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Policy

 

As part of the Senate’s flurry of action on proposals to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act, Republicans brought up the same bill to get rid much of the law, without a replacement ready, which had passed through Congress in 2015. This time, it failed, with seven Republicans and all Democrats voting against it.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted to open debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with 50 senators voting in favor of what’s called a motion to proceed, or MTP, opening the door to the chamber offering numerous amendments to craft some sort of repeal bill. The first option put forward—the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)—failed to pass as expected.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released reports on two Republican proposals regarding the Affordable Care Act: One which would repeal much of the law while delaying some of those effects for two years and another which replaces it with the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

Enrollment in the individual market would increase while premiums would decrease under Sen. Ted Cruz’s, R-Texas, controversial “Consumer Freedom” amendment, according to an HHS analysis obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Senate Republicans' latest Affordable Care Act replacement plan was introduced on July 13. Four days later, it was declared dead, as four Republican senators had publicly announced they wouldn’t support even holding a vote on the legislation.

 

Recent Headlines

Obama Budget Reveals Concern About Physician Shortage

The mismatch between the number of patients and the number of physicians available to treat them is not just a concern of hospital and medical group leaders. The administration revealed its concern about the physician shortage in its 2015 budget.

Insurance Industry Pushes Back Against Cuts to Medicare Advantage

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is pushing for CMS to use every ounce of flexibility it has to eliminate cuts to Medicare Advantage before it annouces the final 2015 Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment Policies.

GOP Doctors Caucus Officialy Endorses SGR Repeal

Efforts to pass a permanent repeal of the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula got a boost as the House GOP Doctors Caucus went on record with its support.

ICD-10 Will Not Be Delayed, Now What?

The week of March 3 is CMS's national testing week for ICD-10 implementation, and it promises to be busy as CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced at HIMSS that there will be no change in the October 1 deadline for the switch.

SGR Repeal Has a New Price, Here’s How it May Be Paid For

The Congressional Budget Office has finished crunching the numbers for the permanent repeal of SGR formula negotiated and predicts that passing the bill will increase direct Federal spending by about $138 billion over the next 10 years.

Senators Introduce Bill to Remove 96-hour Certification Requirement for CAHs

Efforts to remove a pre-admission requirement designed to shorten Medicare patient stays at more expensive critical access hospitals (CAHs) got a boost as a bi-partisan companion bill was introduced to advance a legislative fix in the Senate alongside efforts in the House.

ONC Announces 2015 Edition EHR Certification Criteria

To make the government’s electronic health record standard setting process more transparent, the Office of the Nation Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced that it will begin issuing “voluntary” certification criteria on a more regular basis than it has in the past.

10 ICD-10 Questions Physician Senators Want CMS to Answer this Week

Concerned that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans for front-end testing of the ICD-10 system during the week of March 3 is too brief and too limited in scope, U.S. Senators and physicians Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.), John Barrasso, M.D. (R-Wyo.), John Boozman, O.D. (R-Ark.), and Rand Paul, M.D. (R-Ky.) have requested that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) answer their questions about the testing by February 26.

OIG to Look For Additional Kwashiorkor Fraudulent Billing in 2014

The 2014 Office of Inspector General (OIG) Workplan promises that the agency will look for more cases of hospitals miscoding malnutrition cases in Medicare patients as cases of kwashiorkor. Already this year, the agency has reached settlements with Mercy Medical Center, in Des Moines, Iowa, and Christus Saint Vincent Regional Medical Center, in Santa Fe, N.M., over incorrect billing for kwashiorkor in a combined total of 217 patients who actually did not have the disease.

5 Things the SGR Bill Does Besides Fix Doc Pay

The H.R. 4015/S. 2000, SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014, bills also contain provisions that impact more than just physician pay. Among the provisions tucked inside the bill are these five.

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