KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Hospital Chiefs Worry About Health Law’s Effects, CMS Proposes Medicare Payment Cuts

Kansas hospital chiefs worried about their bottom lines are waiting to see the consequences that the n ew health law will have on their organizations, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reports.

Among the concerns: "Non-profit hospitals will be required to conduct and submit a 'community needs assessment,' after which their progress in meeting the needs will be measured in three-year intervals. Those making little or no progress will risk losing their nonprofit status." Other changes for hospitals include: the requirement that they make sure patients know when free or discounted care is available, a reduction in payments to "Disproportionate Share Hospitals" - which serve the indigent - of 75 percent, penalties when Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge and a likely jump in patients from newly-insured seeking care (Ranney, 4/19).

CQ HealthBeat: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a proposal that would reduce payment to hospitals for Medicare patients by 0.1 percent in fiscal year 2011. "The 1,296-page regulatory proposal does not factor in a provision in the health care overhaul law that would reduce the market basket figure by minus 0.25 percentage points, which would add to the cut" (4/20).

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