April 2-6 Policy Watch: National Opioid Summit to Highlight Challenges
March 29—Policymakers and healthcare providers will gather in Atlanta next week to identify effective approaches to an opioid crisis that appears to be worsening, according to new data.
Not-for-Profit Hospital Downgrades Increased in 2017: Report
March 27—Credit pressures drove more downgrades of not-for-profit (NFP) hospitals in 2017 than in 2016, with the NFP sector exceeding the downgrade-to-upgrade ratio of the recession years of 2008 and 2009, according to a report this month by Moody's Investors Service.
Proposal to Eliminate MIPS Appears to Lack Provider Buy-in
March 26—The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) earlier this month announced a proposal to drop the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program as part of its annual report to Congress on needed changes to Medicare payment policies.
Federal Spending Bill Lacks Sought-After ACA Stabilization Measures
March 22—A bill to fund the federal government through the rest of FY18 includes various healthcare measures but does not incorporate a proposed stabilization plan for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) insurance markets.
Association Health Plans Advance Over Hospital Concerns
March 20—Congressional Republicans and small-business advocates this week rejected hospital concerns that proposed rules to allow a proliferation of association health plans (AHPs) would produce a range of problems.
Smarter Tech Tools Battle Physician Burnout
March 19—About half of all U.S. practicing physicians experience burnout, and several recent studies have placed the blame squarely on the widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), which require data entry and other click-based tasks.
340B Hospitals and Drugmakers Battle Over Transparency
March 16—Supporters and critics of the 340B discount drug program agree that more transparency is needed, but they remain sharply divided over who needs to be transparent and what such reporting should include.
March 19-23 Policy Watch: Push to Include ACA Marketplace Stabilization in Funding Bill
March 15—Healthcare leaders are renewing their push to include a stabilization measure in a must-pass federal funding bill that is required by the end of next week.
More Health Systems Focusing on Patient Experience
March 14—After years of work, a designer of MRI machines at General Electric was excited to see his cutting edge creation implemented at a hospital.
MACRA Improvements Coming, CMS Official Says
March 13—A series of regulatory changes are coming to the Medicare physician payment system this year, including an effort to ease quality-data reporting by hospital-employed physicians.