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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

Senators say they’ve reached deal on ACA insurer subsidies

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Patty Murray, D-Washington, have told reporters they’ve reached an agreement to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies to insurers which had been halted by President Donald Trump.

Industry groups blast Trump’s executive order on insurance regulations

Groups representing physicians, hospitals and patients came out largely in opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order to encourage the use of insurance plans which don’t comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations on benefits and covering people with pre-existing conditions.

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.

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