Noteworthy News

Archive for Medicare

 

Ways and Means Praises CMS for Red Tape Efforts, Seeks More

Leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee have written to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma to praise her agency’s work in eliminating Medicare red tape – but also asking her to “…take further steps to improve patient care by alleviating administrative and regulatory burdens for Medicare providers.” In three separate letters, committee chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Health Subcommittee chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) expressed their pleasure with CMS’s recent efforts but specified areas where they would like to see further action. For hospitals, they wrote that they seek further red-tape cutting in the areas of [&hellip

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

Congress Asks MedPAC to Look at Hospital Consolidation

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has asked the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to examine the impact of hospital consolidation on patients and federal health care spending. In a letter signed by Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Health Subcommittee chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS), the Energy and Commerce Committee states that We request the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) conduct research examining questions regarding the market trend of hospital consolidation and the degree to which such consolidation increases cost to the Medicare program and beneficiaries, including the costs for [&hellip

Medicare Announces FY 2019 Inpatient Payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released its FY 2019 payment schedule for Medicare inpatient services. Highlights of the FY 2019 inpatient prospective payment system regulation include: A 1.75 percent increase in fee-for-service rates. A $1.5 billion increase in Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH). Major reductions of the quality measures hospitals must report for Medicare’s inpatient quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs. A requirement that hospitals post their standard charges on the internet. Learn about these and other aspects of Medicare’s FY 2019 inpatient prospective payment system regulation by seeing this Medicare fact sheet or go [&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

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