November 15, 2013

More Medical Expansion News

Missouri Senate Committee Rejects Medicaid Expansion Proposal.

The AP (11/14) reports from Missouri that the state’s Republican-led Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Transformation and Reform “considering changes to Missouri’s Medicaid program has rejected a Democratic proposal in support of expanded eligibility.” Yesterday’s decision by the committee “dealt with what recommendations to include in a report in advance for the 2014 session.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (11/14, Young) “Political Fix” blog reports that Republican Missouri state senators maintained that Medicaid requires an overhaul before expanding, with Democrats walking out of a healthcare law work session. A report presented at the meeting opposes expansion, insisting “before the state can consider expanding eligibility and increasing the number of participants to the program, transformation of the entire Medicaid program must occur.”

More US Companies Expected To Penalize Employees Who Smoke, Are Obese.

Reuters (11/14, Kingsbury) reports that under the Affordable Care Act, more US companies will apply surcharges to employees who are obese or who smoke. The surcharges will be applied in the form of higher deductibles or health insurance premiums for employees who do not adhere to health goals set by their employer. But, according to some experts in the fields of healthcare and labor, these surcharges may be unduly harsh on people who earn lower wages or who may have certain health conditions they cannot control.

Study: Higher Hospital Sticker Prices Driving Up Medicare Payments.

Modern Healthcare (11/14, Carlson, Subscription Publication) reports that, according to a study (pdf) issued by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services, higher hospital “sticker prices are indeed driving up Medicare payments.” The study found that even though just two percent “of Medicare hospital bills include outlier payments, that still amounts to about $4 billion a year in extra reimbursements spread across about 3,200 hospitals.” What’s more, because “outlier payments are set as a percentage of a hospital’s sticker price, hospitals with more expensive rates receive bigger outlier payments.”

Source article: Bulletin Healthcare