- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a pilot program called the Care Transitions Project, designed to reduce preventable hospital readmissions. (Source)
The national program, running through summer 2011 in 14 communities, will look at readmission rates at hospitals and develop ways to reduce readmissions. Acting administrator Charlene Frizzera said one in five patients leaving hospitals will be readmitted within the next month, and 75 percent of those readmissions might be preventable.
- Last week, CMS announced that despite opposition from lawmakers, it will renew a competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment. (Source)
Lawmakers delayed the bidding program, which was mandated by law, and required CMS to redo bidding and to be more lenient on bidders who don’t provide enough information. They want CMS to give bidders a chance to supply missing information instead of automatically disqualifying them.
CMS claims the set fees it pays for durable medical equipment are too high.
- CMS recently issued 2010 payment rates for Part C Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription drug plans. Among the changes for Part D enrollees is a new percentage rate of 4.66, used to update the deductible, initial limit coverage, and out-of-pocket threshold. (Source)