Hospitals Rally to Defend 340B

A consortium of hospitals from across the country has delivered a letter to Congressional leaders, urging them to preserve the federal 340B program in its present form.  Neither the content nor the timing of the letter was surprising.  It was dated May 20—the day before the House Energy & Commerce …

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Out of the Mouths of Babes: Millions of Medicaid Dollars

Last Monday the Office of Inspector General of Health & Human Services posted a hair-raising report.  “Questionable Billing for Medicaid Pediatric Services in California” raises alarming questions about the billing practices and service quality of some of that state’s dentists—especially those working …

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Sen. Health Committee Chairman Blasts “Whimsical” Health Agency Guidance

Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education & Labor Committee, has issued letters to the Department of Health & Human Services and a number of federal agencies, requesting information about their procedures for issuing so-called “guidance documents.” Alexander’s concern is that …

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House Bill Says 23 Years Isn’t Long Enough for Transition to ICD-10

All across the country hospitals have been bracing for the scheduled Oct. 1, 2015, transition from ICD-9 coding to ICD-10.  It had been scheduled for Oct. 1, 2014, but the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 delayed it until Oct. 1, 2015.  Before that it was scheduled for Oct. 1, 2013, but in 2012 the …

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Good Medicine Doesn’t Always Taste Good

One of the first healthcare lessons we learn as children is that good medicine doesn’t necessarily taste good.  In fact, sometimes the best medicine tastes pretty bad. That lesson is brought to mind by last week’s Modern Healthcare article observing that many of CMS’s “five-star hospitals” scored low …

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4th Cir. Sides with Surgeon in Disability Policy Dispute

On May 5 the Fourth Circuit reversed a District Court decision upholding Lloyd’s of London’s rescission of a Maryland surgeon’s disability policies.  Lloyd’s had rescinded the policies because the surgeon gave false answers on the application forms.  The 4th Cir. found ambiguity in every question, even …

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