Max Baucus

Pay cuts could wipe out labs, hurt nursing homes

Pay cuts could wipe out labs, hurt nursing homes

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When it comes to worries about how Medicare doctors will be paid, nursing home operators have thought they should stand at the front of a long and anxious line. Truth be told, they have some stiff competition for the "most nervous" title.

Make CMS audits less burdensome, providers urge lawmakers

Make CMS audits less burdensome, providers urge lawmakers

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could take a variety of steps to make audits less burdensome, healthcare providers stated in white papers submitted to members of the Senate Finance Committee. The committee released a report Thursday, summarizing stakeholders' input and recommendations for improving the audit process.

Tavenner confirmation hearing set for next Tuesday

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The Senate Finance Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Marilyn Tavenner, currently the acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, on Tuesday, April 9.

Senate Finance Chairman accuses long-term care providers of 'gaming' dual-eligible reimbursements

Senate Finance Chairman accuses long-term care providers of 'gaming' dual-eligible reimbursements

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Long-term care providers struck back quickly late last week after the chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee accused them of "gaming" the reimbursement system during a hearing on caring for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Senators: Recovery audit contractors might be doubling up tasks; campaign against fraud gears up

Senators: Recovery audit contractors might be doubling up tasks; campaign against fraud gears up

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Members of the Senate Finance Committee say they are concerned that the functions completed by independent contractors — known as recovery audit contractors (RACs) and Zone Program Integrity Contractors (PICs) — often overlap.

Regulators have tightened up screening efforts for Medicare providers

Regulators have tightened up screening efforts for Medicare providers

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Regulators have strengthened Medicare provider enrollment and toughened fraud prevention efforts, but it's too early to know how effective the initiatives will be, a new report reveals.

Improved coordination of dual eligibles could save the federal government $125 billion over 10 years, report says

Requiring dual eligibles — individuals receiving both Medicare and Medicaid benefits — to enroll in team-based coordination of care programs could save the federal government $125 billion over 10 years, a new report finds.

Time to pick your fantasy teams for ... funding

Time to pick your fantasy teams for ... funding

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Now that we know there will be an NFL season, fantasy football leagues are roaring into shape around the land. I would have loved to be in the "war room" to hear the give-and-take for drafting teams of another kind recently. That would be the Democrat and Republican teams for the Deficit Reduction Super Committee Bowl, er, negotiations. They're going to decide what is to be sacrificed on the way to $1.2 trillion or more in funding cuts over the next decade.

Baucus says maintenance-of-effort requirements are 'on the table' in budget talks

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) said that he and fellow Democrats are flexible in their response to Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act's maintenance-of-effort requirements for Medicaid.

Baucus says Berwick won't be confirmed; new CMS administrator to be nominated?

Baucus says Berwick won't be confirmed; new CMS administrator to be nominated?

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), the lawmaker who would preside over any Donald Berwick confirmation hearing, has admitted defeat in the ongoing fight to keep Berwick in charge at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

CMS needs to improve QIOs' reporting of cost, volume related to quality-of-care reviews

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services cannot be certain that it is budgeting accordingly for Quality Improvement Organizations' (QIOs) quality-of-care reviews because of potential reporting errors. That is a according to a report released this week by the Government Accountability Office.

Senate votes to postpone payment cut to Medicare docs

Senate votes to postpone payment cut to Medicare docs

To the relief of physicians everywhere, the Senate voted Thursday to put off a 23% cut in Medicare pay for doctors until Dec. 31.

Senate proposal would extend an increase in Medicaid funding—but reduce the increase

Senate proposal would extend an increase in Medicaid funding—but reduce the increase

A compromise proposal introduced in the Senate Tuesday could provide states with some extra Medicaid money—just not as much as they have hoped for.

Long-term care hospitals subject of Senate investigation

A recent New York Times article has sparked a Senate investigation into Select Medical Corp., one of the country's largest long-term care hospital providers.

Senate takes out therapy caps, physician pay provisions from jobs bill

Senate takes out therapy caps, physician pay provisions from jobs bill

Just hours after unveiling a jobs bill that would extend the therapy caps exceptions process and delay a pay cut for Medicare physicians, Senate leaders last week scrapped it in favor of a bill that contains neither of those provisions.

New draft legislation would extend therapy caps exceptions process

New draft legislation would extend therapy caps exceptions process

Senate Finance Committee leaders Thursday issued a draft of a jobs-creation bill. The legislation would extend the Medicare Part B therapy caps exceptions process and delay through Sept. 30 an impending 21% cut in payments for Medicare physicians.

Senators propose stop-gap measure on implementation of Medicare Part B therapy caps

Senators propose stop-gap measure on implementation of Medicare Part B therapy caps

One bipartisan group of senators is petitioning Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to postpone implementation of the cap on Medicare Part B outpatient therapy reimbursements.

Providers praise Senate Finance Committee for retaining market-basket update in bill

Nursing home providers reacted positively to the release of the Senate Finance Committee's healthcare reform bill Wednesday. They were particularly pleased that the bill would not lower the market-basket update for nursing homes.

Finance Committee chairman works to gather bipartisan support for reform bill

Finance Committee chairman works to gather bipartisan support for reform bill

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) is pushing this week to gain support for a healthcare reform bill. One of the legislation's provisions is to trim the market-basket update for nursing homes.

As Obama addresses Congress tonight, long-term care continues to weigh in on healthcare reform

As Obama addresses Congress tonight, long-term care continues to weigh in on healthcare reform

Long-term care providers are likely to tune in tonight as President Barack Obama speaks about healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress.

As recess winds down, Congress readies for healthcare reform battle

As recess winds down, Congress readies for healthcare reform battle

Congress is preparing to return to Washington D.C. after an eventful August recess. Democrats and Republicans are looking to ramp up efforts at passing, or, in some cases, derailing healthcare reform.

Senate to hold off on healthcare bill mark-up until after summer recess

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) has made it clear that his committee would not finish deliberation on its healthcare reform proposal before the summer recess begins this Friday.

House committee closer to compromise, senators tentatively agree to cut Medicare

Representatives appear to be inching closer to a compromise on healthcare reform. That comes as senators consider reducing Medicare spending to trim the cost of a reform package.

Pharmacy lobby pits House against Senate in debate over coverage of dual eligibles

Pharmacy lobby pits House against Senate in debate over coverage of dual eligibles

Dual-eligible seniors are caught in a Capitol Hill cross fire over a pledge from the pharmaceutical industry to reduce costs by $80 billion, according to reports from Washington.