Telehealth

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 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 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, [...]

Federal Health Policy Update for January 11

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for January 5 - 11.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS will establish 200 new Medicare-funded residency slots in FY 2025.  Learn more about the additional slots here and find information about how to apply for those slots here.  The deadline for applications is March 31. CMS released guidance for Medicare Part D plans that describes coverage and processing claims for COVID-19 therapeutics.  Medicare Part D plans must cover commercially available oral antivirals for COVID-19 [...]

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 [...]

Bill Would Halt Medicaid DSH Cuts, Bring Other Changes

A wide-ranging bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee would eliminate $16 billion in Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) payments over the next two years. The Better Mental Health Care, Lower-Cost Drugs, and Extenders Act, passed by the committee with unanimous, bipartisan support, also seeks to improve access to mental health care for Medicare patients living in rural and underserved areas; improve access to behavioral health services via telehealth for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries; reduce some of the recently adopted cuts in Medicare payments to physicians that will take effect in 2024; toughen federal regulations governing pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs); [...]

Telehealth Serving Some Medicare Patients Well

Medicare patients with serious mental health problems were well-served through telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis. According to a new study published by the JAMA Network, such patients experienced … 13.0% more mental health visits than those receiving care at practices that largely used in-person visits.  There were no changes in medication adherence, hospital and emergency department use, or mortality based on the extent of telemental health use. The study’s findings support continued use of telehealth for Medicare patients with mental health problems even now that the greatest threat of the pandemic has passed. Learn more about how the study was [...]

2023-11-01T13:00:57+00:00November 1, 2023|Medicare, Telehealth|

Telehealth May Help Medicaid Patients With Opioid-Related Addictions

When access to buprenorphine treatment became available to Medicaid beneficiaries in response to the COVID-19 crisis, patients who obtained such treatment via telehealth were more likely to remain under treatment for their disorder than those who received similar care through physician offices. This new finding, reported in the JAMA Network, suggests that prescribing buprenorphine treatment through telehealth may be beneficial to patients and should remain an option for patients and providers after the COVID-19-inspired policy, extended after the formal end of the public health emergency, expires at the end of 2024, as currently scheduled. While the study found that patients [...]

2023-10-25T06:00:28+00:00October 25, 2023|Medicaid, Telehealth|

MedPAC Outlines Plans for the Coming Year

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has shared its agenda for its 2023-2024 public meeting cycle. According to MedPAC, it will engage in its regular work of offering recommendations to Congress on the adequacy of Medicare payments to providers and, as needed, suggest changes in those payments.  In addition, it will fulfill two statutory requirements in the coming year:  to evaluate Medicare Advantage special needs plans for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and to review the new “Rural Emergency Hospital” designation. In addition, MedPAC writes that We are working on several other issues in the Medicare program as well, [...]

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