Noteworthy News

Archive for health care reform


Medicare Payment Rule FY 2015: Inpatient Rates to Rise 1.4 Percent

Medicare inpatient rates will increase 1.4 percent in FY 2015. But the already-shrinking Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) pool will be $900 million smaller than proposed in April. These and other payment policies were included in the recently unveiled Medicare inpatient prospective payment system regulation for FY 2015. The new regulation, to be published shortly in the Federal Register, also addresses changes in Medicare’s value-based purchasing program, hospital readmissions reduction program, and outlier threshold and introduces Medicare’s new hospital-acquired conditions program and changes in hospitals’ Medicare area wage indexes. The National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) has prepared a summary [&hellip

Foundation to Track Effect of ACA on Hospitals

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched a project to measure the impact of the Affordable Care Act on hospitals. Working with 24 state hospital associations, the foundation’s Hospital ACA Monitoring Project will collect quarterly hospital data on admissions, emergency room visits, and selected diagnoses and procedures.  The project will collect data from different types of hospitals with different payer mixes. According to the foundation, the project “is designed to shed light on some of the effects of health reform on hospitals and provide extremely timely data to researchers, policymakers and hospital leaders.” Learn more about the Robert Wood Johnson [&hellip

Study Points to Risk of DSH Cuts

A new study suggests that future cuts in Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) and Medicaid DSH payments could pose problems for hospitals that serve large numbers of uninsured patients. According to a new report in the journal Health Affairs, Such cuts in government funding of uncompensated care could pose challenges to some providers, particularly in states that have not adopted the Medicaid expansion or where implementation of health care reform is proceeding slowly. Medicare DSH and Medicaid DSH payments help underwrite the uncompensated care hospitals provide to their uninsured patients.  All urban safety-net hospitals receive such payments. Even after Affordable [&hellip

Web Site Flaw Keeps Medicaid, CHIP Applicants in Limbo

More than 400,000 people thought to be eligible for Medicaid and CHIP appear to have their eligibility determinations caught in the web site. Through a flaw in the federal health care web site, eligibility notifications for these applicants have not been forwarded to state governments and the applicants have not been enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. Some states have received only some Medicaid and CHIP verifications from the federal web site while a few have not received any. Aware of the problems with the federal site, some newly eligible individuals and families reapplied on the federal site or went [&hellip

Supply of Doctors to be Tested by the Newly Insured

With various aspects of the Affordable Care Act helping millions of people obtain health insurance, it remains to be seen whether there will be enough doctors to care for them. In particular, primary care physicians, dentists, and mental health professionals could be in short supply, leaving some newly insured patients struggling to find providers to help them exercise their new access to care.  Many parts of the country, in fact, have been certified by the federal government as health professional shortage areas.  This includes areas served by many urban safety-net hospitals, some of which also are located in or near [&hellip

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