Administration officials vehemently reiterated Tuesday (March 11) that March 31 is the last day of 2014 exchange open enrollment and said HHS lacks authority to revise the deadline.
Hospitals praised legislation introduced Tuesday (March 11) by Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) that would amend the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program to adjust for patient differences like socioeconomic status.
CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released guidance for meaningful use hardship exemptions after lawmakers pushed the agencies to release more details on how providers could take advantage of the more flexible exemptions process announced last month.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Tuesday (March 11) criticized House GOP leadership for proposing to repeal the ACA's individual mandate to pay for replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, adding the Senate will "move in its own way" on Medicare physician payment reform legislation.
HHS on Tuesday (March 11) afternoon said 4.2 million people during the first five months of open enrollment chose qualified health plans on the federal and state-based exchanges, though the pace of new enrollments in February was down compared to what the administration saw at the start of the year.
Lawmakers for the first time are eying increased Medicare payments as a way to encourage drug companies to develop new antibiotics, with a bipartisan duo of House Ways and Means Committee members Tuesday (March 11) unveiling a bill that would provide Medicare add-on payments for antibiotics used inpatient to treat pathogens associated with high rates of mortality and that meet an unmet medical need.
House GOP Doctors Caucus members offered a ray of hope on Medicare physician payment reform by telling fellow House members they are willing to negotiate bipartisan payment offsets with the Senate.
CMS is still considering expanding the Medicare medication therapy management program, an agency official told Inside Health Policy, as stakeholders questioned the status of the effort after the agency told lawmakers Monday it was putting four pieces of its Part D proposed rule on hold and proceeding with a handful of others while not mentioning MTM.
Lawmakers, Stakeholders Praise CMS For Axing Key Pieces Of Part D Rule, But Community Pharmacists Cry Foul
CMS on Monday (March 10) drew praise from lawmakers, insurers and drug makers for putting on hold the bulk of its controversial Part D proposed rule, but community pharmacists said the agency had a legal obligation to move forward with the rule's now-scrapped plan to open up preferred pharmacy networks.
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