9 Recent Medicare, Medicaid Issues

Here are nine issues dealing with Medicare or Medicaid that occurred in the past week, starting with the most recent.

1. CMS decided to increase Medicare's operating payment rates to acute-care hospitals by 2.8 percent — a significant change from the proposed rated of 0.9 percent.

2. CMS announced it will increase Medicare payments to inpatient psychiatric facilities by 1.9 percent for FY 2013.

3. Approximately 7,000 providers in three states received a total of $6.6 billion in Medicaid reimbursement despite having roughly $791 million in unpaid federal taxes from 2009 or earlier, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

4. A majority of states expect budgetary challenges in the Medicaid expansion from 2012 to 2020, including higher costs, and many believe CMS needs to issue additional guidance.

5. President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) agreed on a six-month continuing resolution that will fund the government with $1.047 trillion and avoid a government shutdown debate as the presidential race nears — however, measures to adjust or repeal the sustainable growth rate for Medicare physician payments and extend expiring Medicare hospital provisions were not included.

6. The American Hospital Association and other hospital and healthcare groups participated in a policy briefing in Washington, D.C., to educate congressional staffers on legislation that would extend several inactive or soon-to-expire Medicare provisions impacting rural patients and providers.

7. The Recovery Audit (RAC) Prepayment Review demonstration will officially begin Aug. 27. The RAC Prepayment Review will allow RACs to review claims before they are paid to ensure the hospital or provider complied with all Medicare payment rules.

8. Two out of three Americans surveyed in a recent Kaiser Health Tracking poll said they support Medicaid expansion called for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

9. CMS announced a 1.8 percent increase to the prospective payment system for Medicare-certified skilled nursing facilities beginning Oct. 1.

More Articles on Medicare and Medicaid:

Study: Generics Saved U.S. Healthcare System $1.7 Trillion Over a Decade

Achieving Positive Medicare Margins: 5 Strategies for Hospitals

14 Recent Medicare, Medicaid Issues

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