Noteworthy News

Archive for June, 2018

 

Amid Budget Woes, States May Look to Medicaid for Savings

Budget challenges may lead some states to seek changes in their Medicaid programs aimed at saving money. Or so reports Fitch Ratings, the bond rating company. According to Fitch, health care was the biggest driver in rising state spending between 2005 and 2015 and the portion of state spending on health and social services will increase from 30.7 percent in 2015 to 38.3 percent in 2025. Among the measures states will turn to in an effort to manage rising health care costs, according to Fitch, are Medicaid work requirements, reductions in Medicaid retroactive coverage, new Medicaid premiums, and lifetime limits [&hellip

NAUH Endorses 340B Bill

In a letter to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, NAUH has endorsed H.R. 6071, the Stretching Entity Resources for Vulnerable Communities Act (SERV), which was introduced earlier this week by Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA). H.R. 6071 seeks to clarify the intent of the 340B prescription drug discount program and restore $1.6 billion in funding that was eliminated from the program effective January 1. See NAUH’s letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee here. &nbsp

Verdict: Medicaid Expansion Improved Care and Access

A new review of studies published since the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has concluded that expansion improved care, access to care, and coverage in states that expanded their Medicaid programs. Among the improvements cited by studies are: greater use of primary care more preventive health visits more behavioral health care shorter hospital stays fewer avoidable hospital admissions reduced access problems reduced reliance on hospital ERs as a primary source of care improved monitoring and compliance rates for patients with diabetes and hypertension higher rates of screening for prostate cancer and Pap smears In addition, hospitals provided less uncompensated care [&hellip

Do “Narrow Networks” Jeopardize Care?

They may if they serve Medicaid patients. Or so suggests a new Health Affairs report. As growing numbers of Medicaid managed care plans reduce their provider networks as a means of managing costs, provider turnover appears to be growing.  According to the report, narrow networks tracked during a five-year period experienced a 20 percentage point greater rate of physician turnover than non-narrow plans. Such turnover is thought to be a potential problem for Medicaid patients who are socially or clinically vulnerable and present complex medical needs.  The loss of a physician can disrupt and complicate the care of such patients [&hellip

Study Raises Questions About Progress Toward Reducing Readmissions

A new study suggests that the reduction in hospital readmissions of recent years may not be as meaningful a reflection of improved quality of care as some observers believe. According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, at the same time that hospitals have reduced their readmissions of Medicare patients in response to penalties imposed through Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program, the rate of readmission of patients who are hospitalized for observation stays after visiting the emergency room has increased 35 percent.  This increase in readmissions for observation stay patients comes at a time, moreover, [&hellip

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