340b

CMS Clarifies Medicare Advantage Rule

To help clarify its final Medicare Advantage rule for 2024, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has published an FAQ providing additional guidance to Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare-Medicaid plans about prior authorization for admission to post-acute-care facilities and plans’ future use of artificial intelligence (AI), algorithms, and other software tools in their coverage criteria and utilization management practices. The rule has broad implications for most health care providers but especially for post-acute-care providers, which the FAQ reflects by addressing major issues and long-running challenges for such providers, including prior authorization for discharge from acute-care hospitals into post-acute care, [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for February 8

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for February 2 - 8.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress Members of the Senate’s 340B bipartisan working group have released a discussion draft of legislation that would update the 340B prescription drug discount program.  Last year the group sought stakeholder input on policy solutions that might provide stability and transparency to the 340B program to ensure that the program can continue to achieve its original intent of supporting entities serving eligible patients.  Find a news release describing the discussion draft [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for December 14

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for December 8-14.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. MedPAC Rate Recommendations At their latest public meeting, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted preliminary approval of the following rate updates for 2025 Medicare payments: Inpatient and outpatient services –update provided for in current law plus 1.5% and adoption of a safety-net index policy to pay safety-net hospitals another $4 billion. Physicians and other health professionals –update of 50% of the Medicare economic index and a new add-on payment for services [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for December 7

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for December 1-7.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress While Congress has more than a month before the next federal funding deadline of January 19, committees are working to prepare and pass health care legislation. On the House calendar for floor votes next week is H.R. 5378, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act.  This bill would eliminate the pending cuts to Medicaid DSH for two years (those cuts are temporarily suspended through January 19); introduce site-neutral payments for drug administration services [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for November 9

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for November 3-9.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress Senate Finance Committee Earlier this week the Senate Finance Committee passed the Better Mental Health Care, Lower-Cost Drugs, and Extenders Act of 2023.  The bill, which passed out of the committee by a vote of 26-0, would: eliminate $16 billion in cuts to Medicaid DSH for 2024 and 2025; soften the 2024 cut to Medicare physician payments by reducing the conversion factor by 2.15 percent rather than the 3.4 percent that CMS [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for November 2

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for October 27 – November 2.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. 340B Remedy Payments Late Thursday afternoon CMS published its final Medicare remedy for underpayments for 340B prescription drugs that was implemented in 2018 but rejected by the Supreme Court last year.  According to the regulation, 340B remedy payments to hospitals will be made after this rule takes effect, which is 60 days after it is officially published in the Federal Register; publication is scheduled for November 16. The final regulation [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for October 26

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for October 20-26.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress More than three weeks after House Republicans voted Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA) out of the speaker’s office, the House has elected Rep. Mike Johnson (LA) to the position.  Speaker Johnson is a social conservative and has pushed for cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, including plans to roll back Medicaid expansion in 2019. The Speaker has said he intends for the House to take up as many FY 2024 spending bills as possible [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for July 13

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for June 30 – July 13.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. 340B CMS has published a proposed regulation outlining how it plans to reimburse hospitals for reductions in 340B prescription drug payments that it implemented from 2018 to 2022 but that a federal court found to be illegal.  The agency calculates that it owes participating 340B providers $9 billion, which it proposes paying to those providers in single lump-sum payments.  CMS also proposes offsetting these payments through reductions in future non-drug [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for May 25

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for May 19-25.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress The House Energy and Commerce Committee has advanced to the full House two bills with significant implications for health care providers. H.R. 3561 calls for delaying $8 billion a year in Medicaid DSH cuts for two years – cuts scheduled to take effect in October; imposing site-neutral payments for drug infusion services provided in off-campus hospital outpatient departments; imposing stronger price transparency requirements on hospitals; and requiring hospitals to report selected ownership [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for May 18

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for May 12-18.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee has approved and advanced five bipartisan health care bills. H.R. 3281 combined a number of proposals into a larger package and includes provisions that would: delay for two years Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) cuts currently scheduled to take effect on October 1; require health providers to use a unique identifier for each off-campus or remote outpatient department beginning in 2026; change how Medicare pays [...]

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