Quality Measures

Medicare’s hospital outpatient payment rate for 2024 improves marginally from the proposed rule

The final rule setting Medicare’s 2024 payment rates and policies for hospital outpatient services and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) contained no major surprises and little to make hospitals optimistic about the government portion of their payer mix. Here are five of the most important payment and coverage takeaways from the rule, which totals 1,672 pages…

Nick Hut November 7, 2023

5 things to know about Medicare’s FY24 final rule for inpatient payments as hospitals foresee adverse impacts

The FY24 final rule for Medicare inpatient payments didn’t bring hospitals the type of rate update they sought, and for some organizations a bigger concern is changes to uncompensated care (UC) payments and disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. Here are five big points about the regulations, which take effect Oct. 1 and also cover Medicare…

Nick Hut August 2, 2023

Medicare outpatient payments to hospitals won’t rise considerably in 2024, according to a proposed rule

Medicare’s newly proposed outpatient payment update for 2024 is unlikely to be greeted with enthusiasm by hospitals. The update for items and services provided in the hospital outpatient or ambulatory surgical center setting would be 2.8%, mirroring the proposed change for inpatient payments. The base update would be 3%, with a statutorily required productivity adjustment…

Nick Hut July 14, 2023

Healthcare News of Note: What were the most-read blogs during the first half of 2023?

The top Healthcare News of Note blog posts for the first six months of the year were a mixed bag in terms of topics, but all of them grabbed the most reader attention based on number of clicks: Seven hospitals were recognized for elevating nursing excellence and improving patient outcomes with Press Ganey’s National Database…

Deborah Filipek July 14, 2023

Hospital price transparency updates include stricter enforcement, new fines and pending legislation

(Note: The last section of this article was updated May 24 where noted to reflect developments in Congress.) Enforcement of hospital price transparency regulations is becoming stricter, with CMS implementing new policies and recently fining two hospitals. Changes were anticipated after CMS leaders authored an article in February that reported 70% compliance in 2022, the…

Nick Hut May 17, 2023

Medicare’s proposed FY24 update to inpatient payments falls short, hospitals say

Hospitals are less than pleased with Medicare’s proposed FY24 payment update for inpatient care. In proposed regulations, the net inpatient payment update is 2.8% after factoring in a mandatory productivity adjustment of -0.2 percentage points. As usual, the update would be reduced for any hospital that does not fulfill quality-reporting requirements or qualify as a…

Nick Hut April 12, 2023

Hospital operational changes underway as health equity becomes one of The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals

Reducing healthcare disparities became a Joint Commission accreditation standard (LD.04.03.08) on Jan. 1, a little more than a year after the organization issued a Sentinel Event Alert warning of impacts on patient safety. However, on July 1, the standard will become a National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG), which experts say points to one thing: Healthcare…

Lisa A. Eramo, MA April 10, 2023

Reports on patient safety indicate progress, challenges and a need to focus on pediatric mental health

Recent reports add context to the issue of patient safety in hospitals and health systems. ECRI released a report that ranks the pediatric mental health crisis as the No. 1 patient safety issue in healthcare. The report cites a JAMA study that found increases of 29% in anxiety and 27% in depression between 2016 and…

Nick Hut March 29, 2023

Healthcare News of Note: Most board members of the nation’s top hospitals work in finance or business

Less than 15% of board members at a sampling of the nation’s top hospitals are health professionals, while 56% work in finance or business. Since 2014, the number of medically disenfranchised people in the U.S. nearly doubled from 56 million to over 100 million, causing stress for providers and lower rates of immunization and rising…

Deborah Filipek March 17, 2023

In federal ACO programs, advocates see signs of slow but steady progress

Growth in accountable care organization (ACO) programs has been inconsistent since the Affordable Care Act made accountable care part of the healthcare lexicon in 2010. Nonetheless, proponents are optimistic about the state of ACOs and their potential in upcoming years, even if there’s uncertainty about CMS’s ability to achieve its stated goal of ensuring every…

Nick Hut February 23, 2023
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