Top Healthcare Quality Issues for 2015, Part 1

Cheryl Clark, January 6, 2015

And while it's unclear whether the parity bump was in place long enough to sign up more physicians for the Medicaid program, its loss—at a time when Medicaid patient rolls keep growing—may provoke many doctors to drop out of the Medicaid program for good, or at the least limit the time they spend with their patients, which is certain to affect quality of care.

For Reid Blackwelder, MD, past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, loss of Medicare would threaten not just the willingness of physicians to accept Medicaid patients, but also physician morale and willingness to accept those patients.

6. Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts remain unfair

America's Essential Hospitals and other organizations continue to argue that an important element of the PPACA, a gradual reduction in subsidies for hospitals with disproportionate shares of uninsured and underinsured patients, is based on an assumption no longer true.

The idea was that the subsidies should taper off because more states would expand eligibility criteria so more Medicaid patients could receive health benefits. But the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 decision made states' Medicaid expansion voluntary, and only half of the states have expanded their criteria to date.

"Given this outcome, scheduled DSH cuts that reduce federal support by about 50% by 2019 can no longer be justified," says an Essential Hospitals statement.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of the list of top healthcare quality issues for 2015.

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