News

HFMA strategy session highlights challenges and opportunities for healthcare finance leaders: payer relations, supply costs, AI and more

The legacy healthcare provider’s position in the industry could grow tenuous if leaders don’t respond boldly and strategically to ongoing trends, according to insights recently presented to HFMA leaders. “We’re at a crossroads right now,” Ashraf Shehata, principal and U.S. national sector leader for healthcare and life sciences with KPMG, said in November during a…

Nick Hut December 19, 2023

New data on national healthcare spending highlights the constraints facing hospitals

Recently published 2022 data indicates relatively restrained national healthcare spending as the COVID-19 pandemic faded, especially in the hospital sector. The increase in spending on hospital services slowed from 4.5% in 2021 to 2.2% in 2022, CMS actuaries reported Dec. 13 in Health Affairs. The increase was significantly less than in 2020 (6.2%) and the…

Nick Hut December 18, 2023

House passes bill to codify healthcare price transparency, expand site-neutral payment

The hospital industry saw reason for both relief and disappointment this week after a bill designed to promote price transparency took a major step toward becoming law. The House on Dec. 11 passed H.R. 5378, also known as the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, by a 320-71 vote. Along with cementing price transparency as the…

Nick Hut December 12, 2023

Moody’s sees potential positive RCM impact from AI

Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has joined other industry players in identifying ways artificial intelligence can create efficiencies in revenue cycle management. The growing use of the technology potentially could bring accounts receivable balances down and minimize write-offs of past-due balances, according to the three authors of a report published in the company’s “Healthcare Quarterly”…

Paul Barr, MS, MBA December 11, 2023

With a new rule, CMS looks to crack down on states’ Medicaid disenrollment processes

In its latest effort to stem the ongoing wave of Medicaid disenrollments, CMS issued regulations describing its authority to penalize states for disregarding federal guidelines pertaining to the end of continuous-enrollment requirements. Published Dec. 6 in an interim final rule with comment period, the regulations took effect immediately and were based on provisions passed by…

Nick Hut December 11, 2023

Key Senate committee takes a close look at healthcare waste and prices

The U.S. Senate is intent on finding ways to improve the value of healthcare, according to takeaways from a recent hearing of the Budget Committee. Although other committees and subcommittees in both chambers of Congress have held meaningful hearings about healthcare policy and costs this year, the Budget Committee’s attention to the matter is especially…

Nick Hut December 7, 2023

Prior authorization in Medicare Advantage remains in the policy spotlight as 2024 regulations take effect

Healthcare policymakers and stakeholders continue to mull the need for guardrails to ensure optimal customer service among Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans. The American Hospital Association wrote a Nov. 20 letter to CMS stating that MA plans are looking to skirt policies designed to ensure straightforward coverage of essential healthcare services. These policies, finalized earlier…

Nick Hut December 1, 2023

Congress doesn’t seem to be mulling a fix for the 2024 Medicare physician payment cut

Congress has mitigated a scheduled Medicare payment cut for physicians going into each of the last three years, but relief does not appear to be on the way for a fourth year running. Medicare’s 2024 final rule for physician payments includes a $1.15 decrease to the conversion factor, amounting to a reduction of more than…

Nick Hut November 27, 2023

Proposed rule sets Medicare penalties for providers that commit information-blocking infractions

Hospitals and other healthcare providers would face penalties for knowingly engaging in information blocking, with the sanctions affecting their Medicare reimbursement, according to a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CMS. Published at the beginning of November, the rule implements some terms of the 21st Century Cures Act,…

Nick Hut November 17, 2023

Healthcare News of Note: Health systems benefit from hike in use of patient portals 

Over the past few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals. 1.  Greater patient use of online medical records and patient portals could improve patient health and benefit health systems “Improved patient outcomes” and “significant health system benefits,” are likely results of more patients in…

Deborah Filipek November 13, 2023
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