Noteworthy News

Archive for September, 2016


Foundation Looks at Care for High-Need, High-Cost Patients

In a new issue brief, the Commonwealth Fund has identified what it views to be six key elements for improving care for high-need, high-cost patients – those who consume disproportionate amounts of health care. They are: Promote value-based payments Improve value-based payment design and implementation Allow payments for non-medical services Assist clinicians in adopting best practices Prioritize health information exchange Support ongoing presentation Permitting payments for non-medical services is especially important for urban safety-net hospitals. As the issue brief notes, and as urban safety-net hospitals have long observed, meeting the housing, nutrition, social, and other personal needs of high-care, high-cost [&hellip

MACPAC Looks at Medicaid DSH

With Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH) facing future reductions, the agency charged with advising Congress on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance payment and access matters is considering what changes the federal supplemental Medicaid payment program might need. At a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission discussed the changing role and purpose of Medicaid DSH as more Americans obtain health insurance through private or public sources. MACPAC commissioners noted that hospital uncompensated care is falling, especially in states that have taken advantage of the Affordable Care Act to expand their Medicaid programs. A [&hellip

A City Tackles Health Disparities

As the journal Health Affairs recently noted, “While 97 percent of health care costs are spent on medical care delivered in hospitals, only 10 percent of what determines life-expectancy takes place within the four walls of a health care facility. Where we live, work, and play each day drives our health and well-being.” In this context, the Health Affairs recently examined how Baltimore and its city Health Department are tackling a number of issues that affect the health of the city’s residents, including the city’s high infant mortality rate, violence, public health concerns, the opioid crisis, public safety and the [&hellip


The federal agency responsible for advising Congress on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program payment and access issues met last week in Washington, D.C. According to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, The initial sessions of MACPAC’s September 2016 Commission meeting focused on hospital payment policy, first discussing MACPAC’s new work to develop an index of Medicaid inpatient payments across states and relative to Medicare, and later looking at how Affordable Care Act coverage expansions have affected hospitals serving a disproportionate share of low-income patients, including those with Medicaid coverage. The Commission then reviewed state policies for covering [&hellip

Medicare Readmissions Down Almost Everywhere

Hospitals in 49 of the 50 states have reduced their Medicare readmissions since the federal health care program introduced its readmissions reduction program in 2010. Only hospitals in Vermont have failed to cut readmissions. Nationally, readmissions fell more than five percent in 43 states and more than ten percent in 11 states. Overall, readmissions fell 100,000 in 2015 alone compared to 2010 and have fallen 565,000 since 2010. As the program ages more medical conditions are being subjected to the readmissions reduction program’s requirements. In the coming year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates it will penalize 2500 [&hellip

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