Noteworthy News

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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

MedPAC Issues 2018 Report to Congress

The non-partisan legislative branch agency that advises Congress and the administration on Medicare payment policies has submitted its mandatory annual report to Congress. Among the findings included in the report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission are: Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program has not resulted in increases in emergency room visits or hospital observation stays. Many Medicare accountable care organizations, while maintaining or improving quality, are producing more modest savings than predicted. MedPAC approves of Medicare’s proposals to redesign the case-mix classification system for skilled nursing facilities. MedPAC supports changes Medicare has proposed for patient assessment and therapy requirements for [&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

Time to Raise the Bar on Preventable Hospital Readmissions?

A new report suggests that hospitals can have the greatest impact on reducing preventable readmissions within seven days of discharge and not through the 30-day mark at which they are currently judged by Medicare. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Early readmissions were more likely to be preventable and amenable to hospital-based interventions.  Late readmissions were less likely to be preventable and were more amenable to ambulatory and home-based interventions. The study, conducted at 10 academic medical centers and involving more than 800 of their patients who had been readmitted to the hospital, concludes that [&hellip

CMS Proposes Regulatory Changes in Medicare Quality Programs

Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a proposal detailing how it envisions paying for Medicare services in FY 2019 under its inpatient prospective payment system. On Tuesday this space features a summary of the proposed changes in inpatient rates, Medicare disproportionate share payments (Medicare DSH) and how they would be calculated, and proposed changes in the Medicare area wage index system.  Yesterday we looked at proposed changes in regulations governing multi-campus hospitals, Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive programs, and the hospital readmissions reduction program. Today we describe proposed changes in various Medicare quality efforts. [&hellip

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