News

Hospital advocates bemoan the small Medicare payment increase proposed for FY25

The payment increase described in Medicare’s FY25 proposed rule for acute care and long-term care hospitals falls well short of what hospitals need to keep up with costs, advocates say. The payment rate would rise by 2.6% for hospitals that fulfill quality-reporting requirements and meet the criteria to be designated as meaningful users of electronic…

Nick Hut April 11, 2024

Insurers see reasons for concern as CMS keeps the Medicare Advantage purse strings tight for 2025

Medicare Advantage (MA) faces the prospect of constrained revenue and payments for participating stakeholders after CMS finalized what amounts to a small decrease in the 2025 payment rate. Average revenue for MA plans is projected to increase by 3.7%, or more than $16 billion — but that’s primarily because of a prospective increase in the…

Nick Hut April 4, 2024

News Briefs: Providers face trying times  in the first month after the Change Healthcare cyberattack  

Healthcare providers struggled financially and operationally in the first 30 days after a Feb. 21 cyberattack forced the shutdown of Change Healthcare’s claims submission and payment systems, among more than  100 other applications.  As of the week of March 18, parent company UnitedHealth Group had restored Change Healthcare’s payment platform and was reporting progress in…

Nick Hut March 30, 2024

Hospital finances are on the upswing, but the toll of the Change Healthcare outage is yet to be seen

Note: The second section of this article was updated where noted with a new comment from Fitch Ratings. There is reason to be optimistic about the state of hospital finances, but the impact of the Change Healthcare cyberattack has added uncertainty to the forecasts. Financial metrics for the first two months of 2024 continued to…

Nick Hut March 28, 2024

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

Cyberattack on Change Healthcare brings turmoil to healthcare operations nationwide

Editor’s note: If you are an HFMA member from a provider organization, consider submitting a request to join the Change Healthcare Business Continuity Workgroup (https://community.hfma.org/change-healthcare-workgroup/). Information about future calls, mitigation strategies and industry updates will be shared in this group. HFMA welcomes participants to use the discussion forum to address challenges and explore solutions with…

Nick Hut March 20, 2024

Navigating healthcare’s cyber crisis: HFMA’s lifeline through the Change Healthcare cyberattack

Regularly scheduled national member calls by HFMA’s Change Healthcare Business Continuity Workgroup and frequent news updates about the continuing impact of the cyberattack on hospitals and health system by senior editor Nick Hut became a lifeline for many HFMA members through mid-March. Regular news updates Hut kept members apprised of developments starting on Feb. 25…

Deborah Filipek March 19, 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

Healthcare Blame Game: Patient Rights Advocate claims its report gets ‘independent review and validation’ – but does it?

Headline: The Sixth Annual Hospital Price Transparency Compliance ReportSource: Patient Rights AdvocatePublished: February 2024 PatientRightsAdvocate.org recently issued its sixth report scoring hospital compliance with federal price transparency regulations, and for the sixth time, its assessment conflicts with CMS’s assessment. I want to focus on a nugget we picked up on in the methodology section of the latest report,…

Brad Dennison March 14, 2024
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