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Policy

 

Under a newly proposed rule from HHS, short-term health insurance coverage that doesn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be more widely available, which the agency admitted may lead to insurer losses on the ACA exchanges if younger, healthier customers leave that market to buy short-term plans.

For two decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has supposedly been blocked from conducting research into the health effects of gun violence by a budget amendment. HHS Secretary Alex Azar has a different opinion, telling members of Congress Thursday he would allow the CDC to conduct research which doesn’t veer into advocacy.

Providers have until March 12 to apply for CMS’s new Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced model, though the program was only unveiled on Jan. 9. Considering the details CMS has given about the model, that’s not enough time for hospitals to decide whether to participate, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).

In his first congressional testimony since being confirmed as HHS Secretary, Alex Azar argued the department’s proposed budget would extend the life of Medicare while making HHS more efficient by cutting nearly $18 billion in funding.

The budget proposed by President Donald Trump involves several major cuts to Medicare payments for hospitals, reductions that are “unsustainable” and “staggering,” according to the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH) and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

 

Recent Headlines

4 changes AHA wants from CMS in implementing new payment system

The American Hospital Association recommended several changes from the proposed requirements in written testimony submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee.

AMA letter on opioids leaves out recommendations from Senate’s no. 2 Democrat

AMA President Steven Stack, MD, said pain management policies “well-intended but now known to be flawed” have contributed to the increase in abuse of opioid prescription pain relievers

Judge rules Obama admin improperly funding ACA subsidy

A federal judge has ruled HHS and the U.S. Treasury Department don’t have the power to spend funds for reducing deductibles, co-pays and other “cost-sharing” means by insurers without congressional approval.

State laws on ‘right-to-try’ experimental drugs backed by new Senate proposal

Legislation would prevent the FDA from restricting or prohibiting access to experimental drugs for a terminal patient in a state with a “right-to-try” law.

Sen. Durbin urges AMA, others to take action on opioid prescriptions

Durbin spoke with HealthExec about what he’s heard from physicians prescribing opioids, where he feels medical associations have fallen short, and whether federal legislation on prescribing practices will be needed.

House passed three bills in the fight against opioids

The House has passed three bills aimed at reducing opioid addiction in an overwhelming 410-1 vote, reports The Hill.

U of C’s $269M hospital expansion, trauma center approved despite criticism of cost

The plan had been criticized in an April by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, which said the projected cost was about $18 million too high.

CMS seeks insurers to share ACA successes for June forum

Insurers finding success on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges are being asked to share what they’ve learned at a June CMS forum.

Healthcare fraud cases dip to 18-year low

Although healthcare fraud continues to be a major problem for the healthcare industry there is light at the end of the tunnel as 2016 is projected to have the lowest level of federal prosecutions for healthcare fraud since 1998, according report conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).

CDC: 34% of adults didn’t visit physician in 2014

The CDC reported a third of adults between 18-64 didn't see a doctor in 2014 and 17 percent didn't have a regular clinic or physician.

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