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Daily News

April 02, 2021

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted to recommend Congress create a new value incentive program to reward skilled nursing facilities for good performance at its meeting Thursday (April 1).

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Medicare payment advisors voted Thursday (April 1) to recommend Congress replace Medicare Advantage’s benchmark policy with a new system that would share plans’ MA cost efficiencies with the federal government.

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April 01, 2021

HHS on Thursday (April 1) kicked off vaccine education and outreach efforts that include launching a Community Corps coalition comprising more than 275 community leaders and organizations nationwide that will work with the government to educate the public about vaccines, and running TV ads to encourage Americans to get vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible.

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LeadingAge on Thursday (April 1) released a wishlist for Congress’ upcoming infrastructure package that includes a permanent 10% increase in the federal Medicaid matching funds for both home- and community-based and nursing home services.

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The Biden administration wants to increase access to medications for opioid use disorder and expand access to recovery support services, among a host of other reforms aimed at addressing the country’s resurging overdose and addiction epidemic, according to a Drug Control Policy statement released Thursday (April 1).

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Seven insurance commissioners running state-level reinsurance programs under 1332 waivers are asking CMS and Treasury to recalculate their federal pass-through dollars to account for the larger enrollment expected due the more generous Affordable Care Act credits in the American Rescue Plan.

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The American Hospital Association says the backlog of Medicare appeals is down 69% from when a federal court first directed HHS to fix the problem.

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The deadline for using the Congressional Review Act is fast approaching with no sign that Democrats plan to use that law to kill drug pricing rules released at the end of the Trump administration.

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A group of 36 House and Senate Democrats are urging the Commerce Department to reverse an 11th-hour rule proposed by the Trump administration that would prohibit the government from using high prices as the sole reason to license third parties to make drugs developed with federal funding.

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March 31, 2021

HHS on Tuesday (March 30) pinpointed several FDA food regulations it would like to advance in the “foreseeable future,” including rules that would update the definition of the claim “healthy” on food labels, remove the “generally recognized as safe” designation from partially hydrogenated oils, and update standards of identity for low- and nonfat yogurt.

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CMS pushed back its request for Accountable Care Organizations to submit applications to the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model by a year, until spring 2022, to the disappointment of the ACOs.

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The White House plans to unveil the health care elements of its legislative package in the next couple weeks, leaving stakeholders both looking for hints on what might be included and lobbying to get their priorities added to the potentially massive package that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said could be a “kitchen sink” of policies.

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Rural providers are pushing Congress to include increased broadband access, health care workforce support and capital improvement funds in the infrastructure package instead of more provider relief -- stakeholders say it’s up to HHS to ensure the $8.5 billion in relief lawmakers recently allocated for rural providers is useable.

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Medicare Advantage beneficiaries spent an average of $1,640 less on out-of-pocket and premium costs than traditional Medicare beneficiaries in 2018, according to a new study released by pro-MA coalition Better Medicare Alliance Tuesday (March 30).

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President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan would make the Money Follows the Person program permanent to expand access to home- and community-based care, an administration official told Inside Health Policy Wednesday (March 31) morning.

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The Biden administration on Wednesday (March 31) unveiled a proposal to invest $30 billion over a four-year period in U.S. pandemic preparedness and response efforts that include shoring up the Strategic National Stockpile, developing and fielding tests and therapeutics for emerging outbreaks, and developing prototype vaccines through phase 1 and 2 trials.

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President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan would extend the Money Follows the Person program to expand access to home- and community-based care, according to briefing notes released by the Biden administration Tuesday night (March 30).

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March 30, 2021

A bicameral group of Democrats reinserted another version of the public option into the mix, reintroducing a bill that would require HHS to create a public option to complete on the individual market.

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CMS will hold Medicare claims “for a short period” after April 1 so that providers don’t see the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts go into effect before lawmakers take final action to extend the moratorium on those cuts.

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Key House Democrats on Tuesday (March 30) introduced a resolution under the Congressional Review Act to scrap a now-postponed Trump-era rule that, if allowed to go into effect, would require HHS regulations be reviewed every 10 years or be automatically tossed out.

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