MACRA
Delays to MACRA Schedule Could Carry Unintended Risks

CMS’ new proposed rule outlining changes to MACRA for 2018 was hailed as good news for providers, expanding reporting exemptions, loosening EHR standards, and delaying cost-based outcome scoring in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The move was widely anticipated, as HHS secretary Tom Price has publicly stated his intent…

Hospital Construction
The Secret of Success for Independent and Thriving Hospitals?

Consolidation remains a major trend in the healthcare industry, especially among hospitals. In 2016, there were 102 announced partnership and transaction deals, compared to 66 in 2010, according to a Kaufman, Hall & Associates analysis. In the current climate of declining reimbursements and greater emphasis on value-based care, many hospital…

quality of care
Readmission Prevention Not Always Worth the (Financial) Cost

A recent study that has been covered in several news outlets proposes an interesting conclusion: hospital quality improvement initiatives that successfully reduce preventable readmissions may not always be cost effective. The study, “Economic Evaluation of Quality Improvement Interventions Designed to Prevent Hospital Readmission,” examined previous research on the cost and…

medicaid
Can a Medicaid Admission be Profitable?

Medicaid reimbursement has traditionally been something of a bitter pill for healthcare providers, especially acute-care hospitals. Medicaid rates vary across states and locations, but the average figure is usually said to be only about 60 percent of Medicare or private insurer rates, depending on the service. That rarely covers the…

quality of care
Value-Based Purchasing: A Bad Deal for Safety-Net Hospitals?

Hospitals are facing more pressure to improve outcomes and deliver better care than ever before. In addition to the spread of performance-based reimbursement agreements, acute-care providers are also subject to regulatory programs, such as the value-based purchasing (VBP) and readmissions reduction programs, which penalize facilities with low quality scores. Since…

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