Archive for September, 2018


State Court Upholds Non-Profit Hospital Tax Exemption

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled in favor of non-profit hospitals in response to a challenge to their exemption from local property taxes.

Upholding a 2016 lower court ruling, the state Supreme Court affirmed that non-profit hospitals’ charitable expenditures can be used to offset their local property tax liabilities.

Learn more about the court’s decision in this article in Crain’s Chicago Business.…

Operating Margins Lag for Non-Profit Hospitals

Non-profit hospitals’ operating margins fell from a median of 2.8 percent in 2016 to 1.9 percent in 2017, according to Fitch Ratings.

Non-profit hospitals’ profitability also declined.

Despite this, Fitch finds that these hospitals have strong balance sheets, with cash on hand and cash-to-debt ratios rising in the past year.  It warns, though, that continuing declines in operating margins could eventually threaten those healthy balance sheets.

Learn more about Fitch’s analysis in this summary of its ratings report.…

Nursing Home Occupancy Declines

Nursing home occupancy fell to 81.7 percent during the second quarter of 2018, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors House & Care.

Among the reasons for this decline in the use of skilled nursing facilities are policy changes that seek to shorten length of stay and competition from home health services and assisted living facilities.

Occupancy among seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans has been flat, with those living in urban areas more than twice as likely to spend time in skilled nursing facilities than those who reside in rural areas.

Learn more about this latest trend in skilled nursing facility occupancy from this report from the National Investment Center for Seniors House & Care.…


The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met recently in Washington, D.C. to review a number of Medicaid- and CHIP-related issues.

MACPAC members heard presentations on and discussed the following issues:

Find outlines of these subjects and additional materials by clicking the links above and go here for a transcript of the two days of public meetings.

MACPAC is a non-partisan legislative branch agency that provides policy and data analysis and makes recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the states on a wide array of issues affecting Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.  While its recommendations are binding on neither the administration nor Congress, MACPAC’s work is highly influential and often finds its way into future Medicaid and CHIP policy.


CMS Proposes Easing Regulatory Requirements

In a newly proposed rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposes easing the regulatory burden on health care providers.

The proposed regulation, which weighs in at 285 pages, covers a broad range of government regulation of health care providers and would, CMS projects, save hospitals more than $1 billion a year while cutting millions of hours of administrative work.

Learn more about what CMS proposes by reading its fact sheet on the proposed regulation or going here to see the proposed regulation itself.