Senate companion to DSH Reduction Relief Act introduced   09/27/2013
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) yesterday introduced a Senate companion (S. 1555) to the DSH Reduction Relief Act (H.R. 1920), AHA-supported legislation introduced by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) that would delay for two years cuts to the Medicare and Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital programs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. AHA today voiced support for the companion measure. “The coverage expansion is just beginning and hospitals will continue to care for a large number of uninsured patients,” said AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack. “Delaying the DSH cuts will help ensure that hospitals that serve high volumes of uninsured patients can continue to provide needed services to their communities.”
Senate approves CR funding government through Nov. 15   09/27/2013
The U.S. Senate today voted 54-44 to approve a continuing resolution that would fund most government programs at the current, post-sequestration rate through Nov. 15, one month less than the House-passed version. The Senate legislation also omits language included in the House-passed CR to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and require the U.S. Treasury to make debt payments and pay Social Security benefits before other payments if the government reaches the debt ceiling. The measure now returns to the House, which is expected to consider it this weekend. The current CR expires Oct. 1.
HHS to host webinar on emergency preparedness links to health care reform   09/27/2013
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response will host an Oct. 23 webinar on “Healthcare Reform and Preparedness.” Topics include Hospital Preparedness Program coalitions, capabilities and measures; preparedness linkages with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act implementation; the impact of conditions of participation and regulations on preparedness; and alignment of preparedness efforts with accountable care organizations. To register for the webinar, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, click here.
NIH grants target technologies, data to improve patient care   09/27/2013
The National Institutes of Health this week awarded $31.5 million to establish three Centers for Accelerated Innovations, which will target technologies to improve patient care and advance public health. Hospital participants in the centers include Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Boston Children’s Hospital; Massachusetts General Hospital; Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Also this week, NIH awarded a consortium of medical and research centers $25 million to develop a database on clinically relevant genomic variants. As the researchers develop consensus on the clinical value of variants, professional organizations will use the information to develop clinical practice guidelines. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Geisinger Health System in Danville, PA, are among the project participants.
Fall edition of Great Boards newsletter available   09/27/2013
The fall edition of AHA's Great Boards newsletter features articles on board oversight of physician engagement, and considerations and strategies for board downsizing. Administered by AHA's Center for Healthcare Governance, the free quarterly newsletter examines hospital and health system governance trends and effective practices. To subscribe, click here. For additional tools and resources for hospital boards of trustees, visit AHA's Great Boards website.