Large Hospital DSH Cuts Scheduled for October 1; MACPAC Says Congress Should Slow Them Down The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission recommended that if Congress allows the disproportionate share hospital allotment cuts to move forward that they change the law to slow them down...

MedPAC Recommends Increases to Hospitals, LTCHs, No Increases for ASCs, SNFs, Reductions for IRFs, Home Health The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission last week recommended 2-percent payment increases to both short-term acute and long-term acute care hospitals in 2020. Additionally, the Commissioners voted to recommend to replace...

New Congress Tackling Drug Prices Two democrats and an independent introduced bills in the House and Senate to lower the high costs of drugs. Sen. Bernie Sander (I-VT), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced a three-part plan last week that included: The Prescription...

House Votes to Join Legal Defense of ACA; Committee Plans Hearing on Judge's Decision  In one of the first votes after taking over the House, Democrat leaders pushed through a measure to allow the chamber to defend the Affordable Care Act in court by joining the...

Happy New Year! Judge Rules in Favor of Hospitals in 340B Case In a major development, Federal D.C. district court Judge Rudolph Contreras sided with hospitals stating that CMS overstepped its authority when cutting 340B drug reimbursement by almost 30 percent as part of the 2018 hospital outpatient pay...

Senior House Democrats' New Bill Ramps Up the Medicare Expansion Debate Earlier this week, Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced legislation, the Medicare for America Act, that would greatly expand Medicare coverage while maintaining employer-sponsored health insurance for those who have it and...

Federal Court Nixes Affordable Care Act -- Confusion Grows, Congressional Leaders Vow Action, Courts Likely To Act A federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated a penalty for those who forgo health insurance. U.S. District Judge...

Non-Profit Hospitals Will Struggle in 2019: Moody's & Fitch Not-for profit hospitals will continue their course in 2019 of having their expenses outpace their revenue streams, according to a Moody's Investors Service  report released last week. The outlook reflects Moody's expectation that operating cash flow in...

OIG Calls for Major Reforms to Medicare Wage Index System  According to a report released by the HHS Office of Inspector General last week, investigators discovered significant vulnerabilities in the wage index system while conducting reviews of hospitals’ wage data from 2004 through 2017.  The wage index, which is...

HHS Moves on Stark, Anti-Kickback Reforms; New Congress Wants More Health Care Changes Health care providers of all types are urging officials to waive or roll back the requirements of federal fraud and abuse laws so they can join forces and coordinate care, sharing cost reductions...