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Fewer electronic health record requirements, smaller payment reforms and changing the definition of financial risk are some of the changes suggested by major healthcare groups in response to the CMS request for information on future models at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

If the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is repealed as part of a Republican tax cut plan, premiums will likely rise and insurers will exit the individual market, according to the American Academy of Actuaries.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law on Nov. 21 to require insurers cover birth control products without copays, allow women to obtain a year’s supply at once and prevent most employers from opting out of contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds.

Alex Azar, President Donald Trump’s nominee for HHS Secretary, was paid nearly $2 million in his final year as an executive at pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and built a portfolio worth as much as $20.6 million in his nearly 10-year tenure at the company.

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.

 

Recent Headlines

5 things to know about the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill

Amid attempts to agree on short-term stabilization of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Democrats coming out in support for a “Medicare-for-all” bill, a group of Republican senators unveiled what could be their last chance to repeal and replace the ACA.

‘Difficult needle to thread’ on ACA fix with easier state waivers

Members of the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions (HELP) Committee were encouraged to offer greater flexibility under the Affordable Care Act’s “state innovation waivers,” the details of which could spell trouble for the fledging compromise between Democrats and Republicans on a quick fix for the law.

Medicare-for-all bill to be introduced in Senate

Legislation to move the U.S. to a single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” healthcare system will be introduced Wednesday, Sept. 13, by former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, with several potential presidential contenders in 2020 already lining up behind the bill. 

Senators hope to reach agreement on ACA fix next week

In the first of series of hearings aimed at building consensus on a plan to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace, state insurance commissioners asked for lawmakers to pass a multi-year extension of the ACA’s payments to insurers.

Ending DACA may worsen doctor shortage

The move by the administration of President Donald Trump to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy in six months without congressional action was harshly criticized by major medical associations, which warned removing DACA protections could affect access to care in rural and underserved areas.

Governors to Congress: ‘Make a clear commitment’ to value-based care

A group of eight governors—five Democrats, two Republicans and one independent—have proposed a series of reforms they hope congressional leaders use in crafting legislation to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) markets.

Trump cuts ACA advertising budget by 90%

Last year, CMS spent more than $100 million on advertising the Affordable Care Act exchanges (ACA). Under President Donald Trump, it will only spend $10 million, while also cutting 41 percent from outreach activities meant to boost enrollment on the exchanges.

What major medical groups want in regulatory relief

The American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH) submitted comments to the House’s health subcommittee suggesting options for rolling back healthcare regulations on quality measures, hospital ratings and physician self-referral laws.

More MIPS exemptions ‘relief’ to some, counterproductive to others

More than 1,100 organizations and individuals offered comments on proposed changes for the second year of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act’s (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP), and some questioned the reasoning behind exempting more clinicians from the new payment tracks.

Only 1 rural county still at risk of having no ACA insurer

Less than a month ago, CMS reported 40 counties were in danger of having no insurer offering coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange. As of Aug. 21, that number was shrunk to just one: Paulding County, Ohio.

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