KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Medicare Backs Away From Plan To Penalize Doctors Ordering Some Prostate Cancer Tests

The proposal sparked a wave of criticism. Also, federal officials say they will test whether paying more to skilled-nursing facilities can help reduce hospital admissions.

The Wall Street Journal: Medicare Officials Halt Proposal To Penalize Doctors For Some Prostate Cancer-Screening Tests
Medicare officials said they have temporarily abandoned a proposed measure that would have penalized doctors for ordering “non-recommended” prostate-specific antigen tests to screen for prostate cancer, citing a wave of negative comments. The proposal, part of the federal effort to define and reward quality in health-care services, sparked confusion and criticism among urologists and others who said whether men should be screened for prostate cancer remained too controversial to link to a penalty in Medicare reimbursement. (Beck, 3/24)

Modern Healthcare: CMS Will Test Paying More For Skilled Nursing To Curb Hospital Readmissions
The CMS will test whether paying skilled-nursing facilities more will help reduce avoidable hospital admissions among their long-term-care residents. Industry stakeholders say the move acknowledges the role of post-acute-care facilities in improving quality of care, a role integral to the upcoming bundled payment model. The new skilled-nursing payment policy would affect individuals who are in either Medicare or Medicaid, or eligible for both programs. (Dickson, 3/24)

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