Blog Post

What hospitals should expect in 2014

December 23, 2013

    Juliette Mullin, Editor

    Next year is a huge one for health care for obvious reasons: The Affordable Care Act's (ACA) coverage expansion rolls out Jan. 1. But there are several other major changes hospitals should prepare for next year.

    The ACA rolls out next year. What does that mean?

    In a nutshell, here's what happens with the ACA next year: Millions of Americans will gain health insurance because of ACA provisions intended to make coverage mandatory for most residents, make it more accessible and affordable, and end discriminatory practices. Our primer on the 2014's ACA provisions goes more in depth.  

    Daily Briefing primer: The Affordable Care Act's 2014 rollout

    However, it's worth noting that a few of the law's original 2014 provisions have been postponed. Namely:

    • The employer mandate has been delayed by a year;
    • Individuals whose plans were canceled because they were not compliant with the ACA requirements for 2014 can be sold for an additional year;
    • Individuals whose plans were canceled may be exempt from the individual mandate;
    • The launch of the website for the small-business exchange has been postponed by one year;
    • The limit on out-of-pocket expenses has been delayed by one year.

    What else changes for hospitals?

    Next year isn't just about the ACA's coverage expansion.

    For one, Medicare penalties for quality are about to get tougher:

    Hospitals fear launch of third penalty program

    Another major health industry change next year will keep every hospital's IT department busy for months. On Oct. 1, ICD-10 is slated to roll out. The new codes were initially scheduled to roll out on Oct. 1, 2013, but CMS moved the implementation amid concerns that providers would not be ready.

    Meanwhile, real SGR reform is on the table in the New Year. The two-year budget blueprint passed by Congress last month extended the SGR-fix for three additional months, giving lawmakers additional time to reach a deal to replace and overhaul the widely panned Medicare physician payment formula.

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