

Archive for August, 2016


NIH Launches Research on Health Disparities in Disadvantaged Communities

The National Institutes of Health is launching a new Transdisciplinary Collaboratives Centers for Health Disparities Research on Chronic Disease Prevention program that seeks to respond to …the need for more robust, ecological approaches to address chronic diseases among racial and ethnic minority groups, under-served rural populations, people of less privileged socio-economic status, along with groups subject to discrimination who have poorer health outcomes often attributed to being socially disadvantaged. Two centers will focus their research efforts on development, implementation, and dissemination of community-based, multilevel interventions to combat chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Anticipated funding over the [&hellip

Who’s Still Uninsured?

Hispanics. Young people between the ages of 19 and 34. Men. Low-income people, especially those living in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. People in the South – again, especially those living in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. Those who work for small companies. The uninsured rate in the U.S., 20 percent before the Affordable Care Act took effect, is now 13 percent. Learn more about how the Affordable Care Act has changed the rate at which different groups of Americans are insured in this Commonwealth Fund survey

Medicare Continues to Grapple With Socio-Economic Risk Adjustment

The question of whether Medicare should consider the socio-economic status of the patients hospitals serve when it judges the effectiveness and quality of care hospitals provide continues to stir discussion and debate in the health care community. The issue arose recently in the context of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ new star ratings of hospitals, which some groups maintained could be unfair to hospitals that serve especially high proportions of low-income patients. The same issue has arisen in discussions about the fairness of Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program, with legislation seeking to address this currently before Congress, and [&hellip

CMS Proposes Medicaid DSH Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a new rule that would clarify the basis for eligible hospitals’ Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicaid DSH). Individual hospitals’ Medicaid DSH payments are based on their uncompensated care costs and the rule clarifies that only uncompensated costs for Medicaid patients for whom hospitals receive no other payments, such as from Medicare, state or local governments, or third-party payers, would count toward their hospital-specific Medicaid DSH limit. See the rule here. Interested parties have until September 15, 2016 to submit formal comments to CMS about its proposal. Representatives of private, non-profit [&hellip

Docs Less Likely to Participate in ACOs in Disadvantaged Communities

A new study has found that physicians who practice in areas with higher proportions of low-income, uninsured, less-educated, disabled, and African-American residents are less likely than others to participate in accountable care organizations. If ACOs ultimately are found to improve health care quality while better managing costs, their benefits might be limited in such communities, thereby exacerbating health care disparities. It also would be disadvantageous to many of the communities served by the nation’s private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals. To learn more, go here to see the Health Affairs report “Physicians’ Participation In ACOs Is Lower In Places With Vulnerable Populations Than In More [&hellip

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