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Archive for October 2016

PA Hospitals Reducing Readmissions, Mortality

Pennsylvania hospitals have seen a state-wide decrease in their mortality and readmission rates, according to new data released by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Commission. According to the new numbers, which cover hospital performance from January 1 through September 30 of 2015, hospital mortality rates fell for ten of the 16 conditions PHC4 tracks while readmissions fell for nine of the 13 conditions for which the agency collects data. PHC4 estimates that this improved performance saved 3900 lives and avoided 2700 hospital readmissions. For a closer look at the data PHC4 collected, the conditions it tracked, and a hospital-by-hospital, region-by-region, and state-wide look at hospital performance go here, to the PHC4 web site, to find a summary of the report, … Read More

Posted in Uncategorized

PA Uninsured Rate Declines

Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate has fallen to 6.4 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s less than half the state-wide rate of 13 percent in 2011 and 2012. Since that time the state’s Medicaid expansion has added 670,000 Pennsylvanians to the ranks of the insured, with others purchasing insurance through the federal health insurance marketplace. Learn more about the decline in the number of uninsured Pennsylvanians in this news release from the office of Governor Tom Wolf.

Posted in Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy

A New Approach to Serving High-Cost, High-Need, High-Risk Medicaid Patients

A partnership consisting of a county government, a public hospital, a county-run Medicaid managed care plan, and a federally qualified health center, Hennepin Health is an accountable care organization that seeks to serve high-cost, high-need, high-risk Medicaid patients in the greater Minneapolis area. Hennepin Health targets such individuals – all childless adults who became eligible for Medicaid when the state expanded its Medicaid program in 2011 – with the help of algorithms, identifies those most likely to incur high medical costs. It then offers a blend of social services, preventive care, and other services to address members’ medical conditions while bringing stability and order to their lives. Seventy-five percent of the program’s members are male, 70 percent are non-white, half … Read More

Posted in Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Perspective on Medicaid

A new report looks at how Medicaid has affected the health and health care of people throughout the country. The Commonwealth Fund report “Understanding the Value of Medicaid” examines the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and notes that the program currently serves 73 million children, seniors, low-income working adults, and people with disabilities. It also examines how Medicaid expansion has enhanced access to care and even given some people medical benefits comparable to those offered by private insurance. Finally, the report notes that safety-net hospitals that serve especially large numbers of low-income patients now serve fewer uninsured patients and are better able to invest in new staff, clinics, and equipment, thereby enhancing the quality of care … Read More

Posted in Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

New Study Questions 30-Day Readmissions as Measure of Hospital Quality

Hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge may not be a good way of judging the quality of care hospitals provide, a new study suggests. Seven days may be more like it. According to a new study published in the journal Health Affairs, the impact of the quality of care a hospital provides appears to be most evident immediately upon patients’ discharge from the hospital. Further, the study suggests, … most readmissions after the seventh day postdischarge were explained by community- and household-level factors beyond hospitals’ control. The researchers’ conclusion? Shorter intervals of seven or fewer days might improve the accuracy and equity of readmissions as a measure of hospital quality for public accountability. The findings call into question the … Read More

Posted in Medicare, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Pennsylvania Health Law Project Newsletter

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published its September 2016 newsletter. Included in this edition are stories about the selection of managed care organizations to participate in the state’s new Community HealthChoices program to provide community-based managed long-term services and supports to individuals who receive both Medicaid and Medicare and who are eligible for nursing home care; the open enrollment period for Medicare and Medicare Part D drug plans; the awarding of six “Navigator grants” to Pennsylvania organizations that counsel people interested in obtaining health insurance through the federal health insurance marketplace; and actions take by the state to improve access to pediatric shift nursing and home health aide services for children covered by Medicaid. Find the newsletter here.

Posted in Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy
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