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CMS’s move to cut Medicare payments made through the 340B drug discount programs would see the biggest impact in California, New York and North Carolina, according to an analysis by Avalere Health, though for most hospitals it will reduce their total Part B revenue by less than 5 percent.

The Affordable Care Act’s taxes on health insurance, high-cost health plans and medical devices would be delayed under a series of bills introduced by House Republicans, with the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) quickly coming out in support of suspending the device tax.

Two Senate Democrats have asked CMS and HHS to make a last-minute extension of the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s insurance exchanges, arguing the Dec. 15 deadline will leave too many interested customers either without health coverage or automatically enrolled into plans which “may no longer be the best choice for their families.”

The repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate has been projected to cause insurance premiums to rise by an average of 10 percent through 2027. Those hikes would be mitigated, however, if Congress funded the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies and a $10 billion, two-year reinsurance program, according to an analysis from Avalere.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) suggested the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) pump the brakes on advocating for major changes to Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), saying any major shifts wouldn’t have “the benefit of data or experience” considering this is the program’s first performance year.

 

Recent Headlines

Healthcare industry taking Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill more seriously

Once thought to be the policy equivalent of a Hail Mary pass, the plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as the Graham-Cassidy bill appears to have gained momentum—and with it, extra attention from healthcare industry groups like the American Medical Association (AMA) that have opposed Republicans’ so-far unsuccessful efforts to repeal the law.

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.

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