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Obamacare gains bring charity care cuts for NJ hospitals
For New Jersey's hospitals, part of the gift of the Affordable Care Act, with its expanded Medicaid and reduced uninsured population, is going to have to be returned. Hospitals across New Jersey are analyzing the potential impact of Gov. Chris Christie's proposed $148 million budget cut to the state's charity care subsidy program.
Why healthcare quality measures don't go deep enough
As the healthcare industry debates which quality measures are the most meaningful, one expert says the problem with current benchmarks is that they focus on what is easy to assess rather than what matters most to patients. "The quality programs grew out of two realizations: Healthcare is unsafe and outcomes are poor," Scott Wallace, a visiting professor at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal. "But there is no single measure of a doctor's or hospital's quality that will fix those problems. Instead, we're measuring processes."
Medicaid expansion slashes hospitals' unpaid bills
Hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid to their poorest residents faced about $5 billion less in unpaid bills last year — about twice the reduction as those that did not expand this health care coverage, according to a new federal report. The Department of Health and Human Services released the report at a Virginia event marking the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA expanded Medicaid, but a Supreme Court decision gave states the option of offering Medicaid to all of their citizens or not, and 22 states have not done so.
Providers plan to pursue Medicare's chronic care management program
By Scott E. Rupp
Kryptiq conducted a benchmark survey to gauge providers' pursuit of the newly available payments in light of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services starting to reimburse providers last Jan. 1. Caregivers who actively manage care delivery for Medicare patients with two or more chronic conditions are able to receive payment for the services if they use a certified electronic health record, obtain and manage patient consent, deliver five core care management services and provide at least 20 minutes of follow-up outside of the office in conjunction with the chronic care management program.
Doctors facing payment penalties in EHR incentive programs
Until recently, the EHR Incentive Programs always used financial incentives in order to promote EHR adoption among the healthcare sector. The potential for financial penalties among providers who have not adopted pertinent meaningful use stages has been established for several years by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., however, stated that the government should not mandate EHR adoption by removing Medicare payments but should instead assist and encourage medical providers to adopt the health IT systems.
The 3 'hows' of physician compensation
New care delivery models and healthcare reimbursement trends are heating up the market for hospital employment of physicians yet again, but does a productivity-based compensation model still work in this environment? Hospitals have competing goals in setting compensation, and as long as they observe the three "Hows," compensation can reflect those various objectives. This holds true even if the hospital is incurring losses on an employed physician.
Affordable Care Act faces more hurdles in coming months
By Rosemary Sparacio
The Affordable Care Act has survived one repeal attempt in the Supreme Court, as well as more than 50 repeal attempts by the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, President Barack Obama's signature legislation faces yet another significant challenge to its existence. In the current case before the Supreme Court (King v. Burwell), a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs this June would essentially cut off the healthcare law's tax credits/subsidies in roughly two-thirds of the states. Additionally, many Americans are still unaware of the penalty that will be assessed for those who have not signed up for coverage by April 15.
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Mixed industry response to stage 3 meaningful use rule
The proposed stage 3 meaningful use rule released March 20 received early mixed reviews from two stakeholder associations. The rule, focusing on advanced use of electronic health records with fewer objectives, is meant to provide more flexibility and simplify requirements for providers, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It specifies the criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals must meet to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payments and avoid financial penalties under Medicare for stage 3 of the EHR Incentive Programs.
Doctors continue to hate their jobs — Is the ACA to blame?
By Scott E. Rupp
In news that we likely all knew (or had an inkling of), physicians are less happy than they have been or could be, a new survey suggests. There are a number of reasons for the lack of job satisfaction, including bureaucracy and a greater focus on technology and data entry, but the data reflected here — in a recent survey from the healthcare solutions group Geneia — is nothing new. The fact is that physicians are not able to practice according to their own desires and that they are overwhelmed large amounts of paperwork and regulations of the healthcare market.
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