Report: Preterm births decline in 2011   07/15/2013
Preterm births declined for the fifth straight year in 2011, according to the latest annual report by the federal government on the well-being of U.S. children. Births at less than 37 weeks of gestation fell to 11.7%, down from 12% in 2010 and 12.8% in 2006. The 2011 percentage of Black, non-Hispanic infants born preterm (16.8%) was the lowest reported in the three decades for which comparable data are available. To access the report, by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, visit
CMS announces next webinar on Health Care Innovation grants   07/15/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will host a webinar July 18 for potential applicants and partnering entities in round two of the Health Care Innovation Awards, which will provide up to $1 billion in funding to test new payment and service delivery models. The webinar, the latest in a series, will provide an overview of the application package. For more information and to register for the webinar, click here.
Reminder: Model 1 bundled payment applications due July 31   07/15/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is accepting through July 31 additional applications from hospitals to participate in Model 1 of the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative. The Medicare demonstration includes four models of care that bundle payments for multiple services received during an episode of inpatient and/or post-acute care. Model 1, open to acute-care hospitals paid under the inpatient prospective payment system, defines the episode of care as an inpatient stay. Participants agree to provide a standard discount to Medicare from the usual Part A hospital inpatient payments. For more information, see the CMS notice published in May or visit
Hospital prices rise 0.2% in June   07/15/2013
Overall hospital prices increased 0.2% in June, and were 1.9% higher than a year ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Prices for the subgroup of general medical and surgical hospitals increased 0.2%, and were 1.9% higher than in June 2012, according to the BLS' Producer Price Indices, which measure average changes in selling prices received by domestic producers for their output. For hospitals, this translates into actual or expected reimbursement for a sample of treatments or services. The PPI for hospitals measure changes in actual or expected reimbursement received for services across the full range of payer types. This includes the negotiated contract rate from the payer plus any portion expected to be paid by the patient.