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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

Proposed MACRA changes praised in initial industry reaction

The American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) appear pleased with the proposed rule for the second year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), with some groups reserving judgment until they have time to review the 1,058-page regulation.

CMS proposes raising low-volume exemption, adding virtual groups in MACRA’s second year

The proposed rule for the second year of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act’s (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP) has been released by CMS, with its stated goal to “simplify the program, especially for small, independent, and rural practices, while ensuring fiscal sustainability and high-quality care.”

The timeline leading up to the Senate’s ACA repeal vote

Senate Republican leaders appear to be sticking to their goal of holding a vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their vehicle for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, by the end of June, despite resistance from both Democrats and the healthcare industry on legislation that has yet to be released.

Nevada ‘Medicaid for all’ bill vetoed

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has vetoed legislation to create a Medicaid buy-in option in the state.

AMA 2017: Delegates take aim at Trump with new policies

The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a wide range of new policies at its annual meeting of delegates in Chicago, ranging from more practice-oriented concerns to politically-charged resolutions related to the positions of President Donald Trump.

Democrats’ bill would make reinsurance permanent for ACA exchanges

Legislation to establish a permanent reinsurance program for the Affordable Care Act marketplace has been introduced by five Democratic senators.

AHA to CMS: Suspend hospital star ratings, eCQM reporting

In a letter to CMS, the American Hospital Association (AHA) recommended the agency’s deregulation efforts begin with suspending the hospital star ratings, which it called “inaccurate and misleading.”

Trump calls House’s ACA repeal bill ‘mean’

President Donald Trump reportedly told Republican senators the House-passed version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is “mean” and asked for the Senate version to be “more generous,” according to congressional sources who spoke to the Associated Press.

CMS actuary: AHCA could cause individual market to collapse

A report from CMS Chief Actuary Paul Spitalnic estimated 13 million fewer people will have insurance coverage under the House-passed version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a markedly lower figure than the 23 million predicted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

4 things to know about major medical groups’ anti-AHCA events

Eight groups representing patients, hospitals and physicians will step up efforts opposing the Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act (AHCA) by holding events in four steps to “address shortcomings” in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan.

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