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Medicare Joint Replacement Program Produces Savings

The first reporting period for Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model found that participating providers cut costs for episodes of care by more than $900, or 3.3 percent. Most of the savings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports, were achieved by sending patients to less-expensive post-acute-care settings or by reducing patients’ length of stay in such facilities. CMS also found that the program’s mandatory participants, located in 67 metropolitan statistical areas, achieved these savings without compromising quality of care as measured by post-discharge emergency room visits, hospital readmissions, and deaths. Learn more about CJR’s early results in [&hellip

Low-Acuity Use of Emergency Departments Declines

People are using hospital emergency departments less frequently for low-acuity medical problems, turning instead to retail clinics and urgent care. According to a new study of a limited patient population published in JAMA Internal Medicine, Visits to the ED for the treatment of low-acuity conditions decreased by 36% (from 89 visits per 1000 members in 2008 to 57 visits per 1000 members in 2015), whereas use of non-ED venues increased by 140% (from 54 visits per 1000 members in 2008 to 131 visits per 1000 members in 2015). There was an increase in visits to all non-ED venues: urgent care [&hellip

New Reg Pushes Medicare Toward Site-Neutral Outpatient Payments

Medicare would make more payments for outpatient services on a site-neutral basis under a newly proposed regulation just released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The 2019 Medicare outpatient prospective payment system regulation, published in proposal form, calls for: paying physician fee schedule rates rather than hospital outpatient rates at excepted off-campus provider-based departments; slashing payments for office visits; extending this year’s 340B prescription drug discount payments, already cut nearly 30 percent this year, to additional providers; and raising ambulatory surgical center rates and expanding the list of procedures that can be performed in such facilities so they [&hellip

NAUH Comments on Proposed Changes in Medicare Payments (Part 3 of 3)

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Association of Urban Hospitals has offered extensive comments on CMS’s proposed regulation describing how it intends to pay hospitals for Medicare-covered services in FY 2019.  NAUH offered these comments in response to CMS’s request for stakeholder input. In this space yesterday NAUH presented its comments on the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, quality reporting, multi-campus hospitals, and documentation required for Medicare cost reports.  On Wednesday NAUH presented its comments to CMS regarding how the agency proposes calculating Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) payments in the coming fiscal [&hellip

Hospital Government Payment Losses Could Reach $218 Billion by 2028

A recent study concluded that hospitals can expect to lose about $218 billion in federal Medicare and Medicaid payments between 2010, when the latest round of major cuts began, and 2028. Among those cuts cited in the study, which was commissioned by the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, are: $79 billion for DRG documentation and coding adjustments $73 billion for Medicare sequestration $26 billion for Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH) $11 billion in cuts associated with the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 Other cuts came, or will be coming, through regulatory changes, the introduction [&hellip

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