Trending News Today: Federal Law Targets Medicare Patient Hospital Admittance

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

A new federal law that requires hospitals to inform Medicare patients if they are being admitted to the hospital or are under observation will start soon. This law is in response to Medicare patients spending days in hospitals but never being formally admitted, which leads to higher costs, according to Kaiser Health News. However, physicians, hospitals, and consumer representatives believe that the notice created by Medicare may not be as effective as they had hoped.

A new study found that premiums for insurance bought through Affordable Care Act health exchanges could increase more than ever, revealing only 2 marketplaces where the rates have declined. Portland, Oregon’s lowest-cost silver plans are expected to increase approximately 26%, but in Providence, Rhode Island, these plans are expected to decrease by 14%, Kaiser Health News reported. Shopping for new plans and possibly doctors could help some customers avoid the higher cost plans.

Judge Jorge Alonso recently denied the request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop the merger of 2 Chicago hospital operators, Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem. The FTC believes this merger could potentially increase healthcare costs, and the merger would not be able to increase the services offered or the quality of care, according to The Wall Street Journal. The federal judge, however, did not believe the FTC had provided enough evidence that the merger was anticompetitive.