HHS Secretary Sebelius Testifies Before Senate Appropriations Panel
During her testimony, the Health and Human Services secretary took questions on the health law and pointed out - according to Modern Healthcare - funding concerns related to rural critical access hospitals and anti-fraud and abuse efforts.
Kaiser Health News: Sebelius Challenged, Encouraged At Senate Committee
Kaiser Health News provides video excerpts of a Senate Appropriations Health Subcommittee hearing Wednesday where HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the lone witness. Committee chairman Tom Harkin was adamant that the health law would not lose funding while ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby called the law too expensive (3/30).
Modern Healthcare: Rural Facilities In 'Precarious Territory': Sebelius
Rural critical-access hospitals are in "precarious territory" in terms of the future cuts they could face from a Medicare cost-control board beginning in 2014, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told lawmakers. That is because these hospitals, unlike most others, would fall under the immediate jurisdiction of the Independent Payment Advisory Board that was established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to cut future Medicare spending. Sebelius pledged at a Senate budget hearing on HHS funding to work with senators to protect those types of hospitals from major cuts (Daly, 3/30).
Modern Healthcare: Anti-Fraud Effort Hit Snags, Sebelius Says
The fraud-fighting potential of predictive modeling could take longer to come to Medicare than previously planned. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told senators at an HHS budget hearing Wednesday that the initiative to add predictive modeling similar to credit card company tools that detect patterns of card misuse has encountered delays. We've been a little bit frozen in terms of being able to move ahead with the program, Sebelius told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. She blamed ongoing congressional budget battles for the delays, although she did not answer questions from Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) about the extent of the delay (Daly, 3/30).