COVID-19

Federal Health Policy Update for February 1

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for January 26 – February 1.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS has released its calendar year (CY) 2025 Advance Notice for the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Programs that would update payment and other policies for these programs.  Under the notice, federal Medicare Advantage spending would increase an expected 3.7 percent, or more than $16 billion, but the agency also proposes reducing by 0.16 percent the program’s base rate.  CMS also detailed [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for December 20

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government December 14-20.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress The House is in recess until January 9.  The Senate has delayed its recess to continue negotiations on a possible foreign aid and border policy deal. Democrats from the House Ways and Means Committee have published a report on the relationship between the U.S. health care system and climate change.  View their report “Health Care and the Climate Crisis:  Preparing America’s Health Care Infrastructure.” No Surprises Act The federal government has reopened the [...]

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 [...]

Feds Tackles State Medicaid Redetermination Problems With Penalties

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has unveiled plans to penalize states that fail to comply with federal standards for redetermining the eligibility of individuals who enrolled in their Medicaid programs during the COVID-19 emergency. Under a new CMS regulation, states that fail to report on their Medicaid eligibility efforts and comply with current requirements face penalties that include civil penalties and reductions in the rate at which the federal government matches state Medicaid expenditures. According to a new interim final rule, CMS is implementing … reporting requirements and enforcement authorities in the Social Security Act (the Act) that [...]

2023-12-05T16:30:03+00:00December 6, 2023|COVID-19, Medicaid|

Medicaid Redeterminations Trigger Increase in Self-Pay Care

As states continue redetermining Medicaid eligibility for participants who were protected from disenrollment during the COVID-19 emergency, the number of patients telling providers they will pay for their own hospital, primary care, and emergency department visits has risen. The increase in self-pay has been greatest for emergency department visits, and overall, the increases occurred most often in states that began disenrolling Medicaid participants as soon as the continuous eligibility afforded by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ended. The rise in self-pay patients suggests that many previous Medicaid participants have not obtained new health insurance since their Medicaid eligibility ended. [...]

2023-11-30T19:16:48+00:00December 4, 2023|COVID-19, Medicaid|

Federal Health Policy Update for November 30

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for November 17-30.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. No Surprises Act CMS has released two new FAQs to provide guidance in advance of the Independent Dispute Resolution portal reopening for batched disputes and air ambulance disputes; that service remains temporarily suspended.  These FAQs together explain how certified IDR entities may determine whether a dispute is appropriately batched in light of recent court rulings; provide information about policy for extending existing IDR deadlines once the federal IDR portal reopens to all batched [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for November 16

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for November 10-16.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress This week Congress passed another continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government beyond Friday, when the current CR expires.  This bill establishes two separate deadlines for lawmakers to pass certain spending bills so they can avoid an omnibus bill that includes all 12 appropriations bills.  Congress must pass four of the spending bills by January 19 and the other bills by February 2.  The Labor, HHS, and Education bill, one of [...]

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 19

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for October 13-19.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Congress At this moment there is still no Speaker of the House of Representatives.  After 20 and then 22 House Republicans voted against Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Mr. Jordan has joined others, including senior Democrats, in supporting a plan to expand the powers of the temporary speaker, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC).  Mr. Jordan remains the speaker designee, an option that will enable him to continue to seek [...]

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