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October 2, 2012

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Umm, Some Details Please!
“Deadlines” are Just “Suggestions”, At Least for the EHBs
Pile on the Penalties
This Week in Washington
What We’re Reading
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Umm, Some Details Please!
Republican leaders nationwide have been sending similar pleas to the Obama Administration over the past few weeks, and they all sound something like this. “Hey, if you want us to even try to implement this law, we’re going to need a little more information please.” We’re wondering if and when major business owners are going to start pointing this out too in such a public way... Read More
“Deadlines” are Just “Suggestions”, At Least for the EHBs
Yesterday was the state’s unofficial “deadline” to identify their benchmark design for the essential health benefit packages that will determine coverage design in the individual and small group markets after January 1, 2014. The Obama Administration originally specified that states must determine their benefits package by October 1 in a bulletin, but when challenged by the states about the legality of such a requirement via bulletin and also the lack of specific details needed to make a clear determination, HHS backed down and began referring to the deadline as a suggestion... Read More
Pile on the Penalties
On October 1, two major programs from the 2010 health care law that affect hospitals went in to effect. The first, the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, will pay hospitals according to how they perform based on a set of standard clinical quality measures and on surveys of patients’ experience. The payments are provided by Medicare which will withhold 1% of its regular hospital reimbursements, and over the course of the year funds will be returned to some hospitals based on their performance. By 2016 the percentage withheld will go up to 2%. Medicare estimates that about $850 million will be reallocated under the hospital pay for performance program this year. In effect, hospitals that do not meet the criteria will be penalized by not receiving a return of the withheld funds... Read More
This Week in Washington
Wednesday is debate night! Do you have your calendar marked? Even though the debate is actually happening in Denver, Colorado, we know that everyone in Washington will be watching President Obama and Governor Romney square off for the first time at 9:00pm Eastern on October 3. We’ll certainly be glued to our television since the topic is our favorite—domestic policy! You know what that means, at least 15 minutes of health care questions!!!... Read More
What We’re Reading
Election analysis, surprising Supreme Court news and predicting names for the new health insurance exchanges top our reading list this week. Because we’re givers here at the Washington Update, we also have a 10-minute educational time-waster for you!... Read More
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