health equity

Federal Health Policy Update for February 15

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for February 9-15.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Department of Health and Human Services HHS has released a 2023 update of its Equity Action Plan.  The plan outlines five priority areas to advance equity:  prevent neglect and improve care to help children thrive in their families and communities; promote accessible and welcoming health care for all; improve maternal health outcomes for rural, racial, and ethnic minority communities; prioritize the behavioral health of underserved populations; and increase clinical research and trial diversity [...]

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 [...]

Preventable Medicaid Hospitalizations Vary Based on Race, Eligibility Path

Preventable hospitalizations among Medicaid patients vary based on the race of the patient and how that patient came to be eligible for Medicaid, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute. According to a review of preventable hospitalizations in 21 states, the report concluded that: … the three most common types of potentially preventable hospitalizations for Medicaid-enrolled adults were asthma/COPD (0.2 percent of enrollees had at least one such hospitalization in 2019), diabetes (0.4 percent of enrollees had at least one such hospitalization in 2019), and heart failure (0.2 percent of enrollees had at least one such hospitalization in [...]

2024-01-29T19:09:49+00:00January 30, 2024|health equity, Medicaid|

Federal Health Policy Update for January 25

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for January 12 - 25.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Department of Health and Human Services – Funding Models HHS has announced a new model to test approaches for addressing the behavioral and physical health and health-related social needs of people with Medicaid and Medicare.  The goal of the Innovation in Behavioral Health Model (IBH) is to improve the overall quality of care and outcomes for adults with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders by connecting them with the physical, behavioral, [...]

“Drivers of Health” Drive Most Health Outcomes

A recent analysis has found that newly coined “drivers of health” are the primary drivers of health outcomes. According to a Commonwealth Fund report, Research indicates that an estimated 20 percent of health outcomes are linked to medical care; the remaining 80 percent stem from socioeconomic, environmental, and behavioral factors referred to as social drivers of health (DOH).  These factors – such as homelessness, food insecurity, and exposure to intimate partner violence – are associated with chronic illness, mental health issues, acute hospitalizations, and high health care costs and disproportionately impact communities of color. In its proposed 2023 Medicare physician [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for January 4

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for December 21 to January 4.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. No Surprises Act HHS, the departments of Labor and the Treasury, and the Office of Personnel Management intend to reopen the comment period for submitting comments on a proposed rule governing federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) operations.  They plan to publish a notice to this effect in the near future with further details on reopening the comment period. Department of Health and Human Services HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator [...]

MACPAC Meets

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met for two days last week in Washington, D.C. The following is MACPAC’s own summary of the meeting. MACPAC’s December 2023 meeting opened with a session that highlighted findings related to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data collection as part of the Commission’s focus on the collection of primary language and limited English proficiency, SOGI, and disability data for the purposes of assessing and addressing health disparities. During this discussion, we reviewed the purpose of SOGI data and federal and state priorities for collecting these data, which includes an overview of [...]

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 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 [...]

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