Health Care Authority Provides Guidance and Tools for October 1 ICD-10 Implementation

Last week the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) sent providers an alert clarifying that HCA will not be adopting a policy adopted for Medicare Part B contractors regarding specificity of diagnosis coding of claims under the new International Classification of Diseases, Version 10 (ICD-10). HCA will require that as of the October 1, 2015 implementation date,... Read More >>

WSHA Sends Reports to Hospitals Regarding CMS Knee and Hip Replacement Initiative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule requiring prospective payment hospitals that provide hip and knee replacements in selected metropolitan areas to participate in a new bundled payment initiative. Read the proposed rule here. Hospitals will be responsible for the quality and cost of an episode of care ending... Read More >>

Your Help Needed on CMS Geographical Standards for Critical Access Hospitals

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently clarified rural status, location and distance requirements for critical access hospitals (CAHs). Importantly, the recently released memo (S&C 15-45-CAH) clarifies existing guidance to specify that a CAH’s compliance with mileage and distance requirements for hospitals and all facilities it operates must be reassessed at the time... Read More >>

Applications for 2016 DSH Are Due Soon

The Washington Health Care Authority (HCA) is now accepting applications for Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments for 2016. The deadline for applications is August 1 for the Low Income and Small Rural DSH programs. Applications received by HCA after that date will not be considered.  The Certified Public Expenditure (CPE), Low Income, and Small Rural DSH... Read More >>

Legislators Reach Agreement on Budgets, Avoid State Shutdown

The Washington State Legislature narrowly avoided a shutdown of state services by agreeing on operating and capital budgets for Fiscal Years 2015-2017. The compromise budgets are very good for hospitals and health care overall and include: More than $100 million in new state and federal funding for the mental health system. $32 million in capital budget funding... Read More >>

House and Senate Submit Revised Budget Proposals, but Key Differences Remain

The dominant parties in the House and Senate released new budgets in the past week: The Senate Republicans released a new budget on Thursday, and the House Democrats did the same on Monday.   The new Senate budget includes new revenue from cannabis and the federal government, but does not make the needed changes to... Read More >>

WSHA Hosts May 27 Webcast on Proposed Inpatient Prospective Payment Hospital Rule

  The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) will host a webinar May 27 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on the proposed inpatient rule for prospective payment hospitals. The webinar is part of WSHA’s efforts to provide helpful and detailed information to hospital finance staff. Presenters will include staff from DataGen, which provides analyses of Medicare claims data for... Read More >>

State Budget Debate Impacts Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange

  The future of Washington State’s Health Benefit Exchange will depend in part on the upcoming negotiations between the Washington State House and Senate. The budgets adopted in each chamber are significantly different in terms of funding levels for the upcoming biennium. The Senate budget for the biennium provides $65 million less for the Exchange in total... Read More >>

Legislature Passes Telemedicine and Inmate Care Bills

  Two WSHA-supported bills recently passed the Washington State Legislature and will aid efforts to ensure access to safe and cost-effective access to health care in our communities. Hospital finance staff should consider potential impacts for their facilities. Telemedicine (House Bill 1403/Senate Bill 5175): This bill, which passed both chambers of the legislature with near... Read More >>

CMS Publishes Approach to Limit Disruption to Physician Payments

The temporary patch to the federal “Sustainable Growth Rate” formula expired March 31, creating a 21 percent reduction to Medicare physician payments. A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which would prevent the cuts, may be considered by the Senate when it returns April 13. If passed, it could be applied retroactively to April 1. ... Read More >>

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