Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

SGR repeal becomes reality

Despite industry concern that the reimbursement outlined in the Sustainable Growth Rate formula repeal law isn't enough to keep up with costs over time, medical groups cheered the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

CMS unveils new rating system for hospitals

There are five-star hotels and restaurants, and soon there may be five-star hospitals. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has introduced a new hospital rating system for patient experience that will be based on a five-star scale.

Senate approves bill to repeal SGR

The Senate Tuesday night overwhelmingly passed a bill to do away with the controversial Sustainable Growth Rate formula, a mechanism used to calculate Medicare payments to physicians.

The return of the RAC

As 2016 budget discussions consume lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a has released its coyly-named report, "Prime Cuts," which identifies ways in which the federal government could save nearly $650 billion next year. Tucked amid a slew subsidy cuts and calls to end various government programs, CAGW advocates for the revival of one program: Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs). But the return of the RAC program requires a measured approach. 

House calls make a comeback--with an IT twist

As pressure mounts for physicians to manage patients' chronic conditions out of the hospital, the house call has re-emerged as a way to complement office-based care. Unlike doctors' black bags of the 1950s, however, today's tools of the trade rely heavily on health information technology.

Uninsured rate drops to 11.9 percent

The uninsured rate among Americans hit an all-time low of 11.9 percent for the first quarter of 2015,  according to a recent Gallup poll. The rate was 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is down 5.2 percentage points since just prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2013.

How 4 states tackle healthcare cost measurement

A new report from the Milbank Memorial Fund examines healthcare cost measurement initiatives in four states and the policies driving them.

Urban Institute says spending trends on major downturn

Despite the recent alarms about healthcare costs creeping up again, a new and extensive study by the Urban Institute suggests that they will continue to remain low in the years to come, with the Affordable Care Act playing some yet-to-be fully defined role.

MedPAC suggests CMS scrap two-midnight rule

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recommends that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services withdraw its proposed two-midnight rule,  AHA News Now  has reported.

Minimum-distance requirements could hurt rural, critical access hospitals

A recent study published in  Health Affairs  determines minimum-distance requirements for rural, critical access hospitals would be disruptive to communities that depend on those hospitals, while only creating modest Medicare savings.