Insurance rate hikes and hospital costs; Payment parity

> The Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner has linked health insurers' rate increases for 2011 to how those insurers set up new contracts with hospitals for inpatient and outpatient services. FierceHealthPayer

> Hanover Hospital in Pennsylvania is taking a hard line with the state's third-largest insurer over payment 'parity' and pay-for-performance. FierceHealthPayer

> More than 200 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to re-think its decision to slash hospital Medicare payments by 2.9 percent in fiscal year 2011 due to coding offsets that CMS believes aren't related to an increase in sicker patients, reports AHA News Now. Article

> CMS advises healthcare providers to understand Medicare documentation requirements in the first of a series of MLN Matters articles looking at high-dollar improper payment vulnerabilities identified by the recovery audit contractor (RAC) program. Article SE1024

> Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a Harvard-affiliated public health system serving Cambridge, Somerville and parts of Boston, has received a probable-cause complaint from the Massachusetts Division of Labor Relations that it "failed to bargain in good faith" and "interfered with, restrained, and coerced employees in the exercise of their rights" during contract negotiations with union nurses at Cambridge Hospital, reports the Boston Globe. Article

And Finally ... Scared ... or pretty darn smart? I'd be on the pole too. Article