MHA Today | March 20, 2018

March 20, 2018

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
White House Announces Federal Opioid Initiatives
MHA Releases Issue Brief On Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act
Medicare Margins Continue To Drop
Recruitment Challenges Prompt New Wave of Innovation For U.S. Hospitals



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state and federal health policy developments


White House Announces Federal Opioid Initiatives

Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Leslie Porth

The White House published a fact sheet on President Trump’s new opioid initiative. Also, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new work plan to assess opioid abuse in the Medicare Part D program, with emphasis on “doctor shopping.”

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MHA Releases Issue Brief On Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

As the current continuing resolution will expire on Friday, March 23, Congress continues to grapple with funding the remaining fiscal year 2018 budget. Several members of Congress have proposed funding to pay for cost-sharing reductions, make changes to the state innovation waiver process, appropriate $30.5 billion for reinsurance programs, allow any enrollee in a nongroup market to purchase a catastrophic plan, and require some existing funding for operations in the health insurance marketplace. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that by enacting these provisions, the deficit would increase by $19.1 billion from 2018 to 2027. MHA published an issue brief with additional details.

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Medicare Margins Continue To Drop

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission released its annual report to Congress, which indicates that the aggregate Medicare hospital margin was negative 9.5 percent in 2016. Not-for-profit hospitals realized a negative 11 percent Medicare margin, while for-profit hospitals realized a negative 2.4 percent Medicare margin. MedPAC states that if current hospital cost trends continue, aggregate Medicare margins will hit negative 11 percent this year. The report also included statements such as, “Eventually the difference between commercial rates and Medicare rates will grow so large that some hospitals will have an incentive to focus primarily on patients with commercial insurance.”

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Workforce News


Recruitment Challenges Prompt New Wave of Innovation For U.S. Hospitals

Staff Contact: Jill Williams

New research shows hospital leaders are concerned about a host of talent-related issues. To compete for talent in today’s environment, hospitals are finding creative solutions. While remuneration must remain competitive, hospitals are using other weapons in their battle to win recruits, from developing candidates internally to using social media as a recruitment tool. The full article states how some executives are offering solutions to these challenges.

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Consider This ...

Measles is one of the most contagious of all infectious diseases; approximately nine out of 10 susceptible persons with close contact to a measles patient will develop measles. Measles virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention