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SingleCare Industry News Round-up 7/29: Heart Attack Treatment, Hospital Ratings, and Prescription Drug Costs

By | July 29, 2016

Stay up-to-date with another round-up of this week’s news in healthcare! Read about a payment plan for treating heart attacks, a new hospital rating system, and a rise in prescription drug costs.

First, a new proposal from Medicare would have patients being treated for heart attacks pay fixed amounts, as opposed to receiving one bill.

  • The Wall Street Journal | Medicare Proposes Fixed Payments for Treating Heart Attacks

    Medicare wants to pay hospitals fixed amounts for treating heart attacks, following a move to offer set reimbursements for hip and knee replacements rather than letting providers bill for every service provided to older Americans, the Obama administration said Monday. […] The proposal represents the most significant extension of the Obama administration’s efforts to curb costs and improve quality of care funded by Medicare.

Next, a look at a newly imposed rating system for state funded hospitals.

The new ratings apply to 3,662 U.S. hospitals, which have been granted from one to five stars. One star signals the lowest level of performance; five stars the highest quality of care. […] The number of stars each hospital receives depends on how well the hospital performed on 64 measures of safety and performance that already appear on the government’s Hospital Compare website. They include death rates, readmissions, safety indicators and patient satisfaction scores. The goal is to offer consumers a simpler measure of hospital quality than the full listing of more than 100 separate measures reported by the government.

Finally, read about the 85 percent jump in Medicare’s prescription coverage, which is making some pills cost patients more than $1,000.

  • Associated Press | AP Exclusive: Pricey Drugs Overwhelm Medicare Safeguard | Ricardo 

    A safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show. […] The cost of Medicare’s “catastrophic” prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015, according to the program’s number-crunching Office of the Actuary.

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