MHA Today | Oct. 2, 2017

October 2, 2017

MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders

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MHA Today is provided as a service to members of the Missouri Hospital Association. Additional information is available online at MHAnet.

In This Issue
Medicare Releases 2018 MA Benefit And Premium Information
Senate Finance Committee Prepares To Reauthorize CHIP
HRSA Announces Nurse Faculty Loan Program
HQR Monthly News Blast Available
CMS Announces Education Session


What You Need To Know This Week

  • The U.S. Senate begins work this week on reauthorizing the Children's Health Insurance Program, which expired this weekend.


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state and federal health policy developments


Medicare Releases 2018 MA Benefit And Premium Information

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the 2018 benefit and premium information for Medicare Advantage health and drug plans. The average MA premium will decrease by $1.91 or 6 percent in 2018. Enrollment in MA plans is projected to increase 9 percent to 20.4 million. CMS Administrator Seema Verma stated “the success of Medicare Advantage and the prescription drug program demonstrates what a strong and transparent health market can do – increase quality while lowering costs.” Medicare open enrollment begins Sunday, Oct. 15, and ends Thursday, Dec. 7.

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Senate Finance Committee Prepares To Reauthorize CHIP

Staff Contact: Brian Kinkade

The Senate Finance Committee will mark up S. 1827, the Keep Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act of 2017, on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The amendments the committee is poised to approve are favorable. They include appropriations to extend the program for five years and a continuation of enhanced federal matching funds of 23 percent for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, and 11.5 percent for FY 2020. The Children’s Health Insurance Program expired Sept. 30, but Missouri has sufficient carry-over CHIP funding to sustain the program for approximately six months.

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Workforce News


HRSA Announces Nurse Faculty Loan Program

Staff Contact: Jill Williams

The Health Resources and Services Administration has announced a one-year grant to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty. The funding is available to accredited schools of nursing, in accordance with 846A of the Public Health Services Act, which are accredited at the time of application and for the duration of the award by a national agency approved by the Secretary of Education for nurse education accreditation. The grants are awarded to institutions. The program allows the institutions to authorize cancelation of up to 85 percent of any such loan in exchange for full-time, post-graduation employment as nurse faculty.

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Quality and Population Health


HQR Monthly News Blast Available

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released its hospital quality reporting monthly news blast. The release discusses assignment of new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers and issuance of new Medicare cards.

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CMS Announces Education Session

Staff Contact: Sherry Buschjost

An outreach and education session for hospitals participating in the hospital inpatient quality reporting, electronic health record incentive, hospital value-based purchasing, hospital readmissions reduction, and hospital-acquired condition reduction programs, has been scheduled at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11. Registration is required for the webinar titled “Inpatient Hospital Quality Programs: Payment Updates & Overview.”

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Consider This ...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that since 2010 the flu has caused between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention