Public Policy

Stroke Centers More Common Where Laws Encourage Them

State laws have played a big part in boosting the number of hospitals where specialized stroke care is available, a new study shows. During the study, the increase in the number of hospitals certified as primary stroke centers was more than twice as high in states with stroke legislation as in states without similar laws…. [Read More]

Medicare Payments to Physicians Rise in 2013

Medicare, the government-run health insurance program for elderly and disabled Americans, paid physicians $90 billion in 2013, up 17% from $77 billion in 2012, U.S. healthcare officials reported earlier this month. Physician payments accounted for less than one-fifth of Medicare’s 2013 net outlays of $492 billion, which rose from $466 billion in 2012. Payments to… [Read More]

Consider ACO Participation As Medicare Weighs Changes to Shared Savings Program

In December 2014, nearly three years since its launch, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the first proposed rule changes to the Shared Savings Program. The changes, if approved, would take effect in the 2016 performance year and would focus on a host of alterations impacting participating accountable care organizations (ACOs), including… [Read More]

Observation Status Bill in Senate Doesn’t Solve Policy Problem

As you may have heard, H.R. 876, a bill unanimously passed in the House recently, requires a hospital to give adequate oral and written notification of a patient’s observation status. The bill has now moved to the Senate. “Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act,” known as the NOTICE Act, was sponsored… [Read More]


Hospitalists Raise Healthcare Issues on Capitol Hill

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Armed with blue folders chockablock with agendas, talking points, and fact sheets, about 100 hospitalists boarded three charter buses and descended on Capitol Hill last month like a swarm of erudite high schoolers on a class trip. Clad in state-themed ties, suits, and dresses, the group’s goal was singular: Introduce the concept of… [Read More]


Outpatient Status Determinations for Medicare Patients Costly, Time-Consuming

The process of determining outpatient and inpatient status for hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries needs reform, according to a recent article in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. These status determinations, made by Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs), are a growing concern for hospitals as increasing numbers of Medicare patients are hospitalized as outpatients under observation status and are… [Read More]


Implementing Physician Value-Based Purchasing in Your Practice: HM15 Session Analysis

HM15 Session: Putting Your Nickel Down: The What, Why, and How of Implementing Physician Value-Based Purchasing in Your Practice Presenters: Stephen Besch, Simone Karp RPh, Patrick Torcson MD MMM SFHM, Gregory Seymann MD SFHM Summation: HHS has set a goal of tying increasing percentages of Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models,… [Read More]