CMS to replay call on hospital-wide readmissions measure   09/21/2012
Due to problems with the phone line during a recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services conference call on the new hospital-wide readmissions measure, the agency will offer a replay of the call on Sept. 24, followed by a live question-and-answer session. Hospitals should have received a notice from CMS with further details. Hospitals have until Oct. 3 to download and review mock hospital-specific reports and other data from "dry runs" of the hospital-wide readmission measure and hip and knee replacement complications and readmissions measures to be added to the Hospital Compare website in 2013. AHA urges hospitals to review and provide feedback on the data to CMS (as described in the dry run materials) and to the AHA at nfoster@aha.org.
House panel passes MLR bill aiding brokers    09/21/2012
The House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday voted 26-14 to approve  the Access to Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act (H.R. 1206), which would exempt insurance brokers' commissions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's medical loss ratio requirements. The ACA requires health plans to provide rebates to enrollees if their MLR, the percentage of premiums spent on clinical services and health care quality improvement activities, is less than 85% for large group health plan markets or 80% for small group and individual markets. The bill also contains a provision that would require the secretary of Health and Human Services, when a state requests a MLR adjustment, to defer to the state's findings and determinations as to whether enforcing the required MLR may destabilize the individual or small group markets for health insurance.
Society honors member for professional excellence   09/21/2012
The AHA's Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development today presented its 2012 Award for Individual Professional Excellence to Karen Corrigan, founder and CEO of Corrigan Partners, a management consultancy in Norfolk, VA. Corrigan previously served as CEO of The Strategy Group, and as corporate vice president for system development at Sentara Healthcare. "Karen has an uncanny ability to seize on trends before they become evident to others, combined with a dynamism that enables her to quickly master and respond to changing forces in the brand and marketing discipline," said SHSMD President-elect Holli Salls, who presented the society's highest honor at the SHSMD annual conference in Philadelphia.