Noteworthy News

Archive for Urban Safety-Net Hospitals

 

Medicaid Expansion Helping Diabetics

The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion has led to a 40 percent increase in the number of prescriptions for diabetes medicine filled in the 30 states that expanded their Medicaid programs. Meanwhile, there was no change in the number of diabetes-related prescriptions filled in states that did not expand their Medicaid programs. This is considered important because it suggests that many low-income people who either could not afford their diabetes medicine or whose illness was undiagnosed are now being treated for the disease – a significant development because every diabetic who is treated for the condition represents a cost savings [&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

Energy and Commerce to Look at 340B Today

The Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing today to review various proposals to alter the 340B prescription drug discount program. That program enables hospitals that care for especially large numbers of low-income patients to receive discounts on prescription drugs that they dispense on an outpatient basis to low-income patients. Among the issues the Health Subcommittee is expected to consider are whether hospitals are using these discounts to benefit their low-income patients and whether the extent of the discounts the pharmaceutical industry is required to provide result in increased prescription drug costs for others. [&hellip

GAO Recommends Changes in Oversight of 340B Program

The federal Government Accountability Office is recommending that the Department of Health and Human Services improve its oversight of the 340B prescription drug discount program. That program was created by Congress to help safety-net providers obtain discounts on prescription drugs they dispense to low-income patients on an outpatient basis.  Those discounts are provided by pharmaceutical companies and not paid for with taxpayer money. The 340B program has been controversial in recent years, and in response to a request from Congress for the GAO to look into the contract pharmacies that operate the 340B programs for many safety-net providers, the GAO [&hellip

Do “Narrow Networks” Jeopardize Care?

They may if they serve Medicaid patients. Or so suggests a new Health Affairs report. As growing numbers of Medicaid managed care plans reduce their provider networks as a means of managing costs, provider turnover appears to be growing.  According to the report, narrow networks tracked during a five-year period experienced a 20 percentage point greater rate of physician turnover than non-narrow plans. Such turnover is thought to be a potential problem for Medicaid patients who are socially or clinically vulnerable and present complex medical needs.  The loss of a physician can disrupt and complicate the care of such patients [&hellip

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