Medicaid spending slowed significantly in 2011 on a year-over-year basis. The program grew 2.5% in 2011, a significant drop from 5.9% growth in 2010. The CMS report said budgetary pressure on states caused by the weak economy and the June 2011 expiration of federal aid to the states contributed to the slower growth.
Video: MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTAL INSURANCE RATES
MedPAC Calls on Congress to Reform the Medicare Home Health Benefit
The report’s assessment of reimbursement found that while the volume of services was level in 2011, total payments declined by about 5%, or $1 billion. MedPAC attributes this decline to a reduction in the Medicare base rate. The lower spending comes after several years of increases, as total spending between 2002 and 2011 increased by 92%. For over a decade, payments have consistently and substantially exceeded costs, with Medicare margins for freestanding agencies equaling 14.8% in 2011 and averaging 17.7% in 2001 through 2010. Two factors contributing to payments exceeding costs: Fewer visits are delivered in an episode than is assumed in Medicare’s rates, and cost growth has been lower than the annual payment updates for home health care. For 2013, Medicare margins are estimated to equal 11.8%.
Death Rates Rise At Geographically Isolated Hospitals, Study Finds
Congress started the critical access program in 1997 to stave off hospital closures in places where patients had no good alterative because the next hospital was at least 35 miles away by regular roads or 15 miles by secondary roads. Hospitals with 25 or fewer beds could qualify. Hospitals near competitors, in cities as well as rustic areas, also got into the program through a loophole that until 2006 allowed states to designate hospitals as “necessary providers.”
MedPAC Projects 11.8% Medicare Margins in Home Health for 2013
AAHomecare AARP Addus HomeCare Corp. Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation Almost Family Amedisys Inc. American Association for Homecare American Association for Long Term Care Insurance Apria Healthcare Group Brookdale Senior Living Care.com Center for Medicare Advocacy Centers for Medicar & Medicaid Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS Emeritus Senior Living Ensign Group featured First Care Home Health Care Gentiva Health Services Gentiva Health Services Inc. HHS Home Health Depot Home Health International Humana IntegraCare Intel-GE Care Innovations Jordan Health Services Kindred Healthcare LHC Group Inc MedPAC NAHC National Association for Home Care & Hospice National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization New York Times Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare PHI ResCare HomeCare Scripps Health Sentara Healthcare The Ensign Group VA Visiting Nurse Association Visiting Nurses Association
Medicare Is More Efficient Than Private Insurance
The CBO explicitly stated that its data on relative cost growth should not be used to make the argument that Goodman and Saving make, writing that the relatively low growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid “should not be interpreted as meaning that Medicare or Medicaid is less able to control spending than private insurers.” Goodman and Saving mistakenly suggest that the growth rate of private insurance is the same as the growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid; however, as CBO points out, the growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid includes not just spending by private insurers, but also government programs and out-of-pocket costs paid by the uninsured.
Daily Kos: President Obama’s budget will include cuts to Social Security, Medicare
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Medicare Panel Calls for Repealing Sustainable Growth Rate Formula
Ten days after Congress voted to approve a temporary “doc fix,” the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission last week released a blueprint that calls for permanently repealing and replacing the sustainable growth rate formula — which is used to determine Medicare physician reimbursement rates,