Entries by Joseph Steinbock

Court Halts Medicare Site-Neutral Payment Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not have the authority to implement the site-neutral payment system for Medicare-covered outpatient services that it introduced last year, a federal court has concluded. According to the court, CMS exceeded its authority because it …was not authorized to ignore the statutory process for setting payment rates in […]

MedPAC Meets

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. to discuss a number of Medicare payment issues. Among issues on MedPAC’s September agenda were: context for Medicare payment policy the effects of Medicare Advantage “spillover” on Medicare fee-for-service spending and coding evaluation of the hospital readmissions reduction program Medicare indirect medical education (IME) […]

ACA Has Reduced Insurance Disparities

The Affordable Care Act is responsible for a major reduction in the disparity of insurance status among racial and ethnic minorities. According to a new Commonwealth Fund analysis, All U.S. racial and ethnic groups saw comparable, proportionate declines in uninsured rates…  However, because uninsured rates started off much higher among Hispanic and black non-Hispanic adults […]

Uninsured Rate Rose in 2017

The rate of uninsured Americans rose in 2017, the first such increase since implementation of the Affordable Care Act. According to a new Urban Institute study, The increasing uninsurance rate between 2016 and 2017 was driven by losses of private nongroup coverage, such as that purchased in the health insurance marketplaces, and decreases in Medicaid […]

New Public Charge Rule Could Affect Immigrants, Providers

Legal immigrants may become reluctant to seek government-sponsored health care and providers may find themselves delivering more uncompensated care in the wake of the adoption of a new federal “public charge” regulation that seeks to define more narrowly the kinds of individuals who should be granted entry to the U.S. in the future. The new […]

CMS Introduces New Medicaid Opioid Management Guidelines

States must do more to monitor the prescription and use of opioids within their Medicaid programs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services told them this week. In a formal guidance letter to state Medicaid programs issued as part of implementation of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and […]

Can Medicare Feed its Way Out of Some Readmissions?

Feeding some Medicare patients after they are discharged from the hospital could reduce readmissions and save taxpayers millions, a new study has concluded. According to the new Bipartisan Policy Center report Next Steps in Chronic Care:  Expanding Innovative Medicare Benefits, providing a limited number of free meals to certain Medicare patients could eliminate nearly 10,000 […]

New Bill Would Address Social Determinants of Health

The federal government would provide funding to help address social determinants of health within Medicaid populations under a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives last week. According to a legislative summary prepared by one of the bipartisan bill’s sponsors, Economic and social conditions have a powerful impact on our health and wellness. Stable […]

ACA’s Medicaid Pay Bump Helped But Benefits Now Lost, Study Says

Health status and access to care improved for Medicaid patients when the Affordable Care Act mandated a temporary rate increase for physicians serving newly insured patients covered through that law’s Medicaid expansion. But when the mandate for increased physician payments ended and state Medicaid programs reverted to their previous, lower payments, many of those benefits […]