KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

CMS Plans To Increase Medicare Hospital Payments By 0.8%

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the proposed increase Friday, which will raise payments for services that elderly and disabled patients receive after being admitted to hospitals.

Bloomberg: Medicare Plans To Boost Pay To U.S. Hospitals By 0.8%
Hospitals will get a pay raise from the U.S. government for treating patients in the nation’s Medicare program. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to raise payments 0.8 percent beginning Oct. 1 for services that elderly and disabled patients receive after being admitted to hospitals, according to a regulatory proposal today (Wayne, 4/29).

CQ HealthBeat: Hospital Payment Increase Totals $27 Million Nationwide In Proposed CMS Rule
Hospitals would get a fairly skimpy net rate increase of 0.8 percent in fiscal 2014, under a rule that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted late Friday. In addition, that large of an increase would go only to hospitals that successfully participate in a quality reporting program developed by CMS, according to documents released by the agency (Norman and Reichard, 4/26).

Medpage Today: Medicare Offers Pay Boost To Hospitals
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule late Friday that would increase payments to the nation's 3,400 acute care hospitals by nearly $27 million in fiscal 2014. Under its proposed Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule, payments for inpatient stays at hospitals that participate in CMS' Inpatient Quality Reporting Program would increase by 0.8 percent. Hospitals not successfully participating would see their payments cut by 2.0 percent, CMS said in its proposed rule. The $27 million increase takes into account both an increase for inflation as well as an 0.8 percent cut that CMS took in order to recover part of $11 billion in overpayments from prior years as required by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (Pittman, 4/26).

Additionally, The Washington Post reports on a care-management system that has not experienced great success --

The Washington Post: The Solution Medicare Is Shutting Down
Health Quality Partners is all about going there. The program enrolls Medicare patients with at least one chronic illness and one hospitalization in the past year. It then sends a trained nurse to see them every week, or every month, whether they’re healthy or sick. It sounds simple and, in a way, it is. But simple things can be revolutionary. Most care-management systems rely on nurses sitting in call centers, checking up on patients over the phone. That model has mostly been a failure. And while many health systems send a nurse regularly in the weeks or months after a serious hospitalization, few send one regularly to even seemingly healthy patients. This a radical redefinition of the health-care system's role in the lives of the elderly. It redefines being old and chronically ill as a condition requiring professional medical management (Klein, 4/27).

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