The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government for the week of November 11 to 17. Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.
Provider Relief Fund
- Providers that cited extenuating circumstances for failing to submit Provider Relief Fund financial reports on time for reporting period 3 and were approved to submit their reports late must submit those late reports by December 2. Learn more here.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has posted three downloadable sample formats that hospitals can use to meet federal requirements for posting in a machine-readable format their prices for a selected range of medical services. Find them here (scroll down to the first three listings under “Resources”).
- CMS has written to state Medicaid and CHIP officials describing 2023 and 2024 updates to the Core Set of children’s health care quality measures for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Core Set of health care quality measures for adults enrolled in Medicaid. CMS encourages states to use Core Set data to identify disparities in care and to develop targeted quality improvement efforts to advance health equity, so these updates could affect the data reporting requirements that some states impose on providers. Find the CMS memo here.
- CMS has posted information for laboratories that will be billing Medicare for services they provide to their Medicare patients in calendar year 2023.
- CMS has posted information for home health agencies that will be billing Medicare for home health services they provide to their Medicare patients in calendar year 2023.
- CMS has posted a new edition of MLN Connects, its online newsletter addressing Medicare reimbursement issues, with a new FAQ describing how CMS review contractors, such as Medicare Administrative Contractors and Recovery Audit Contractors, will conduct medical reviews after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends; instructions on Medicare Part B billing; a correction of an outpatient prospective payment system billing code; updated provider enrollment instructions, and more.
- CMS’s Office of Minority Health has published “The Path Forward: Improving Data to Advance Health Equity Solutions,” its strategy for making better use of data in the pursuit of health equity. The strategy is built around six pillars described in the report. In addition, CMS offers insight into its plans in the latest post on the CMS blog.
- CMS seeks nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment. The purpose of the panel is to advise HHS and CMS on the clinical integrity of Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC) groups and their associated weights, supervision of hospital outpatient therapeutic services, and hospital outpatient prospective payment system APC rates for covered ambulatory surgical centers procedures. Learn more about the panel and how to submit nominations from this Federal Register notice. Nominations are due by February 13.
- CMS has published a data brief on coverage for behavioral health services and access to such services under Medicaid and CHIP, exploring access to coverage as measured by enrollment and retention; viewing access to services with a focus on mental health condition and substance use disorder services; and examining perceived access as measured by beneficiary experiences. Learn more from the CMS data brief “Medicaid and CHIP Access: Coverage and Behavioral Health Data Spotlight.”
- CMS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has published “Evaluation of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program: Second Evaluation Report.”
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has updated its advice for providers on building a sustainable telehealth practice.
- HRSA has updated its list of grant funding opportunities.
- HHS’s Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health has released for public comment draft targets for updating the Healthcare-Associated Infections National Action Plan, Phase 1, Acute-Care Hospitals. Learn more about the draft plan and how to submit comments from this Federal Register notice. Comments are due by January 23.
- HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published “National Guidelines for Child and Youth Behavioral Health Crisis Care,” which offers best practices, implementation strategies, and guidance for the design and development of services that meet the needs of children, youth, and their families experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
- HHS’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released its “2022 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report,” which seeks to give policy-makers, health system leaders, and the public a statistical portrait of how effectively the health care delivery system provides safe, high-quality, and equitable care. Go here for links to the report, its appendices, and other report-related resources.
- A new AHRQ guide offers research findings, tools, and resources for integrating perinatal behavioral health services in primary care and other practice settings. Find it here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has published its “National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Progress Report” for 2021, providing a summary of selected HAIs across four health care settings: acute-care hospitals, critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term acute-care hospitals. Go here to learn more about the report and view a summary, to find the report itself, and to find links to state-specific and other data.
- The CDC and its National Center for Health Statistics have published “Examining Progress Toward Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities for Healthy People 2020 Objectives Using Three Measures of Overall Disparity: Data Evaluation and Methods Research.” The report examines changes in health disparities over time by race and ethnicity for Healthy People 2020 objectives using three measures of disparity.
Congressional Research Service
- The Congressional Research Service has published a report listing federal health care programs and provisions that are expiring at the end of the 117th Congress, which adjourns at the end of calendar year 2022.
CMS – Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System – November 29-December 1
CMS will hold Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) public meetings on Tuesday, November 29 through Thursday, December 1 to discuss its preliminary coding, Medicare benefit category, and payment determinations for new revisions to the HCPCS Level II code set. Learn more about when these virtual meetings will be held, how to join them, and how to register to speak from this CMS notice.
CMMI – Specialty Care Strategy Listening Session – December 1
The CMS Innovation Center (CMMI) will hold a specialty care strategy listening session on Thursday, December 1 at 1:00 (eastern) that will include an overview of its specialty care models and its rationale for focusing on specialty care integration, an overview of its specialty care strategy, and guest panelist feedback on the specialty care strategy. Go here for more information about the listening session and to register to participate.
MACPAC – December 8-9
Members of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission will hold their next public meetings on Thursday, December 8 and Friday, December 9. The agenda and information about participating in the meeting are not yet available but when they are they will be posted here.
MedPAC – December 8-9
Members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission will hold their next public meeting on Thursday, December 8 and Friday, December 9. The agenda and information about participating in the meeting are not yet available but when they are they will be posted here.
HHS – Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines – December 2
HHS’s Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines will meet virtually on Friday, December 2 at 1:00 (eastern). For more information about the commission and the agenda for the meeting, see this Federal Register notice.
FDA – Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee – December 14
The FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee will meet virtually on Wednesday, December 14 at 9:00 (eastern). For information on the meeting’s agenda, the docket the committee has created for the meeting, how to submit comments and papers, and how to join the meeting, see this Federal Register notice.
HHS – New Technology Town Hall – December 14-15
HHS will hold a new technology town hall meeting on Wednesday, December 14 and Thursday, December 15, with both virtual sessions to begin at 9:00 (eastern), to discuss FY 2024 applications for add-on payments for new medical services and technologies under the hospital inpatient prospective payment system. Interested parties may present comments, recommendations, and data regarding whether the FY 2024 new medical services and technologies applications meet the substantial clinical improvement criterion. Learn more about the meeting and its purpose and how to participate from this Federal Register notice.