CMS issues Medicare DSH rule   10/01/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last night released an interim final rule related to the process the agency set forth in the fiscal year 2014 inpatient prospective payment systems/long-term care hospital PPS final rule for making uncompensated care payments to hospitals eligible for the Disproportionate Share Hospital payment adjustment in FY 2014. Specifically, at AHA’s urging and effective today, CMS has modified the process for making interim and final payments for hospitals with Medicare cost reporting periods that span more than one federal fiscal year. In the interim final rule, CMS also changed the data to be used in the uncompensated care payment calculation to ensure that Indian Health Service hospitals are included in certain factors of the calculation. CMS will accept comments on the interim final rule through Nov. 29.
Medicare contractors continue to process claims   10/01/2013
Medicare Administrative Contractors will continue to process and pay Medicare fee-for-service claims during the partial government shutdown, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said today. The shutdown was prompted after Congress failed to reach agreement last night on a stop-gap spending bill to fund the government into the new fiscal year. States continue to have funding for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program due to the advanced appropriation enacted in the fiscal year 2013 appropriations legislation. The Department of Health and Human Services also began enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace today as scheduled. AHA will update members as it receives additional information on effects of the shutdown.
Online marketplace includes 154 multi-state health plans   10/01/2013
Under a contract with the Office of Personnel Management, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association will offer 154 Multi-State Plan options in 30 states and the District of Columbia through the Health Insurance Marketplace, which today began enrolling uninsured individuals and families in health coverage. To increase competition on the state exchanges, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act directs OPM to contract with private health insurers to offer MSPs, which will expand to every state over the next four years. For a map of current MSPs by state, click here.
New AHA members-only cybersecurity resources available   10/01/2013
The AHA today released a report to help member hospital leaders understand and manage cybersecurity risks. The report recommends six key actions, from establishing procedures and a core team to identify and mitigate risks to reviewing the hospital’s insurance coverage with those risks in mind. AHA also announced a series of members-only webinars about cybersecurity issues for hospitals, beginning Oct. 29, and a new website, www.aha.org/cybersecurity, featuring high-level resources for hospital leaders.
HHS invests in pandemic flu vaccine, burn treatment capacity   10/01/2013
The Department of Health and Human Services yesterday awarded about $40 million in contracts to boost the nation’s ability to make flu vaccine quickly in a pandemic. The four recipients will create a network of existing, pre-qualified facilities that could fill and finish vaccine for manufacturers in a public health emergency. On Friday, HHS awarded nearly $40 million in contracts to develop innovative treatments for severe burns from radiation and chemical mass casualty events.
Hospitals urged to participate in AHA RACTrac survey   10/01/2013
The AHA encourages all hospitals to submit data to its quarterly RACTrac survey, available beginning today through Oct. 11. The free web-based survey helps AHA gauge the impact of Medicare's Recovery Audit Contractor program on hospitals and advocate for needed changes. To register for the survey or for technical assistance, participants should contact RACTrac support at (888) 722-8712 or ractracsupport@providercs.com. For more on the survey, including the latest results, visit www.aha.org/ractrac.
SHSMD honors member, names 2014 board members   10/01/2013
At its annual conference today in Chicago, the AHA’s Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development presented its 2013 Award for Individual Professional Excellence to Susan Alcorn, senior vice president at the strategic health care communications firm Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock Inc. The award is the society’s highest member honor. Yesterday, Christine Gallery, vice president of planning and market development at Emerson Hospital in Concord, MA, was named president-elect of the SHSMD board of directors in 2014. She will become president of the society in 2015.