Archive for hospitals


Medicare Site-Neutral Outpatient Payment Proposal Would Have Disproportionate Impact

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ proposal to make more Medicare outpatient payments on a site-neutral basis would significantly cut Medicare’s overall outpatient spending but most of that cut would be borne by just a few hospitals.

A report prepared for the Integrated Health Care Coalition concluded that

…CMS’ Off-Campus Site-Neutral Proposal in the FY 2019 CMS OPPS [note:  outpatient prospective payment system] NPRM [note:  notice of proposed rulemaking] will disproportionate affect about six percent of 3,333 hospitals that participate in the program.  200 hospitals will shoulder 73 percent of the proposed payment reductions….For the top 200, the average reduction will be 5.5 percent.  For the remaining hospitals, the reduction will be 0.5 percent.

Learn more about the CMS proposal and its potential implications in this story in Becker’s Hospital Review or go here to see the complete analysis.…

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.…

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.


Medicare Joint Replacement Program Produces Savings

The first reporting period for Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model found that participating providers cut costs for episodes of care by more than $900, or 3.3 percent.

Most of the savings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports, were achieved by sending patients to less-expensive post-acute-care settings or by reducing patients’ length of stay in such facilities.

CMS also found that the program’s mandatory participants, located in 67 metropolitan statistical areas, achieved these savings without compromising quality of care as measured by post-discharge emergency room visits, hospital readmissions, and deaths.

Learn more about CJR’s early results in this report in Becker’s Hospital Review or go here to see the report CMS commissioned on the program’s first nine months in operation.…