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Daily News

April 02, 2020

The ERISA Industry Committee released Tuesday (March 31) research findings of the potential savings to employers and employees from using more biosimilars.

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CMS revealed Wednesday that 11.4 million people enrolled in coverage via healthcare.gov or 13 state-based exchanges during the 2020 open enrollment period, the same outcome as last year, although more sign-ups came through the states this season, and down from 12.7 million for the 2016 plan year.

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Most pharmacists oppose restrictions on sales of hydroxychloroquine that a growing number of states are imposing to maintain supplies of the drug for auto-immune patients after the president promoted it as a COVID-19 treatment.

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April 01, 2020

The White House Wednesday (April 1) doubled down on its decision not to open healthcare.gov for a special enrollment period due to the coronavirus, telling Inside Health Policy that doing so would be moot since the marketplace already lets people who lost their jobs enroll via a SEP -- even though existing events that trigger a new enrollment window are more limited.

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The HHS Office of Inspector General is on the lookout for fraudsters during the COVID-19 outbreak but will make accommodations for providers who can’t meet deadlines because of the pandemic.

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CMS on Wednesday (April 1) opened the comment period for an 1115 waiver submitted in February by New Jersey that would extend Medicaid coverage for beneficiaries for 180 days after they give birth.

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After pushback from pharmacists, FDA added a footnote to its temporary March 14 compounding guidance allowing pharmacists to use food-grade alcohol, in place of the standard United States Pharmacopeia (USP)-approved alcohol, to compound hand sanitizer for the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency.

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Consumer, labor and beneficiary advocacy groups are urging insurance companies to drop all cost-sharing for all services related to diagnosis and treatment of the COVID-19 and its symptoms.

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The White House Office of Management and Budget concluded its review of a proposed rule to impose penalties on those who violate the 21st Century Cures Act’s ban on information blocking.

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The White House is reviewing FDA’s proposed reporting requirements for drug makers who provide investigational drugs to patients through the Right to Try pathway.

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Compounders want FDA to make it easier for pharmacists and outsourcing facilities to respond to drug shortages brought about by COVID-19.

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The American Hospital Association called on HHS on Tuesday (March 31) to immediately dispense the $100 billion allocated to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund by the third coronavirus stimulus package directly to hospital providers using Medicare Administrative Contractors.

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FDA made it easier for compounders to make hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine by adding the anti-malaria drugs to the drug shortage list Tuesday (March 31), after receiving pressure from several compounding associations for the agency to list the drugs and make the formulations available for compounding by outsourcers.

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Anthem Inc. fraudulently overcharged CMS by millions of dollars in Medicare Advantage payments by failing to correct inaccurate diagnosis data, federal prosecutors allege in a lawsuit against the company.

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FDA on Monday (March 30) asked a federal district court to give tobacco companies an additional 120 days -- until Sept. 9 -- to submit premarket tobacco applications to the agency because the coronavirus pandemic makes it difficult for industry to meet the deadline and FDA’s tobacco center is short staffed.

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March 31, 2020

FDA established a program to speed reviews of COVID-19 treatments and support research on COVID-19 drug candidates, the agency announced Tuesday (March 31).

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Eschewing calls from a wide-range of stakeholders and lawmakers, the White House on Tuesday (March 31) said the administration will not open a coronavirus-specific special enrollment period (SEP) for healthcare.gov.

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A growing number of insurers have agreed to waive copays for all medical treatment related to COVID-19, not just for testing and diagnostic services which Congress mandated under the third stimulus bill.

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Republican authors of bipartisan surprise billing legislation say passing their bill as a part of the next stimulus package should be a top priority.

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CMS is easing the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policies for accountable care organizations and the hip-and-knee replacement demonstration, as well as adding flexibility to the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program in an interim final rule unveiled Monday (March 30).

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