United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last Friday at the age of 87 from complications with pancreatic cancer. The death of the liberal judge raises questions not only about the future of the high court's political makeup, but...Arizona News
As the dust settles on the state’s first-wave peak, its impact on the hospital system which absorbed the bulk of Arizona's COVID-19 hit has come into focus.
Banner Health, which cared for about half of Arizonans hospitalized with COVID-19 at the pandemics peak here in July, struggled to staff hospitals as cases surged. The...National News
Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed to phase in a new risk adjustment model for Medicare Advantage plans for 2022. This move is required by the 21st Century Cures Act, and follows moves by the agency to phase in other risk models for MA payments.
From the September 14 press release from CMS:
CMS is...National News
A new study by the RAND Corporation shows that hospitals are charging private insurance over twice as much as they get from Medicare's reimbursement rates for the exact same care. There are many indications that this gap is steadily increasing.
The gap itself isn't particularly new, but the growing gap between Medicare and private...Arizona News
Value-based care has been in the forefront of public discussion on healthcare due not only to the COVID-19 pandemic but the election and updates that CMS has recently made. This week, the focus on value-based care has centered primarily on transitioning to value-based care models and the technological possibilities to make these programs...CMS Rules
CMS makes move to drive value-based reimbursement for cancer and chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage renal disease (ESRD) with a new final rule. The End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model uses value-based care payments to encourage the usage of home dialysis and kidney transplants. The new model also benefits...Health Related Groups
According to an undercover audit completed by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, some health insurance brokers provided misleading or false information to potential customers about whether their plans covered preexisting conditions.
The audit was requested by Senate Democrats with the intention of determining whether...Arizona News
According to the Office of the Inspector General, Northern Arizona Healthcare's (NAH) Flagstaff Medical Center failed to comply with Medicare billing requirements for three of 100 audited inpatient and outpatient claims from 2016-17.
The OIG claims that the hospital incorrectly billed Medicare for inpatient stays that did meet...Arizona News
The Southern Arizona hospital received the designation from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The new status went into effect Sunday, Sept. 20 for the hospital at 350 N. Wilmot Rd. in Tucson and allows staff to provide critical care for patients with life-threatening injuries.
Reporting from Tucson.com pointed out...National News
This week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order designed to cut prescription drug prices by tying prices to international prices. Two months ago, the President signed several executive orders that also intended to lower drug prices and constrict Medicare rebates.
The Sunday order says the Medicare program should pay...Arizona News
Hospitalizations and cases continue to decline from Arizona's July surge, but even so the state reported 695 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 25 newly reported deaths and a 12% positivity rate in Maricopa County.
Total coronavirus deaths in Arizona are now 5,371, with most occurring in Maricopa County. As of Wednesday, September 16, 2020...Arizona News
The COVID-19 pandemic and coinciding economic recession are creating big difficulties for state budgets and Arizona is certainly no exception. As people lose jobs, Medicaid enrollment will grow. Experts are estimating between 5 and 15 million new people will enroll in Medicaid programs by the end of the year.
Health Affairs...Arizona News
The Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule, which was announced in November last year, would have transformed federal supplemental payment programs under Medicaid. This week Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma announced in a tweet that the rule would be removed.
We’ve listened closely to...Arizona News
As the pandemic continues to disproportionately ravage certain segments of the American population, a newly published analysis of large-scale survey data found only 40% of internal medicine residency programs’ curricula featured training on health disparities.
The 2015 survey results are timely as the COVID-19 pandemic has...National News
The noble experiment of value-based care is being put on hold by some providers and the path toward risk has been stop and go at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. But studies and professional opinion suggests that it is beneficial to patients and clinics alike, and therefore might be worth saving.
According to Modern...Arizona News
Valleywise Health Medical Center made it on the prestigious list this summer earning recognition as one of the top-performing major teaching hospitals in the nation and the only teaching hospital in Arizona to receive the honor.
Formerly Maricopa Medical Center, the medical center is the centerpiece of Valleywise Health, the...Arizona News
During a time when millions are losing employer-sponsored health insurance, shoppers in Arizona and across the nation may have more plans to choose during the 2020 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) on the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace that begins November 1 and continues through December 15.
This week Cigna and Centene announced...Arizona News
The Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 49 measures of access to healthcare, service use, costs and quality of care, health outcomes, and income-based healthcare disparities.
Prior to COVID-19’s emergence, the 2020 scorecard documents state-level...Arizona News
Roughly 600,000 healthcare workers do not have health insurance, according to a study from Value Penguin. The economic crisis is likely exacerbating this issue, as employer sponsored health insurance is difficult for part-time workers or minimum wage workers to attain.
Value Penguin analyzed data from the American Community Survey...
Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) are groups of providers, hospitals, clinics, specialists and other providers who voluntarily coordinate to offer high quality care to Medicare beneficiaries. The most popular payment model administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is known as the Medicare Shared Savings Program...
Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, Aspire Transitional Care is now managed by The Goodman Group, a Minnesota based company with over 50 years of experience designing and managing senior living and health care communities, residential communities and commercial properties.
Aspire is a transitional care community featuring 50 private rooms...Arizona News
Medicare’s ongoing experiment with bundled payment models receives mixed reviews in a new review from Milbank Quarterly. Other studies have shown that for specific types of acute care, the savings from these programs does not reflect the effort required, but this study found that bundling initiatives can help slow the growth of payer...National News
Don't count on an Election Day vaccine, said the NIH on Wednesday, a day after several drug companies developing a COVID-19 vaccine pledged to follow rigorous efficacy and safety guidelines prior to mass inoculations against the infection and AstraZeneca suspended a large clinical trial after one patient's severe adverse reaction....Arizona News
All COVID-19 metrics are trending down in Arizona.
The Arizona Department of Health Services this week added a note to the ADHS Data Dashboard letting the public know it had enhanced its processes for identifying COVID-19 deaths and as a result, the number of new deaths reported on the dashboard may "increase more than expected". ...Arizona News
Phoenix and Tucson area clinics provide urgent care and occupational health services, in person and via telemedicine, and will be clinically integrated with HonorHealth’s five acute-care hospitals, physician practices, outpatient surgery centers and other network services.
The seven existing HonorHealth Urgent Care locations...