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Daily News

June 06, 2019

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a 2020 presidential contender, announced that if elected she would immediately deschedule marijuana as a controlled substance to pave the way for investment in research for medicinal applications.

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Just days after FDA held a 10-hour meeting to discuss the science and regulation of cannabis-based products, Americans for Safe Access issued a resource guide for patients, health care providers, consumers and anyone interested in learning more about cannabidiol (CBD).

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In the absence of federal regulations and amid a patchwork of state regulations for cannabis products, epilepsy patients are using unapproved cannabidiol (CBD) without any clear direction on dosage or any knowledge of what is in their products, stakeholders told FDA at a public meeting Friday (May 31).

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June 05, 2019

Hospitals cannot bring a legal challenge to the methodology used by CMS to estimate uncompensated care costs for the purpose of calculating Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday (June 4).

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CMS plans to soon post a list of nursing homes that are candidates for the Special Focus Facility program -- there are 88 slots in the program designed to increase oversight of underperforming facilities and more than 400 candidates for those slots -- after Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) recently released a report calling for the candidates to be made public.

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A bipartisan bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s ban on new physician-owned hospitals was unveiled Tuesday (June 4) by House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee ranking Republican Michael Burgess (TX) and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX).

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The bipartisan National Governors Association wants the federal government to let states import drugs and exclude Medicaid coverage of fast-tracked, first-in-class drugs while additional tests are done on them.

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The House Ways & Means Committee will hold a hearing on Medicare for All and other coverage expansion options on June 12, making it the first health care committee of jurisdiction to hold a hearing on the progressive health policy priority and the third time a House committee has examined single player in the past month.

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FDA officials celebrated a decision by a federal judge against a Florida-based stem cell drug manufacturer against which the agency had been seeking a permanent injunction for selling adulterated and misbranded products.

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HHS on Wednesday (June 5) announced it officially is putting a stop to research involving human fetal tissue from elective abortions that was being conducted at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) through a contract between HHS and UCSF.

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A key racial disparity in timely cancer treatment virtually disappeared in states that expanded Medicaid, according to a new study from Yale University.

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Proposals to reform the 340B program were excluded from three legislative packages to cut health care cost that have either been recently introduced or publicly disclosed, and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), an author of 340B legislation, said that’s because Democrats are not on board.

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Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Wednesday (June 5) that he wants drug makers to take on a share of costs in the catastrophic phase of Medicare Part D, and health insurance plans to also pay more.

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June 04, 2019

House Republicans on Tuesday (June 4) warned against repealing the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) cuts that are scheduled to take effect in September, instead calling for another delay of the cuts or a restructuring of the formula that is used to calculate Medicaid DSH payments.

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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday (June 4) filed a motion to immediately block the Trump administration’s rule that allows medical professions the right to refuse care due to religious or moral objections.

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House Ways & Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) on Tuesday (June 4) said Congress should be anxious about the fate of rural hospitals, after lawmakers on both sides of the aisle raised concerns with rural hospitals and their closures.

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The House Appropriations Committee approved a 2020 funding bill on Tuesday (June 4) that would give FDA a $184 million boost over 2019 levels. During the markup, lawmakers voted to restore language featured in previous bills that would prevent the genetic modification of human embryos.

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The Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the Senate’s options to curb surprise medical bills found the health committee’s proposal to set a benchmark payment rate would save the most money at $25 billion in health savings to the federal government over 10 years, sources familiar with the preliminary scores told Inside Health Policy.

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White House officials are set to meet with congressional Republicans later this week to talk about prescription drug pricing, Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) said Tuesday (June 4).

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Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) plans to introduce next week a package of five drug pricing bills that includes measures to help insurers finance expensive drugs, reward insurers that encourage biosimilar adoption, discourage price concessions that pharmacies call unfair, pay pharmacists for managing complicated regimens and stop authorized generics from lowering Medicaid drug rebates.

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