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How Are Hospitals Faring Under the Affordable Care Act? Early Experiences from Ascension Health

Expanded health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is having a major impact on many of the nation’s hospitals through increases in the demand for care, increased patient revenues, and lower uncompensated care costs for the uninsured. This report examines the early experiences with the ACA by Ascension Health, the delivery subsidiary of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health system, Ascension. It finds that, overall, Ascension hospitals in Medicaid expansion states saw increased Medicaid discharges, increased Medicaid revenue, and decreased cost of care for the poor, while hospitals in non-expansion states saw a very small increase in Medicaid discharges, a decline in Medicaid revenue, and growth in cost of care to the poor.

What Might a Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Mean for Medicare?

As Republican policymakers consider how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are likely to face a number of decisions about whether to retain any of the law’s changes to Medicare. Repealing the ACA has potential implications for Medicare spending, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, according to a…

Analysis Finds End-of-Life Medicare Spending Declines With Age Among Seniors

Among beneficiaries who died in 2014, Medicare spent significantly more per person on medical services for seniors in their late sixties and early seventies than on older beneficiaries, according to a new data note from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The analysis comes at a time when physicians can now be…

Analysis Estimates Up To 2 Million Uninsured People Could Require COVID-19 Hospitalization

Patients Could Still Be on the Hook for Outpatient Costs, Costs If They Test Negative, and Cost Sharing A new KFF analysis estimates that between 670,000 and 2 million uninsured people around the country eventually could be hospitalized with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Reimbursing hospitals…

Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments for COVID-19 Revenue Loss: Time to Repay?

This brief provides an overview and status update of the Medicare accelerated and advance payment program, which provided $100 billion in loans to Medicare providers in the spring of 2020 to compensate for revenue shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic. The brief describes who got the funds, and how these loans are distinct from other funds that providers received, which do not have to be repaid.

Where are the COVID-19 Hotspots? Tracking State Outbreaks

This brief analyzes multiple COVID-19 metrics to determine which states the pandemic is moving in the wrong, or right, direction as an increasing number of cases could be the result of more testing or the result of increasing transmission, or a combination of both.

Understanding Medicaid Hospital Payments and the Impact of Recent Policy Changes

Medicaid payments to hospitals, which include base and supplemental payments, play an important role in hospital finances and can affect beneficiaries’ access to care.This brief provides an overview of Medicaid payments for hospitals and explores the implications of the ACA Medicaid expansion, including changes in uncompensated care, as well as payment policy changes on hospital finances.

Evolving Picture of Nine Safety-Net Hospitals: Implications of the ACA and Other Strategies

Safety-net hospitals are an integral part of the U.S. health care landscape, providing care to some of the nation’s most medically vulnerable populations, including Medicaid enrollees and the uninsured. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. health care system is rapidly changing, and safety-net hospitals need to make major adjustments to survive in the post-reform environment. This brief draws on interviews with executives at nine safety-net hospital systems and examines how their hospitals have fared since major coverage provisions of the ACA came into effect in January 2014. The brief also examines new and ongoing strategies that the hospitals are adopting in the face of a quickly changing health care environment. While acknowledging the importance of the ACA, executives at each system in the study noted that other non-ACA related factors have also shaped how their hospitals fared over the last year. The hospitals in the study were: Cook County Health and Hospital System (CCHHS); Denver Health (Denver Health); Harris Health System (Harris Health); New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC); Parkland Health and Hospital System (Parkland); Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System (SCVHHS); San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH); University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC), and Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCU). These hospitals participated in two earlier related studies that examined how the systems were preparing for health care reform.