Massive federal spending bill alleviates reimbursement concerns for hospitals, but less so for physicians
Healthcare provider advocates applauded the inclusion of key reimbursement relief measures and other policies in a proposed federal spending bill for FY23, although physician groups expressed concern about the outlook for their constituents. With a divided Congress looking to muster the votes to pass the legislation before a self-imposed deadline of week’s end, the bill includes many…
The hospital labor picture could be improving, but a full financial recovery isn’t imminent
The financial and operational stress that has hampered hospitals may be easing in some ways, but probably not enough to qualify as a holiday gift for a beleaguered industry. Recent reports from credit-rating agencies have presented a mixed outlook. For example, Fitch Ratings released an analysis in December showing “incremental signs of improvement” in the staffing situation…
New federal rule aims to eventually ease prior authorization processes
CMS is seeking to improve the prior authorization process in government programs such as Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicaid, although the core provisions would not begin until 2026. The agency this week updated a Trump administration proposed rule with new proposals to “improve patient and provider access to health information and streamline processes related to prior authorization…
Reimbursement changes for 340B drugs reverberate in Medicare’s 2023 outpatient payment final rule
The Medicare payment rate for hospital outpatient services will increase significantly in 2023, but the net gain for the sector will be less than is apparent at first glance. Payment rates for hospital outpatient care and ambulatory surgical centers technically will increase by 3.8% over 2022 for facilities that meet quality-reporting requirements, CMS said in…
HHS says the co-provider requirement for good-faith estimates is being tabled indefinitely
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has given hospitals and other healthcare providers a break on enforcement of a looming requirement for co-providers to be included on good-faith estimates (GFEs) furnished to uninsured patients. HHS announced in an updated FAQ that it will continue to exercise “enforcement discretion” instead of potentially penalizing providers starting Jan.…
News Briefs: TMA returns to court over concerns about the No Surprises Act’s arbitration process
The Texas Medical Association has gone to court for a second time in less than a year over the independent dispute resolution process that’s part of the No Surprises Act.
Final regulations for rural emergency hospitals set the stage for first year of eligibility
REHs will be reimbursed for providing emergency care and outpatient services and must abide by terms and conditions that include limiting average length of stay to 24 hours.
Changes to reimbursement for 340B drugs reverberate in the 2023 final rule for Medicare outpatient payments
The Medicare payment rate for hospital outpatient services will increase significantly in 2023, but the net gain will be quite a bit less than is apparent at first glance.
When it comes to healthcare price transparency regulations, questions abound
A new era for healthcare price transparency has been underway for almost two years, but the potential impact remains murky. Price transparency requirements for hospitals were drafted by CMS during the Trump administration and went into effect Jan. 1, 2021. A companion rule for health plans was set to begin a year later, but the…
Reeling hospital industry shouldn’t anticipate a turnaround anytime soon
Amid persistent financial and operational turbulence for hospitals, it appears unrealistic to expect significant improvement in the near future.