SNAPShots

HomeSNAPShots

Archive for Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

MACPAC Makes DSH, UPL Recommendations

Changes could come in Medicaid DSH and UPL payments if new MACPAC recommendations are adopted. Last week the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission released its annual report to Congress, with most of the report focusing on its analysis and recommendations for policy updates involving Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicaid DSH) and Medicaid upper payment limit payments (UPL payments). With Affordable Care Act-mandated cuts in Medicaid DSH payments scheduled to start in FY 2020 – this coming October – MACPAC recommended that these cuts be reduced and phased in over a longer period of time “…to give states and hospitals more time to respond to the cuts…” MACPAC also recommended that Congress and the administration revise the current … Read More

Posted in DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

“Medicaid Shortfall” Definition Changing?

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission last week discussed possible changes in how “Medicaid shortfall” is defined for the purpose of determining how much Medicaid disproportionate share money (Medicaid DSH) safety-net hospitals should receive. The discussion came in the wake of a court decision last year that ruled that third-party payments toward Medicaid-covered services could not be included in hospitals’ Medicaid shortfall calculations. MACPAC commissioners discussed several statutory changes that would seek to minimize the impact of the court ruling: Include third-party payments in the definition of Medicaid shortfall. Exclude from the Medicaid DSH definition of Medicaid shortfall all payments and costs for patients who have third-party coverage. Explore new rules that address different types of third-party coverage. … Read More

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

MACPAC: Slow Medicaid DSH Cuts

Slow the pace of scheduled cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicaid DSH), the non-partisan agency that advises Congress and the administration will tell Congress in its next report of policy recommendations. The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission voted 16-1 recently to recommend to Congress that Medicaid DSH cuts, mandated by the Affordable Care Act but delayed three times by Congress, be reduced in size and spread out over a longer period of time. Currently, Medicaid DSH allotments to the states are scheduled to be reduced $4 billion in FY 2020 and then $8 billion a year in FY 2021 through FY 2025.  MACPAC recommends that the cuts be reduced to $2 billion in FY 2020, $4 … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Court Rejects 340B Cuts

A federal court has ruled that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services overstepped its authority in reducing Medicare payments for prescription drugs covered by the section 340B prescription drug discount program. While the court conceded that CMS has the authority to address 340B payments, it found that CMS’s drastic payment cuts, introduced in FY 2018, “…fundamentally altered the statutory scheme established by Congress…” for determining 340B payment rates. The court suggested that CMS either change its methodology for determining 340B payments to justify the specific cuts it proposes or raise its objections with Congress, which created the program and has the authority to change it. According to documents submitted to the court by the parties that filed the suit, … Read More

Posted in Medicare, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Medicaid MCOs Skimping on Care?

Medicaid MCOs may be skimping on care, according to a recent Kaiser Health News report. According to Kaiser, for-profit companies that sub-contract with Medicaid managed care organizations to review requests for services often deny care to Medicaid patients to save money for the MCOs that employ them and to benefit themselves financially. The Kaiser article presents examples of companies that have been identified engaging in such practices, explains how they go about their work, and outlines the dangers to Medicaid recipients posed by such practices. Because they serve so many more Medicaid patients than the typical hospital, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, their patients, and the communities they serve can be greatly affected by such practices. Learn more in the Kaiser Health … Read More

Posted in Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Bill Would Overhaul Medicaid DSH

A new Senate proposal would change how the federal government allocates Medicaid disproportionate share money (Medicaid DSH) to the states. The State Accountability, Flexibility, and Equity (SAFE) for Hospitals Act, introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), seeks to …create equity for all states by updating a metric used to determine how much each state is allotted, which has not been reformed since the early 1990s. A news release issued by Senator Rubio explains that the bill Gradually changes the DSH allocation formula so states’ allocations are based on the number of low-income earners living in the state, as a percentage, of the total U.S. population earning less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Prioritizes DSH funding to hospitals … Read More

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

MACPAC Looks at Medicaid DSH

Last week the federal Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met in Washington, D.C. and one of the subjects on its agenda was Medicaid DSH. The Affordable Care Act mandated major reductions of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to states and those reductions have been delayed by Congress several times but are now scheduled to begin in FY 2020. At the MACPAC meeting the commission’s staff presented three proposed recommendations that address Medicaid DSH allotments; these recommendations were based on a consensus reached by MACPAC commissioners at their October meeting.  Those recommendations are: Phase in Medicaid DSH reductions more gradually over a longer period of time. Apply reductions to unspent DSH funds first. Distribute reductions in a way … Read More

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

Ambulances Respond Slower to Low-Income Communities

People living in low-income communities wait about four minutes longer for ambulances to respond to their call for help when they are having a heart attack, a new study has found. In communities with annual median incomes between $57,000 and $113,000, the study found that ambulances arrive in an average of 37.5 minutes – faster than in communities where the annual median income is between $20,250 and $42,642, where the typical wait time is 43 minutes. Neither result is anywhere near industry benchmarks of 4, 8, and 15 minutes for delivering specific services in response to heart attack symptoms. Among the possible reasons for the difference in response times, the study’s authors suggest, are hospital closures in and around low-income … Read More

Posted in Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

Medicaid to Help Pay for Food, Heat, Rent?

Maybe. At least that is what Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar hinted during a recent symposium held in Salt Lake City. During the event, Azar said that HHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation seeks …solutions for the whole person, including addressing housing, nutrition, and other social needs. Azar hinted at future CMMI action, saying that What if we gave organizations more flexibility so they could pay a beneficiary’s rent if they were in unstable housing, or make sure that a diabetic had access to, and could afford, nutritious food? If that sounds like an exciting idea … I want you to stay tuned to what CMMI is up to. CMMI currently operates one major program that … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals

CMS Proposes New Medicaid Managed Care Regulation

Just two years after a major overhaul of Medicaid managed care regulations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is again proposing changes in how the federal government regulates the delivery of managed care services to Medicaid beneficiaries. Under the newly proposed regulation, states would: be free to implement more changes in their managed care programs without seeking federal permission; have slightly more flexibility in how supplemental payments are made to hospitals through managed care plans and implement some such changes without federal approval; be permitted to redefine what constitutes an adequate provider network for managed care plans; and not be required to publicize beneficiary grievance and appeals processes as prominently as they currently do. Overall, the proposed regulation appears … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals
P:(717)234-6970; F:(717)234-6971
2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania