GAO Report Highlights Differences in LTACH Oversight Standards in Response to Senate Finance Committee Investigation

Posted by Jason Greis on January 8, 2011 under Articles, Industry News | Be the First to Comment

On December 22, 2010, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report (Report) highlighting key differences in Federal oversight standards among long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) and certain other classes of hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.  The Report was prepared in response to the Senate Finance Committee’s initiation of a formal investigation in March 2010 after a February 10, 2010 New York Times article described patient deaths and allegations of substandard patient care at one of the nation’s largest LTACH providers. Read More...

Health Reform: Is the Hospital Industry Misapplying Congressional Intent?

Posted by Jason Greis on October 13, 2010 under Articles | Be the First to Comment

Thunder rolled down from Capitol Hill last week when Sen. Charles Grassley (R–Iowa) claimed that certain hospital systems and associations were misapplying the intent of Section 501(r)(5)(B) that prohibits the use of gross charges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In their comments to the IRS regarding implementing regulations, the American Hospital Association (AHA) urged the IRS to apply a “gross charges” basis to charge those who do not qualify for financial assistance, and to use it as a starting place for calculating assistance to those who do. Read More...

When MedPAC Speaks Congress Listens: What the Inclusion of MedPAC Health Care Delivery Reform Proposals in Health Care Reform Legislation Means for Physicians

Posted by Jason Greis on March 28, 2010 under Articles | Be the First to Comment

On March 1, 2010, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (“MedPAC” or the “Commission”) released its 2010 Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy (the “Final Report”) recommending annual Medicare payment updates for Medicare fee-for-service (“FFS”) payment systems, including among others, hospitals (including both general acute care and long term care hospitals) and physicians.  MedPAC is an independent congressional agency established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to formulate recommendations to Congress to address quality and cost-containment issues affecting the Medicare program and its beneficiaries.  Two reports, issued in March and June each year, are the primary outlets for MedPAC’s policy and payment system updates, which change base rates paid by Medicare for a unit of service provided by a FFS provider—for example, a hospital admission or a physician visit or procedure.  Recommended payment system updates are based on an assessment of payment adequacy that takes into account beneficiaries’ access to care, supply of providers, quality of care, providers’ access to capital and Medicare margins.  Read More...

Senate Finance Committee Approves Health Care Reform Bill and Moves toward Reconciliation

Posted by Jason Greis on October 15, 2009 under Articles | Be the First to Comment

On October 14, 2009 the Senate Finance Committee became the fifth and final Congressional Committee to approve a health care reform bill. Passing the Committee 14-9, every Democrat plus Republican Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) voted for the bill.  For Chairman Baucus (D-MT), gaining Sen. Snowe’s vote was a big win, but equally important was his ability to hold the Democrats together for this vote.  Senators John Rockefeller (D-WV), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) all expressed concerns with the bill during its consideration, and none of them had stated definitively how they would vote on the bill until the final moments. Read More...

To Bundle or Not to Bundle: Lawmakers Explore the Question

Posted by Jason Greis on June 2, 2009 under Whitepapers | Be the First to Comment

The current fervor to overhaul the nation’s health care delivery system has legislators discussing how to change the way post-acute care providers, including long-term acute care hospitals, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, are reimbursed for treating Medicare beneficiaries. One potential solution endorsed by both President Obama and the Senate Finance Committee entails bundling payments for acute and post-acute care services provided within the first 30 days after a Medicare beneficiary is discharged from an acute care hospital. Read More...

IRS Report Provides Insight into Community Benefit and Executive Compensation Practices of Tax-Exempt Hospitals

Posted by Jason Greis on February 15, 2009 under Articles | Read the First Comment

On February 12, 2009, the Internal Revenue Services released its long-anticipated final report (the “Report”) containing the results of a two-year study focusing on community benefit reporting practices and executive compensation practices of tax-exempt hospitals.  The results are based on a survey the IRS sent to 500 tax-exempt hospitals in May 2006, and builds on analysis of results first released by the IRS in an interim report in July 2007.  Read More...