KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Hospitals Nervous As Medicare Considers Paying For Joint Replacements At Surgical Centers

If the federal government begins covering hip and knee surgeries in outpatient facilities, hospitals could lose substantial business. Also in the news, consumer groups mobilize to fight the Trump administration's proposal to allow nursing homes to force residents to settle complaints through mediation and in support of a decision during the Obama administration to hold up Medicaid money for Texas because of anti-abortion laws there.

Modern Healthcare: Hospitals Leery Of CMS Proposal To Pay For Joint Replacements In ASCs 
Many orthopedic surgeons and ambulatory surgery center operators are delighted with the CMS' mid-July announcement that it's considering paying for total knee and hip replacement procedures in outpatient settings. But lots of hospital leaders are not. ...Hospital leaders are wary, however, for both financial and clinical reasons. They fear losing substantial inpatient revenue from total joint procedures—one of their bigger profit centers—to ambulatory surgery centers, as they've previously lost many other surgical procedures. In addition, they and doctors on staff aren't necessarily comfortable at this point doing the operations in either hospital outpatient departments or ambulatory surgery centers. (Meyer, 8/5)

The Hill: Fight Over Right To Sue Nursing Homes Heats Up
Consumer groups are making a last ditch effort to stop the Trump administration from stripping nursing home residents and their families of the right to take facilities to court over alleged abuse, neglect or sexual assault. The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) announced plans in June to do away with an Obama-era rule that prohibited nursing homes that accept Medicare or Medicaid funds from including language in their resident contracts requiring that disputes be settled by a third party rather than a court. (Wheeler, 8/6)

Texas Tribune: Feds Draw Thousands Of Comments On Texas' Request To Renew Women's Health Funding
Thousands of advocates have flooded the federal government with comments this week, weighing in on whether it should reverse an Obama-era decision to strip Texas of millions in federal funding for a health care program that excludes abortion providers and their affiliates. The number of comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Texas' request has doubled in recent days, from 9,000 earlier this week to over 18,000 as of Friday afternoon, hours before the public comment period ends. (Platoff, 8/4)

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