The following contains information on new initiatives, ongoing projects, and other related news about and from HFMA. Please bookmark this page as it will be updated periodically.

Comments on CMS's Proposed IPPS Rule for FY15
HFMA submitted a comment letter on key issues contained in CMS's Proposed Rule for FY2015 PPS for inpatient hospitals. Significant concerns relate to DSH, HACs, VBP, short stays, and other issues. Read our comment letter.

Additional News

Hospital Consolidation Trend to Continue
Hospital consolidation was the focus of a May roundtable among policymakers and researchers in Washington, D.C. , with participants acknowledging that it is an increasing trend. Among the studies cited to support this premise was a May analysis by Kaufman Hall, which found that hospital mergers and acquisitions increased 10 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same timeframe last year. Study findings overall indicated a continuation of several trends, including increasing numbers of acquisitions. Kaufman Hall found that total hospital and health system combinations increased 3 percent in 2013, to 98 deals.

Also cited was the annual mergers and acquisitions report by Irving Levin Associates, which stated that the number of hospitals and hospital beds involved in hospital deals in 2013 hit a five-year high, despite a nearly 22 percent decline in the number of transactions. The discrepancy was due to the acquisition of Health Management Associates by Community Health Systems and the sale of Vanguard Health Systems to Tenet Healthcare.

Stuart Guterman, vice president of Medicare and cost control for the Commonwealth Fund, noted the adverse effects of consolidation, reflected in the assumption that increased competition would make it easier for providers to pass along higher prices to patients and payers.

Less Self-Pay, Charity Care in Expansion States
Hospitals in states that expanded their Medicaid eligibility under healthcare reform had reductions in their average charity care and self pay, according to a new study.

The study of monthly financial and volume data for 465 hospitals in 30 states was conducted by the Colorado Hospital Association.

"This study provides more evidence of the financial impact on hospitals of state decisions regarding Medicaid eligibility expansion," says Chad Mulvany, director, healthcare finance policy, strategy and development for HFMA. "These financial effects will only increase as the disproportionate share hospital payments cuts included in the Affordable Care Act continue to roll out."


HFMA Announces 2014 MAP Award Winners
The 2014 MAP Award winners for High Performance in Revenue Cycle were announced in June by HFMA. These organizations achieved measurable excellence in the revenue cycle and will serve as models for the healthcare industry. Winners of the award were honored during a special presentation at ANI: HFMA’s 2014 National Institute. 

Winning hospital systems are AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; Baylor Scott & White Health System—North Texas Division, Temple, Texas; Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa.; John C. Lincoln Health Network, Phoenix; OhioHealth, Columbus; and Saint Francis Health System, Tulsa, Okla.

Winning individual hospitals are Atlantic General Hospital/Health System; Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Community Memorial Hospital, Milwaukee; Jupiter Medical Center, Jupiter, Fla.; Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center, Portland, Ore.; Legacy Meridian Park Hospital, Tualatin, Ore.; Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, N.Y.; St. Elizabeth Healthcare; St. Luke's Hospital; and The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, N.J.

HFMA Recognizes First Patient Financial Communications Adopter
The MetroHealth System in Cleveland has been recognized by HFMA as the first adopter of HFMA's Patient Financial Communications Best Practices.

To achieve recognition as the first health system to demonstrate excellence in financial interactions with patients, MetroHealth implemented a single patient statement combining both physician and hospital services. The statement was created with the help of a patient focus group. MetroHealth also created an online interactive tool to promote education and understanding of the new statement.

HFMA reviewers lauded MetroHealth for prominently displaying information about its financial assistance program on its website. MetroHealth's website also offers a glossary to help patients understand billing and payment terms.

Publication Date: Tuesday, July 01, 2014