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Number of Uninsured Children Rises

For the first time since 2008, the number of uninsured children in the U.S. increased in 2017, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. While the total increase in the number of uninsured children is small – just 276,000 – 2017 marked the first time in nearly a decade that the number of uninsured children has risen.  For the year, 3.9 million were uninsured, up from 3.6 million in 2016. Passage of the Affordable Care Act and extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have contributed to declines in the number of uninsured children. [&hellip

The Changing of the Congressional Health Care Guard

Last week’s elections will bring to office in January a new majority party in the House and changes in the Senate as well. Changes in leadership are coming in all of the House committees with jurisdiction over health care matters:  Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Appropriations, and Oversight and Government Reform.  New leadership may be coming to the Senate Finance Committee as well. Kaiser Health News has published a look at the relevant committees, their likely new leaders, and the priorities of those new leaders.  Find that report here

Medicaid Expansion Didn’t Hurt Access After All

The expansion of Medicaid in nearly two-thirds of the states has not affected access to care for Medicare participants in those states. According to a new analysis by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Medicare patients had no more trouble getting timely doctors’ appointments, suffered no increase in costs, and experienced no increase in waiting times after their state expanded its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Learn more about these findings in this Healthcare Dive report or go here for access to the National Bureau of Economic Research report “The Impact of Insurance Expansions on the Already Insured: [&hellip

NAUH Opposes Proposed Medicare Outpatient Regulation

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, NAUH has conveyed its opposition to aspects of CMS’s proposed Medicare outpatient prospective payment system regulation for 2019.  Once adopted, this regulation will determine how the federal government pays hospitals and some physicians for Medicare-covered outpatient services in calendar year 2019. Aspects of the proposed regulation that NAUH opposes include: reducing outpatient payments to exempted off-campus provider-based departments to site-neutral rates; reversing a recent policy that permitted hospital-based outpatient facilities to be paid outpatient fee system rates rather than physician fee schedule rates for new services provided within clinical [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met last week in Washington, D.C. to address a number of Medicare reimbursement-related issues. Among the subjects on MedPAC’s agenda were: a unified payment system for post-acute care long-term-care hospitals physician payments next steps in redesigning Medicare’s hospital quality and value programs While MedPAC’s policy and payment recommendations are not binding on Congress or the administration, its views are respected and influential and often become the basis for new public policy. Go here to see the policy briefs and presentations offered to help guide MedPAC commissioners’ discussions about these and other issues

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