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Home   Advocacy   Education   Solutions Summit   Membership   Member Login April 7, 2011
Medicare Regulators seek better care at lower cost
Third Age    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Medicare regulators started a new program last week that will allow patients more follow-up visits while saving the government up to $960 million over the next three years. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed regulations under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul for health care providers who form so-called accountable care organizations to deliver Medicare services. The proposal, titled coordinated care, will give primary care physicians financial incentives to give patients additional follow-up visits following a hospital visit or prescribed treatment course. The traditional and current fee structure allows no incentive for such visits. More

Health law to spur hospital, doctor networks
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Health care rules the Obama administration announced last week will force hospitals and health insurers to work together to cut costs and improve quality, experts said, a move that could have significant implications in Western Pennsylvania. The rules, part of the year-old health care law, will spur the formation of accountable care organizations, or ACOs, networks of hospitals and doctors. The networks could save Medicare as much as $960 million over three years, federal officials said. More

US appeals court sets June hearing on challenge to health care law
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the nation's sweeping health care reform law on June 8, according to an order issued by the appellate court. The order grants the Obama administration's motion for an early hearing, which could enable the Supreme Court to get the case as soon as late this year or early in 2012. Two other federal appeals courts are considering separate but similar legal challenges to the legislation passed in 2009. More

ACO proposed rules spotlight physician-hospital alignment
Health Leaders Media    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For at least one analyst, there are plenty of details but not too many surprises in the sweeping 429- page proposed guidelines the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued last week on accountable care organizations. "The deliberate process they took to issue this two months after we expected it shows they were being very cautious," said Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, in an interview with HealthLeaders Media. More

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Accountable Care Organizations money-saving method appeals to hospitals
Tulsa World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At least one Tulsa, Okla., hospital is planning to participate in a new method of providing care designed to improve patient experiences and save federal dollars. The method will be executed by Accountable Care Organizations, which are networks of hospitals, doctors or other health-care providers that coordinate care for patients by sharing information and treatment responsibilities. More

HHS proposes Accountable Care Organization rules
Information Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The release of proposed rules that will help guide doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers coordinate care for Medicare patients through accountable care organizations (ACOs) reveals that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking to more closely align the Medicare Shared Savings Program with the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs as a way for ACOs to simplify reporting requirements related to performance measures. More

Costs for health care law escalate as choices decline
The Columbian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The projected cost of the health care law is going up — again. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now estimates the 10-year cost of federal health reform at $1.45 trillion, a $40 billion increase in just the first 12 months. If history is any guide, the real cost will be much higher. A 2009 study by the Senate Joint Economic Committee found that health care plan costs are always dramatically underestimated. More

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Hospitals worry about footing the bill for medical devices
Fierce Healthcare    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospital executives are worried that the healthcare reform tax on medical devices that kicks in starting 2013 will hurt their bottom lines more than the device makers, reports the Hill's Healthwatch blog. The fear is that medical device manufacturers will be able to hand over the 2.3 percent excise tax to hospitals. Therefore, hospital groups are asking the IRS to prohibit device manufacturers from passing the cost of the tax onto their purchasers. More

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