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Several changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans have been included in a proposed rule by CMS in an effort to fight opioid abuse among seniors while taking another step towards reducing regulations.

Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 11, nearly 1.5 million people signed up for health insurance coverage on the Healthcare.gov exchange, an increase of almost 500,000 from the same period last year.

Republican leaders in the Senate announced Nov. 14 they will include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in their tax reform proposal. After failing numerous times to repeal and replace the ACA, GOP leaders are hoping to include the healthcare reform in the tax bill.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a public health advisory about risks associated with kratom, an herbal supplement used to treat pain and reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.

In the first update to U.S. guidelines on blood pressure in 14 years, a writing committee changed the definition of high blood pressure from 140/90 millimeters of mercury or higher to 130/80 or higher.

 

Recent Headlines

Trump to cut off ACA insurer subsidies ‘immediately’

Cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or CSRs, paid to insurers in exchange for keeping out-of-pocket costs low for lower-income Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange enrollees will end, HHS announced Thursday night, with the agency saying it couldn’t legally continue making the payments.

Trump signs executive order removing ACA regulations on small businesses

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on the morning of Oct. 12 to ease rules on small businesses buying health insurance. With Congress failing to act on Republican promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Trump will make the unilateral move to reconfigure federal regulations.

Q&A with MGMA’s Anders Gilberg: Lasting healthcare reform ‘needs to start in the middle’

To call the last few months a busy time for healthcare lobbyists in Washington, D.C. would be quite an understatement. Rather than dwell on the failed attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) senior vice president of government affairs, Anders Gilberg, will look ahead to more immediate regulatory concerns and longer-term hopes for “lasting reform.”

AHIMA17: Former congressional leaders think ACA fixes, not repeal, now more likely

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, were brought to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) conference in Los Angeles to have a political-style debate on healthcare policy, but ended up agreeing on where short-term efforts may go now that repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed to pass.

FDA seeks speedier approval of generics

Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said the agency will tackle rising prescription drug costs by encouraging development of generic versions of complex drugs and drug-device combinations.

HHS Secretary to pay back $52K of $1M in total travel costs

HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, has announced he’ll reimburse the federal government for using private charter flights after POLITICO investigations have found he racked up $1 million in publicly-funded travel costs. However, he’ll only pay back the cost of his seat on domestic charter flights, amounting to $52,000.

Trump preparing order on selling health insurance across state lines

After another effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was halted, President Donald Trump told reporters he’ll likely sign an executive order regarding another one of his campaign promises on healthcare: allowing insurance plans to be offered across state lines.

Healthcare groups tell Congress to move on ‘for good’ from ACA repeal

Major healthcare associations said they were relieved by Senate Republicans’ decision to table the Graham-Cassidy legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), bringing at least a temporary halt to the party’s efforts to replace the law with only Republican votes.

Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill tabled: ‘We’re coming back to this’

Senate Republicans have decided not to vote on the Graham-Cassidy legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), putting an end to months of efforts to pass a repeal bill before a Sept. 30 deadline for it to clear the Senate with a simple majority.

Graham-Cassidy bill gets a hearing, a CBO score—and another ‘no’ vote

Sept. 25 ended up being a rough day for supporters of the Graham-Cassidy legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), beginning with the bill’s only scheduled hearing being interrupted by protesters shouting, “No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty.”

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