State highlights: States updating Medicaid primary care pay to Medicare rates; University of Va. Hospital CEO says health law could cost millions; D.C. hospital cutting jobs

A selection of health policy stories from Virginia, the District of Columbia and California.

Modern Healthcare: Reform Update: States Make Progress In Medicaid Parity Payments
States are making progress carrying out a provision of the health care reform law that calls for increasing Medicaid primary-care payments for 2013 and 2014 to match what Medicare pays. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that few physicians were getting the promised pay bump (Robeznieks, 11/11).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: U.Va. Medical Center CEO Says Hospital Could Lose Millions Of Dollars Under ACA
The University of Virginia Medical Center's CEO says provisions of the federal health care law could cost the hospital hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade. Chief executive officer R. Edward Howell tells The Daily Progress that a reduction in Medicare reimbursements could cost the hospital $140 million by 2020. He says much of the money is used to pay for recent medical school graduates' residencies (11/11).

The Washington Post: MedStar Washington Hospital Center to Cut Jobs, Citing Financial Pressures
MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the region's largest private hospital, is cutting jobs because of mounting financial pressures, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday. A first round of management positions was eliminated Thursday, and non-management employees whose jobs are being cut will be informed Tuesday, said Donna Arbogast, vice president of public affairs. None of the positions to be cut involve bedside nurses, she said (Sun, 11/11).  

California Healthline: Ballot Proposals Take Aim At Hospitals
A California union filed paperwork Friday to launch two ballot measures that would curb salaries of hospital executives and impose limits on the prices hospitals charge for care. The proposals were submitted Friday to the state Attorney General's office in Sacramento by representatives of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West union. It's the first step in a long process to try to get the measures on the November, 2014 ballot (Gorn, 11/11).

California Healthline: How Can State Hasten Payment Reform?
According to the California Scorecard on Payment Reform released last month, almost 42 percent of commercial payments to providers in California are tied to how well the providers deliver care, measuring quality, outcomes and efficiency. Compared with a national average of about 11 percent in the National Scorecard on Payment Reform released in the spring, California is ahead of the curve. However, the 42 percent of providers who are reimbursed for care based on value in California are countered by the 58 percent reimbursed for the number of tests and procedures they perform. We asked stakeholders what California can do to hasten and improve health care payment reform (11/11).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from 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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