Noteworthy News

Archive for non-profit hospitals

 

340B Program Faces Challenges, Change

A federal program that helps selected health care providers obtain discounted drugs for low-income patients they are serving on an outpatient basis may soon face major changes. The 340B prescription drug pricing program, created more than 20 years ago to help serve low-income individuals, has come under fire in recent years in both the House and the Senate over how qualified, participating providers – disproportionate share hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers and their look-alikes, children’s hospitals, critical access hospitals, rural referral centers, and others – use the savings they derive from the program. While there is a general expectation that [&hellip

NAUH Comments on Medicare Bill

Late last year, Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Health Subcommittee, released his “Hospital Improvement for Payment Act of 2014.” At the time, Rep. Brady invited comment on his Medicare proposal, which was widely viewed as a preview of the agenda he intended to pursue in 2015. Yesterday the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) sent Mr. Brady extensive comments on his bill.  Among the many issues NAUH addressed in its letter are the bill’s proposal for a new way for Medicare to pay for short hospital stays; its call for the annual publication [&hellip

IRS Finalizes Standards for Non-Profit Hospitals

The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance for non-profit hospitals on selected issues that could jeopardize their non-profit status. As described in a commentary by the U.S. Treasury Department, non-profit hospitals must: Limit charges.  Hospitals may not charge individuals eligible for financial assistance more for emergency or other medically necessary care than the amounts generally billed to patients with insurance (including Medicare, Medicaid, or private commercial insurance).  Establish and disclose financial assistance policies.  Each hospital must establish and widely publicize a financial assistance policy that clearly describes to patients the eligibility criteria for obtaining financial assistance and the method for [&hellip

MedPAC Considers FY 2016 Pay Boost for Inpatient, Outpatient Payments

Medicare payments to hospitals for inpatient and outpatient care could rise 3.25 percent in the coming fiscal year. At least that is what members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) discussed recommending to Congress when they met last week in Washington. During MedPAC’s two-day public meeting, members discussed recommending to Congress a 3.25 percent increase in Medicare inpatient and outpatient payments in FY 2016.   They will vote on their recommendation at their next meeting. A presentation to MedPAC members by their staff also offered a number of observations about Medicare services: Demand for hospital services is stable. With hospital [&hellip

MACPAC Looks at Medicaid, CHIP Issues

The non-partisan federal agency charged with advising Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the states on matters involving Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) met last week in Washington, D.C. The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) addressed a number of CHIP-related issues during its September 18-19 meetings, including the future of the program, its funding, state experiences with CHIP changes, and consumer protections. MACPAC also looked at a variety of Medicaid issues, including state Medicaid expansions through premium assistance, enrollment so far in 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Medicaid [&hellip

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