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Make Your Voice Heard

By Rick Pollack
April 7, 2017

Two weeks ago, it looked like Congressional attempts to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act might be over – at least for now – after the bill House Republicans crafted, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), was pulled from consideration…and signals from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue suggested that other issues would become priorities. Now it looks like the AHCA, or some form of it, will continue to be the focus of future legislative activity, as the White House... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Coverage, advocacy, Medicaid

Preserving Medicaid is a Priority

By Rick Pollack
February 24, 2017

When Congress returns next week, Republican leaders intend on advancing legislation repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act – legislation which would currently include the possible redesign of the Medicaid program. Medicaid today provides coverage to more than 70 million children and poor, disabled or elderly Americans. Whatever changes Congress may make, ensuring that all of Medicaid’s participants retain access to care is critically important. We’re very concerned about... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Coverage, Medicaid, access

Continuing Advocacy

By Rick Pollack
October 30, 2015

Congress has passed an $80 billion bipartisan budget agreement that funds the government, lifts the debt ceiling and avoids a premium increase for some seniors. While the budget deal will ensure the government’s doors stay open, we’re deeply disappointed that it creates some restrictions on payments for care at new provider-based hospital outpatient departments, eroding a service vital to many sicker, poor, minority and senior patients, especially in rural communities. We worked to... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Medicare, advocacy, Medicaid, access

Happy Birthday, Medicare and Medicaid

By Rich Umbdenstock
July 17, 2015

Most Americans are too young to remember a time before Medicare and Medicaid – two programs that began to transform our health care system 50 years ago this month. It was an era when almost half of older Americans and millions of children and people with disabilities had no health care coverage at all. All that changed, for the better, half a century ago, putting our country one step closer to achieving the AHA’s vision of “a society of healthy communities, where all individuals... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: Medicare, Coverage, Medicaid, access

The SGR: It's History

By Rich Umbdenstock
April 17, 2015

We are very pleased to say goodbye to the flawed Medicare physician sustainable growth rate formula for many reasons. We’re happy that America’s seniors can continue to have access to the necessary care they need. We’re glad our physician partners will not have their payments cut, and that the new law reforms their payments to reflect the transformation happening in health care that hospitals have already embraced. Finally, we are grateful to you for your leadership in working with... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: Medicare, Coverage, Medicaid, access

Repealing SGR

By Rich Umbdenstock
March 27, 2015

We are pleased that the House this week voted to permanently replace the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula, and we hope the Senate will follow suit. The package strikes a careful balance in the way it funds the SGR repeal and embraces a number of structural reforms to the Medicare program. It fixes the physician payment problem and includes policy changes that move their payments from the first curve to the second curve. It includes important extenders and key provisions for... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: quality, readmissions, socioeconomic status, Medicare, Coverage, Medicaid, access

Cost-shifting in Hospitals

By Rich Umbdenstock
March 26, 2015

Earlier this week the New York Times ran a column about hospitals cost shifting to private insurers. Here is the reality for hospitals.

Cost shifts have been a fact of hospital financial survival for decades. Currently Medicare pays 88 cents for every dollar of care provided while Medicaid pays 90 cents for each dollar of care, creating a $51 billion shortfall to hospitals. Private insurers currently pay $1.43 for every dollar of care provided to close that gap.  In 1999, for... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: Medicare, Medicaid, access, uncompensated care

America's Hospitals: Always There, 24/7

By Caroline Steinberg
March 12, 2015

The role of hospitals is unique: always there, for all patients, ready to care, from the routine to the catastrophic. But the new report “Always There, Ready to Care,” shows how rising demand, constrained capacity and the erosion of financing to meet community needs are putting this role at risk.

At the same time hospitals are undergoing a major shift, building collaborative teams that are improving the coordination of health care. They're partnering with other health care... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tags: site neutral payment, population health, Emergency Preparedness, Medicare, Coverage, Redefining the H, advocacy, Medicaid, disaster readiness, preparedness

It's Groundhog Day for Hospitals

By Rick Pollack
February 2, 2015

It seems fitting that the president released his budget on Groundhog Day. There appears to be no end in sight for cuts to hospital care and we have been down this road before. The Administration proposes cuts that diminish our nation’s health care infrastructure.

Hospitals continue to deliver high quality care in a constantly changing environment. While hospitals are providing care to their communities, some are operating on shaky ground. One in three hospitals operates in the... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: graduate medical education, GME, Medicare, Coverage, CAHs, Critical Access Hospitals, advocacy, Medicaid



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