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Hopes run high for passing doc fix when Senate returns in April

By Paul Demko  |  March 28, 2015

The fix isn't in yet, but it's close. The Senate adjourned for its spring break Friday without taking action on legislation permanently repealing and replacing Medicare's sustainable growth-rate physician-payment formula.

Future of Medicaid hospital improvement program in doubt

Future of Medicaid hospital improvement program in doubt

By Virgil Dickson  |  March 28, 2015

It's unclear whether the Obama administration will renew Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment programs in several states, in part because evidence is mixed on whether the programs have truly improved care for large numbers of Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured patients.

Network squeeze: Controversies continue over narrow health plans

Network squeeze: Controversies continue over narrow health plans

By Bob Herman  |  March 28, 2015

Narrow-network health plans have grown in popularity, particularly on the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges, because their cheaper premiums appeal to price-sensitive consumers, but there is significant consumer and provider dissatisfaction with how many of these plans are organized.

Trade group seeks RAC reform

By Lisa Schencker  |  March 21, 2015

The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association is proposing a change to Medicare's recovery audit contractor program that it contends would keep providers from suffering devastating financial losses while appealing disputed claims.

Hospitals seek extension of 'two-midnight' moratorium

By Paul Demko  |  March 21, 2015

Hospitals are lobbying for an extension of the moratorium on enforcement of the “two-midnight” policy for short hospital stays that expires at the end of the month. They're hoping Congress will include the extension in action it takes this month on the Medicare physician-payment formula.

ONC targets interoperability, privacy in proposed rule

By Joseph Conn  |  March 20, 2015

Electronic health-record interoperability is at the heart of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's half of a two-pronged federal rule-making effort announced Friday.

Federal EHR efforts draw criticism at Senate hearing

By Darius Tahir  |  March 17, 2015

The federal electronic health-record incentive program has produced too few benefits for the cost involved and imposed overly harsh mandates on providers, said senators of both parties during a hearing Tuesday.

Will new Medicare ACO model enable providers to truly manage care?

By Bob Herman and Melanie Evans  |  March 14, 2015

Medicare's new “Next Generation” accountable care organization program has raised hopes among many healthcare providers that the Obama administration is listening to them as it pushes ahead toward value-based payment models.

An uncertain 50th birthday for Medicare

An uncertain 50th birthday for Medicare

By Paul Demko  |  March 14, 2015

Medicare is fast approaching its 50th anniversary: It was signed into law July 30, 1965. But don't expect a celebratory mood when Medicare experts and advocates gather in Washington for the March 20 event, “Honoring 50 Years of Medicare.”

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