HealthLeaders Media Finance - May 4, 2009 | I'll See Your 10 HACs and Raise You Three View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
I'll See Your 10 HACs and Raise You Three
Michelle Ponte, Senior Editor-Finance

Hospitals have been making big preparations for the HAC provision, the latest installment of CMS' value-based purchasing initiative. But with the threat of lower reimbursements right around the corner, agility is the key, especially when it comes to designing point-of-care processes. [Read More]
  May 4, 2009

Editor's Picks
CMS Proposes Historically Low Inpatient Payment Increases
CMS announced historically low net increases of well below 1% in its 2010 payment rates for Medicare inpatient services by both acute-care and long-term care hospitals, and signaled that even larger reductions may be coming in the next two years. CMS is proposing to update acute-care hospital rates by 2.1% for inflation less an adjustment of 1.9%, and 2.4% for inflation minus a 1.8% adjustment for long-term care hospitals, in both cases to remove the effect of increases in aggregate payments due to changes in hospital coding practices that CMS says do not reflect increases in the severity of illness in patients. Charlene Frizzera, CMS' acting administrator, says the feds are proposing an adjustment that "minimizes the effects on FY 2010 payments while still meeting the requirements of the law, which may mean larger reductions in the next two years." [Read More]
Don't Delay Because of Red Flags Rule Delay
The Federal Trade Commission pushed back its compliance date on the "Red Flags Rule" from May 1 until August 1, giving healthcare facilities considered to be "creditors" three extra months to implement an identity theft prevention program. But that does not mean healthcare entities should delay implementing a program—especially when you're dealing with the FTC, an organization known for harsh punishment and corrective measures. [Read More]
Senate Finance Committee Considers Reform Options in Closed Sessions
One week after holding a hearing on reforming the healthcare delivery system, members of the Senate Finance Committee met behind closed doors in a "walk through" session to examine options on paying for and delivering healthcare. Many of the options brought up at the earlier hearing—addressing issues such as chronic care management, quality measure development, provider collaboration, health information technology, and workforce strategies—are found in the committee's new 52-page report. The public can comment on the options until May 15. [Read More]
New Program Cracks Down on Medicare Fraud, Abuse
Medicare fraud and abuse prevention and detection efforts are about to get tougher because of the new Zone Program Integrity Contractors, who began work in some regions on February 1. CMS developed ZPICs to fix flaws in the current Medicare program integrity system, which protects the Medicare program by preventing and detecting fraud and abuse. Under the existing system, Medicare Drug Integrity Contractors fight fraud and abuse in Medicare Part D, while Program Safeguard Contractors are responsible for such efforts in either Medicare Parts A and B, durable medical equipment, or home health and hospice, depending on the geographic region. [Read More]
Finance Forum
Ten Strategies for Capturing All Reimbursements
Healthcare providers can mitigate the impact of the recession and protect their long-term financial outlook by deploying strategies on the front-end of a patient visit to capture all reimbursements. HealthLeaders Media guest columnist Jeff Drake says one simple action providers can take is to increase collection points. West Virginia University Hospitals nearly doubled its point-of-service collections in three years following the installation of credit card processing systems in its hospital and physician clinics. [Read More]
Finance Headlines
Patients struggle on without surgery; hospitals feel pinch
Boston Globe - May 4, 2009
Few hospitals go paperless using free VA software
Boston Globe - May 4, 2009
Tennessee firm works to ensure health costs' accuracy
The Tennessean - May 4, 2009
AHA: Hospitals in Critical Condition
John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media- April 27, 2009
Age-based health insurance pricing has some cutting back on coverage
Boston Globe - April 27, 2009
Johns Hopkins acquires suburban hospital
Washington Post - April 27, 2009
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Jump . . . or Get Pushed
HealthLeaders April 2009 The tough decisions you don't want to make now—but may have to. [Read More]
Service Lines Management
Redefining Cardio
The cardiovascular service line remains a dependable revenue generator for many hospitals across the country. But a shifting market full of new options for patients means organizations must find ways to differentiate themselves to keep it that way. [Read More]
Money Talk

New York University Hospitals Center, New York, NY
Rating: Baa2
Outlook: Stable
Affected Debt: $355 million
Agency: Moody's Investors Service
Remarks: Rating upgraded from Ba2 due to improved financial performance and a change in governance, which is setting a strong platform for physician recruitment, strategic direction, and financial stability. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Preparing for RAC Appeals: With the RAC program being rolled out permanently nationwide, preparing for the appeals process is more important now than ever. Ed Gaines, vice president and chief compliance officer with CBIZ Medical Management Professionals, an organization that provides medical coding, billing and physician practice management services to hospital-based physicians across the U.S., describes how hospitals are handling the appeals process. [Listen Now]

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