The End of Hospital Cost Shifting?

Medicare is cutting reimbursement to hospitals.  Austin Frakt (HSR 2013) gives some highlights findings from a CMS report: [The ACA] will permanently reduce the Medicare payments hospitals would otherwise receive. Its ‘productivity adjustment’ will scale payments downward by the average rate at which private nonfarm businesses’ productivity increases. That rate has been estimated to be…

California Hospitals Charge Fair Prices to the Uninsured

Why is that?  Because in 2006 California passed the Hospital Fair Pricing Act.  Melnick and Fonkych (2013) describe the bill as follows. The Hospital Fair Pricing Act…mandated that hospitals develop formal, written financial assistance policies and limit the  prices they charge uninsured patients with low to moderate incomes…Under the law, hospitals must limit the amounts they collect from…

Effect of P4P on Hospital Profits

How do value-based purchasing programs affect hospitals’ bottom lines? This is a particularly important question as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that CMS reward high-quality, low-cost hospitals with bonuses and give financial penalties to low-quality, high-cost hospitals. In 2003, CMS began a pay-for-performance (P4P) demonstration. Using this demonstration as a natural experiment, Kruse et…

Healthcare for Hospitals

Benefits are taking up a continually greater share of employee compensation. This trend is as true for hospitals as any other industry. Keenan Health Care summarizes some recent trends for California hospitals. According to a survey of 83 California health care organizations (representing 219 hospitals): Benefits represent 28% of the employee compensation for the average…

P4P for Maryland Hospitals

Maryland is a unique state for Hospitals. Since 1977, Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission sets payment rates for all hospitals regardless of the payer. This approach is only feasible because Maryland receives a federal waiver that exempts its hospitals from national Medicare and state Medicaid fee schedules. Just as Medicare has begun implementing its…

Medicare Payments to Hospitals to Rise 2.8 Percent in 2013

Medicare will increase payments to hospitals by 2.8 percent in 2013.  This net change is due to five major adjustments. Hospital market basket Adjustment: 2.6 percentage points Multi-factor productivity adjustment: 0.7 percentage points Affordable Care Act Provisions: -0.1 percentage points Remaining FY 2008 and FY 2009 Prospective Documentation and Coding Adjustment: -1.9 percentage points Restoration…