KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

A Heavy Lift? Legal Challenge To Medicare’s ‘Two Midnight’ Rule

Modern Healthcare reports that some legal experts say it will be tough to convince judges to overturn the controversial rule on classifying Medicare in-patients.

Modern Healthcare: AHA Lawsuit Over ‘Two-Midnight’ Rule Called Uphill Battle
The CMS' so-called “two-midnight” rule was intended to clarify which patients are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital by requiring doctors to certify they have good reason to expect patients to need two nights in the hospital. Only then will Medicare pay inpatient hospital rates for the patients' care. ... Monday, the American Hospital Association and a coalition of members filed two federal lawsuits challenging the rule and its reduction in payments to hospitals. ... Medicare's recovery auditors have been banned from auditing hospitals under the two-midnight policy until March 2015 (Carlson, 4/15).

Meanwhile --

Pioneer Press:  Medicare Data:  Minnesota Providers Collect Less On Average Than Peers
The federal Medicare health insurance program winds up paying the fare for many of the ambulance rides provided by the city of St. Paul. That's why the city in 2012 was one of the largest single recipients of the program's payments among nonhospital health care providers in Minnesota, according to data released this month by the federal government. Of more than 19,000 providers who in 2012 cared for Medicare patients in Minnesota, St. Paul's take of more than $2 million was the ninth-largest individual sum (Snowbeck, 4/15).

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