The 696-page final rule for Medicare's core program to encourage providers to coordinate patient care differs significantly from an earlier proposal panned by provider groups. Officials hope the new version will help create as many as 270 ACOs, double the number in the proposed regulation.
Central line infections—which are associated with tubes placed in the neck or chest of a hospital patient to deliver important medicines—dropped by 33 percent in 2010, according to an analysis announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hospitals and health care providers could save more than $5 billion over the next five years as a result of new Medicare and Medicaid rules that would allow medical professionals to spend more time on patient care and less time on bureaucratic red tape, federal officials said.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) held a closed-door meeting involving dozens of provider groups airing their views on what should be included in an essential health benefits package.
The HHS official in charge of overseeing the creation of insurance exchanges under the health care law emphasized that a federal exchange will be ready to step in to the extent states don't have their own new marketplaces ready to offer insurance choices to the uninsured by Jan. 1, 2014.
A new study by the Urban Institute bolsters the Obama administration's contention that the health care law won't prompt employers to drop their workers' health insurance.