Medicaid Expansion Benefits Rural Hospital Margins

From HealthLeaders:

The Medicaid margins could be even more important for smaller rural hospitals.

“Those hospitals are probably at more financial risk in general than larger hospitals,” Blavin says. “They tend to face a lot more challenges than larger hospitals or metro hospitals. They tend to have a larger percentage of uninsured populations. So, really having them see a large change in their payer mix, in terms of a change from uninsured to Medicaid covered patients, really helped those kinds of hospitals that were at risk prior to the ACA.”

Urban Institute had initially intended to use its updated report as a response to the AHCA’s provisions to repeal the Medicaid expansion, but the AHCA bill died a quick death, and Blavin says Urban Institute revised its focus.

“Originally the findings were the same, but the framing of the analysis was a little different. It was more framed in terms of what would be the implications if the ACA were to be repealed and potentially replaced that could weaken the Medicaid expansion,” Blavin says.

“The focus of this study is more on ‘OK. Now that the ACA is for now intact, what are the implications for states in terms of moving forward with the Medicaid expansion?'”

Senate bill would let Medicare test telehealth expansion

From Modern Healthcare:

A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate last week would let Medicare experiment with covering more telehealth services.

Under the Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act, sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Col.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), selected hospitals would be allowed to test offering telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries in cooperation with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

CMS wants to make accrediting organization surveys public

From Becker’s:

CMS may require national accrediting organizations to make provider and supplier survey reports and plans of corrections available online.

Right now, accrediting bodies like the Joint Commission do not make their survey findings publicly available, but CMS does.

The agency included the proposal in its 2018 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule released Friday.

“Access to survey reports and PoCs will enable healthcare consumers, in addition to Medicare beneficiaries, to make a more informed decision regarding where to receive healthcare thus encouraging healthcare providers to improve the quality of care and services they provide,” according to CMS’ fact sheet on its IPPS proposed rule.