Minnesota pilot project seeks to save Medicare money by addressing readmission rates; MedPac offers draft payment recommendations

Star Tribune: For Some Patients, Once Is Enough
Last February, Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina set out to try to reduce readmissions for Medicare patients as part of a pilot project with UCare, a small Minnesota health plan. The result: The 30-day readmission rate dropped by 44 percent. ... It's one way, experts say, that Medicare hopes to save billions of dollars (Lerner, 12/2).

Meanwhile, MedPac offered draft recommendations Thursday regarding Medicare hospital inpatient and outpatient rates, as well as physician payment.

CQ HealthBeat: Hospitals Would Get Modest Rate Increase Under Draft MedPAC Proposal
Hospitals would receive a 1 percent net increase in inpatient and outpatient payment rates in fiscal 2012 under a draft recommendation issued Thursday by the influential Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) (Adams, 12/2). 

CQ HealthBeat: MedPAC Considers 1 Percent Payment Increase for Doctors
Even as members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission debated recommending a 1 percent increase in doctor payments for 2012, they stressed their frustration Thursday at Congress' series of five short-term adjustments to scheduled reimbursement cuts. ... Their comments reflected growing unhappiness in the physician community about the scheduled large reductions in Medicare payment rates that Congress again postponed earlier this week (Norman, 12/1).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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