Health Care Reform

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October 2017
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Study: Most hospitals received penalties for excess readmissions

Editor's Note More than half of hospitals were penalized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in all five years of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) initiated by the Affordable Care Act, this study finds. Among the study findings: Penalties doubled since the beginning of the program, from…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 2, 2017
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Editorial

Recent developments such as the Trump administration’s failure to pass its healthcare reform bill and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s (CMS) decision to delay expanding its bundled payments program leave the healthcare industry in a position of uncertainty. It’s difficult to plan, and signs of any real progress are…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 21, 2017
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Study: Physicians now spend half their time on computer tasks

Editor's Note Over time, electronic health records (EHRs) show a decline in face-to-face patient assessments by physicians and an increase in computer tasks, this study finds. Physicians now spend 50% of their time with patients and 50% of their time on computers.  The analysis included 471 physicians who worked on…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 7, 2017
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CMS interim rule delays bundled payment programs

Editor's Note In an interim final rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has delayed expansion of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) bundled payment program and  implementation of its bundled payment programs for cardiac care from July 1 to October 1, 2017, the March 20 Modern…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 20, 2017
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Bill to repeal, replace Affordable Care Act released

Editor's Note The 123-page bill, called the “American Health Care Act,” was released March 6, Modern Healthcare reports. The bill replaces the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) income-based premium tax credits with age-based tax credits. It also enhances federal funding for states to expand Medicaid to low-income adults, and it converts…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 7, 2017
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Executive order pushes back implementation of bundled payment models

Editor's Note An executive order by President Donald Trump that freezes new regulations has pushed back implementation of new and expanded Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) bundled payment models by 60 days, the February 20 Home Health Care News reports. Mixed feelings continue in the healthcare industry as…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 28, 2017
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Editorial

Even before Trump took office, Congress was planning to prepare ACA repeal legislation by January 27. It looked as though action could be swift once key members of the new administration took office. However, The Washington Post’s report of a January 26 meeting of Republican lawmakers indicated they were far…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
February 17, 2017
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Medical technology jobs drop amid device tax implementation

Editor's Note The Advanced medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) in a February 8 press release linked medical technology job losses to the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax. The US medical technology industry lost nearly 29,000 (7.2%) jobs from 2012 to 2015 while the 2.3% medical device tax was in effect,…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 10, 2017
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Effect of bundled payments on total joint costs

Editor's Note In this study, Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement bundled payment model resulted in a decrease of $5,577 in total spending per episode. Most hospital savings came from implants and supplies, and most postacute care savings came from decreased use of inpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility care.…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 7, 2017
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Use of high-, low-quality hospitals by uninsured

Editor's Note Despite the Affordable Care Act, which was designed to improve access to care for patients without insurance, patients without insurance have lower use of high-quality hospitals, this study finds. The probability of admission to high-quality hospitals was similar for patients with Medicaid (23.3%) and private insurance (23.0%), but…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 25, 2017
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