medicare

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Three of Delaware's six general hospitals will lose out on some funding due to their patient safety record.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the federal government is penalizing the hospitals for having too many patient injuries and infections by taking away 1 percent in Medicare payments.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The federal government has approved a one-year extension of Maryland's unique rate-setting system for hospital services.

The extension announced Monday will give the federal government time to complete its review and consider four years of performance through the end of 2017.

Maryland's current all-payer hospital model contract will be extended from an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2019.

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Delaware State Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro is urging Senator Tom Carper to get an extension for those signing up for the Affordable Care Act.

Navarro told the Wilmington News Journal that he is worried there will not be enough time to enroll in the health insurance exchange.

So, he said, he is consulting with the Delaware Democrat’s office and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield about extending the deadline to January 1st.

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Congress Andy Harris defended the proposed tax cut package now on Capitol Hill saying that it would ensure a vast majority of the middle class would get tax relief.

In addition, the Salisbury Daily Times reports Harris said he favored eliminating all deductions and moving to a flat tax.

The Eastern Shore Republican also defended the proposed cuts in the corporate tax rate saying that domestic corporations that compete in the international market are now at a disadvantage.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware's senior senator is calling on President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to work with Democrats on tax reform.

Sen. Tom Carper and fellow Democrat Chris Coons hosted a roundtable discussion in Wilmington on Monday on what they say is the negative impact of Trump's tax plan on Delawareans.

Coons expressed concern about cutting billions of dollars from Medicare spending for what he described as a tax rate cut for corporations and for the richest Americans.

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There will be cuts but no new taxes.

That’s the upshot of the $284 million operating budget put forward by New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that he is proposing $194 million in spending from the general fund which amounts to a 4 percent increase.

But Meyer expects a $13 million deficit over the coming year, which he says, will be met with spending cuts as well as the county’s tax stabilization reserves.

Meyers wants to reduce overtime and reinstate premiums for Medicare retirees.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A rift between a medical center and a health care company threatens to suspend coverage for thousands of patients.

The Wilmington News Journal  reports that the current contract between Bayhealth Medical Center and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware to reimburse the hospital for its care of the insurer's customers expires May 15.

Don Rush

The Peninsula Regional Medical Center has agreed to a $2.9 million settlement in the wake of allegations that the facility broke Medicare rules.

The U.S. Justice Department announcement said that PRMC was just one of 457 hospitals in 43 states as part of a $250 million settlement.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the case involved implanting cardioverter defibrillators that shock the heart to bring it back to a normal rhythm.

PRMC issued a statement saying that it still stood by its medical decisions that resulted in the implantation of the devices.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are expected to act quickly on recommendations from a state task force aimed at lowering workers' compensation insurance rates.

The task force presented lawmakers a report Thursday calling for workers compensation medical costs to be trimmed by 33 percent over the next three years.

The report calls health care providers to gradually curtail their rates as they move from a current fee-for-service structure to a Medicare rate-based reimbursement formula.

Don Rush

Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Insurance Administration says carriers have notified the state that they plan to discontinue non-grandfathered individual health benefit plans affecting more than 73,000 members in Maryland next year.

Individual health insurance policies are being canceled for millions of people nationwide who buy individual insurance policies as federal health care reform requires plans to cover certain benefits. Policies are being discontinued because they don't meet the higher benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

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