Noteworthy News

Archive for December, 2018

 

NAUH Comments on Proposed Public Charge Regulation

In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, NAUH expressed its opposition to a proposed regulation calling for changes in how the federal government defines individuals as “public charges” for the purpose of determining whether they should be admitted to the U.S. as immigrants. In the letter, NAUH maintained that the proposed regulation could have a chilling effect on the willingness of many legal citizens and legal non-citizens to take advantage of government health care programs such as Medicaid.  This, in turn, could affect the health of people, of communities, and of private safety-net hospitals, which would find themselves [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. to discuss a number of Medicare payment issues. The issues on MedPAC’s December agenda were: Medicare payments for physician and other health professionals services payments for ambulatory surgical centers payments for hospital inpatient and outpatient care Medicare’s hospital quality incentive program payments for skilled nursing facilities payments for long-term care hospitals payments for inpatient rehabilitation facilities the Medicare Advantage program MedPAC is an independent congressional agency that advises Congress on issues involving the Medicare program.  While its recommendations are not binding on either Congress or the administration, MedPAC is [&hellip

Ambulances Respond Slower to Low-Income Communities

People living in low-income communities wait about four minutes longer for ambulances to respond to their call for help when they are having a heart attack, a new study has found. In communities with annual median incomes between $57,000 and $113,000, the study found that ambulances arrive in an average of 37.5 minutes – faster than in communities where the annual median income is between $20,250 and $42,642, where the typical wait time is 43 minutes. Neither result is anywhere near industry benchmarks of 4, 8, and 15 minutes for delivering specific services in response to heart attack symptoms. Among [&hellip

CMS Introduces New Waivers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has introduced four new “state relief and empowerment waivers” that are widely viewed as new vehicles for states to circumvent Affordable Care Act requirements to implement their own new approaches to health care. Through “account-based subsidies” waivers, states may direct public subsidies into defined-contribution, consumer-directed accounts that individuals use to pay for health insurance premiums or other health care expenses. “State-specific premium assistance” waivers enable states to create their own subsidy programs. “Adjusted plan options” authorizes states to provide financial assistance for different types of health insurance plans, including short-term and other health [&hellip

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