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The FY24 HHS budget covers key programs for rural hospitals while tightening spending in some areas

The newly passed budget covering HHS during the remainder of FY24 contains notable provisions for healthcare providers. The roughly $117 billion departmental budget for the next six months was set in an appropriations bill that was passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden within hours of the March 22 expiration of funding for…

Nick Hut March 25, 2024

Hospitals warrant an extra boost in their Medicare payment rate next year, MedPAC says

Hospitals will get a more favorable Medicare payment increase in FY25 if Congress follows the recommendations of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). In its semiannual report to Congress, MedPAC recommended a 1.5% bump on top of what otherwise would be provided according to statute. That would mean an estimated increase of about 4.5% for…

Nick Hut March 22, 2024

The federal policy response to the Change Healthcare cyberattack

Note: This information is excerpted from HFMA’s running coverage of the cyberattack that disabled operations at Change Healthcare. On March 10, HHS and the Department of Labor sent a letter encouraging commercial payers to do their part to help financially strained providers nearly three weeks after the cyberattack on Change Healthcare. “Larger payers in particular…

Nick Hut March 14, 2024

Responses to a new RFI will help guide regulations addressing consolidation and private equity in healthcare

The Biden administration is ramping up its assessment of how to regulate consolidation and private equity (PE) acquisitions in healthcare, issuing a request for information (RFI) from stakeholders. There is a deadline of May 6 to submit comments on the RFI, which was distributed by HHS, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade…

Nick Hut March 13, 2024

Federal funding legislation would address Medicaid DSH cuts, physician payments and more

March 8 update The Senate passed the appropriations bill by a 75-22 vote, getting it to the White House for President Joe Biden to sign hours before funding for some federal departments would have expired and a big cut to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments would have begun. Attention now turns to HHS and other…

Nick Hut March 6, 2024

Cyberattack on Change Healthcare brings turmoil to healthcare operations nationwide

This blog presents HFMA’s running coverage of the Change Healthcare cyberattack and its impact on providers and the healthcare industry. June 21 updates Change Healthcare (CHC) has announced the start of breach notifications related to the cyberattack that potentially exposed protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) for tens of millions of Americans.…

Nick Hut February 25, 2024

New rule on Medicaid DSH payments will impose stricter limits on many hospitals

Numerous hospitals that receive Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments face a tighter cap on their payment amounts after the Feb. 23 publication of a CMS final rule. The regulations were spawned by 2020 year-end legislation that made changes to the DSH hospital-specific limit (HSL), including with respect to how third-party payments factor into the…

Nick Hut February 23, 2024

New data shows providers continuing to win most No Surprises Act independent dispute resolution cases

Providers won a large majority of disputes initiated during the first half of 2023 through the No Surprises Act’s arbitration portal for adjudicating out-of-network payments, according to newly published data. HHS and the U.S. Departments of Labor and Treasury released public-use files (available to download here under “2023 Reporting Year”) showing the outcome of every…

Nick Hut February 21, 2024

Site-neutral payment has backing in healthcare policy circles, but its efficacy as a cost restraint is unclear

The concept of site-neutral payment continues to receive support from members of Congress and healthcare policy analysts, as demonstrated during a recent hearing. The Jan. 31 hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee was intended, in part, to promote pending legislation that would strengthen price transparency and implement other policies designed to…

Nick Hut February 15, 2024

Private equity investing showing signs of rebound

The Federal Reserve’s plan to begin reducing interest rates in 2024 will likely unleash private equity’s pent-up demand for physician practices and other healthcare services companies. “Everybody wants to transact,” said Bret Schiller, managing director and head of healthcare in corporate client banking at J.P. Morgan. “I think that, at the first rate cut we…

Lola Butcher February 12, 2024
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