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Archive for Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

SNAP Joins Others in Letter to PA Senators

SNAP was among 27 Pennsylvania health care organizations to send a joint letter to senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey pointing out aspects of the House-passed American Health Care Act that could jeopardize access to care for medically vulnerable Pennsylvanians. Among the issues addressed in the letter are how the House-passed proposal would detract from the role of Medicaid in fighting the state’s opioid crisis; the proposed reduction in tax credits to help purchase health insurance; the challenge posed by a per capita approach to Medicaid financing; the potential loss of health care jobs; the likelihood of large numbers of Pennsylvanians losing their health insurance and state Medicaid costs rising significantly; and the erosion of consumer protections. See the complete … Read More

Posted in American Health Care Act, Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

New Book Addresses Social Risk Factors in Medicare

In the new book, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine addresses the question of what social risk factors might be worth considering in Medicare value-based payment programs and how those risk factors might be reflected in value-based payments. The book, the culmination of a five-part NASEM process, focuses on five social risk factors: socio-economic position race, ethnicity, and cultural context gender social relationships residential and community context Addressing such factors in Medicare value-based payments, the book finds, can help achieve four important goals: reduce disparities in access, quality, and outcomes improve the qualify and efficiency of care for all patients foster fair and accurate reporting compensate provides fairly Doing so also can help prevent five types of unintended … Read More

Posted in Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Hospital Uncompensated Care Down

As was surely expected, reforms introduced through implementation of the Affordable Care Act have driven down uncompensated care costs for many hospitals. How much? A new study published by the Commonwealth Fund offers the following findings: uncompensated care declines in expansion states are substantial relative to profit margins; for every dollar of uncompensated care costs hospitals in expansion states had in 2013, the Affordable Care Act erased 41 cents by 2015; and Medicaid expansion reduced uncompensated care burdens for safety-net hospitals that are not made whole by Medicaid disproportionate share payments (Medicaid DSH). Learn more, including how the decline in uncompensated care costs affected different kinds of hospitals in different kinds of states, in the report “The Impact of the … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

To Require Work or Not to Require Work

That is the question policy-makers are asking as they consider imposing work requirements on healthy Medicaid participants. In recent years a number of states have attempted to establish such a requirement, only to have their requests to do so rejected by regulators in Washington, and a clause permitting states to establish such a requirement was included last month in the eventually sidetracked American Health Care Act.  Even now, a Kentucky Medicaid waiver application under consideration by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services includes a work requirement. Does the lack of a work requirement encourage people in Medicaid expansion states to withdraw from the workforce? Is a work requirement a way to raise the income of beneficiaries just enough to … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

CMS Clarifies Medicaid DSH Rule

Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a final rule addressing the treatment of third-party payers in calculating Medicaid uncompensated care costs.  This calculation affects individual hospitals’ Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) limit. According to CMS, This rule clarifies federal requirements regarding the treatment of third party payers in determining the hospital-specific Medicaid DSH payment limit, which is set by statute as a hospital’s “uncompensated costs” incurred in providing hospital services to Medicaid and uninsured patients. The final rule makes clearer our existing policy that uncompensated costs include only those costs for Medicaid eligible individuals that remain after accounting for all payments received by or on behalf of Medicaid eligible individuals, including Medicare and other third party … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Temporarily Gone But Not Forgotten

While last week’s withdrawal of the American Health Care Act at least temporarily halted talk of immediate repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, at least one aspect of that proposed legislation, often discussed in the past, is sure to arise in the future as well:  replacing the current manner in which the federal government matches state Medicaid funding with Medicaid per capita limits or Medicaid block grants. In a new issue brief, the Kaiser Family Foundation examines how a switch to per capita limits or block grants might affect low-income seniors served by both Medicare and Medicaid.  Among the issues the brief addresses are: why such a switch would matter to low-income seniors at all how it might … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Medicare, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

MACPAC Meets, Discusses Medicaid Issues

Members of the non-partisan legislative branch agency that advises Congress, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the states on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program matters met in Washington recently to discuss a number of issues. On the agenda of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission were the following issues: state Medicaid flexibility state Medicaid responses to fiscal pressures a study requested by Congress on mandatory and optional benefits and populations current Medicaid parallels to per capita financing options illustrations of state-level effects of per capita cap design elements high-cost hepatitis C drugs the role of section 1915(b) waivers in Medicaid managed care Because Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals serve so many Medicaid and CHIP participants, MACPAC’s deliberations … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Uncategorized

Changing Medicaid

With policy-makers in Washington considering some changes, and possibly major changes, in the state/federal Medicaid partnership, the Health Affairs Blog has taken a look at some of the options those policy-makers might consider. Among them are: giving states greater flexibility in the design and implementation of their own Medicaid programs requiring cost-sharing by some or all beneficiaries, such as through premiums and co-payments limiting benefits employing incentives to encourage healthy behaviors The article also considers the manner in which individuals enroll in Medicaid and how that has evolved over the years. Because Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals care for so many low-income and Medicaid patients, they could be affected by any major federal Medicaid policy changes far more than the typical Pennsylvania … Read More

Posted in Pennsylvania Medicaid policy, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Serving High-Need, High-Cost Medicare Patients

With Medicare beneficiaries who have four or more chronic conditions accounting for 90 percent of Medicare hospital readmissions and 74 percent of Medicare costs (both 2010 figures), policy-makers are constantly looking for better ways to serve such individuals. Academic research suggests that these beneficiaries need a variety of non-medical social interventions and supports, most of which are not covered by Medicare. With this in mind, the Bipartisan Policy Center has prepared a review of current regulatory, payment, and other barriers that prevent providers and insurers from meeting some of the non-medical needs of high-need, high-cost patients that result in such high health care costs and hospital readmissions rates. Many of these high-need, high-cost patients live in low-income communities served by … Read More

Posted in Medicare, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Academies Completes Work on Social Risk Factors in Health Care

Completing its assignment from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine has published its fifth and final report on social risk factors that affect health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries and how to account for those risk factors in Medicare payments. Among other things, the report notes that Although VBP [value-based purchasing] programs have catalyzed health care providers and plans to address social risk factors in health care delivery through their focus on improving health care outcomes and controlling costs, the role of social risk factors in producing health care outcomes is generally not reflected in payment under current VBP design. This misalignment has led to … Read More

Posted in Medicare, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Uncategorized
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania