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Daily News

April 10, 2019

CMS announced a pilot program Wednesday (April 10) to test providers’ compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules when conducting electronic transactions.

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FDA is taking steps to clarify date labeling on foods and working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency to cut down on food waste, the single largest type of waste in Americans’ daily trash, the agency announced Tuesday (April 9).

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reintroduced his Medicare for All legislation along with 14 other Democratic senators, pushing the party’s most-left health care proposal once again as other Democrats focus on more-moderate public options.

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ORLANDO, FL -- State regulators gathered at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners spring meeting in Orlando had mixed feelings about whether sponsors should be allowed to continue to sell association health plans in the wake of a federal judge’s decision to invalidate parts of the Trump administration’s regulation.

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The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday granted the Department of Justice’s unopposed request to expediate oral arguments in the controversial challenge to the Affordable Care Act, and set the hearing for the week of July 8.

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April 09, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bashed Medicare for All and other universal health care proposals Tuesday (April 9) at the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) annual meeting and urged hospital groups to lobby against the progressive Democrats’ proposals.

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Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) on Tuesday (April 9) signed a bill to implement the state’s voter-approved Medicaid expansion but expressed concerns about a controversial provision that seeks to add work requirements to people in the expansion population.

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House Democrats put Attorney General William Barr on the hot-seat several times Tuesday over the administration’s switch of positions in Texas v. Azar, first in a letter demanding Barr fully explain the reasoning behind the move, provide access to any related documents and make key Justice Department lawyers available for questioning by April 22, and then during Barr’s appearance at an appropriations hearing.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Tuesday (April 8) at the American Hospital Association’s annual meeting that action must be taken to ease the impact of scheduled Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payment (DSH) cuts, calling for hospital groups to work with lawmakers on remedies.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Tuesday (April 8) at the American Hospital Association’s annual meeting that action must be taken to ease the impact of scheduled Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payment (DSH) cuts, calling for hospital groups to work with lawmakers on remedies.

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CMS laid out its vision for the hospice benefit in the expanded Value-Based Insurance Design demonstration on Tuesday (April 9), which is designed to allow Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to opt-in to receive palliative and supportive care services.

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Providers, advocates and plans called for relaxed licensing and originating site policies as well as a national coordinating body on telehealth in response to questions from lawmakers on how to expand access to telehealth.

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The House Ways & Means Committee on Tuesday (April 9) unanimously approved drug-pricing legislation that would demand price transparency from drug makers and pharmacy benefit managers.

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Hospitals say CMS cannot simply ignore the way Congress has written site-neutral and payment policy in defending its decision to cut the pay rates for clinic visits at certain off-campus hospital outpatient facilities “simply because it disagrees” with lawmakers.

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The Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform, along with the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute, are pushing lawmakers to get rid of the exemptions to off-campus hospital facility site-neutral pay policies, and while some lobbyists don’t expect such policy shift would move on its own, they say there’s a possibility it could come up later in the year as a way to help pay for a larger health care package.

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The night before drug-channel middlemen were set to testify before Senate Finance, the committee’s ranking Democrat said drug companies refuse to commit to cutting drug prices if Congress eliminates drug rebates.

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Lawmakers in Maryland passed a scaled-back bill late Monday (April 8) that would create a board to review the affordability of prescription drugs, and potentially set ceilings for government payment of certain high-cost drugs.

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The new chairman of the Advanced Medical Technology Association’s (AdvaMed’s) board of directors, Kevin Lobo, says the most pressing issue facing the industry is the Affordable Care Act’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices, the latest moratorium on which ends next year.

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FDA is extending by 15 days the comment period for its proposal that would effectively remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market and move up the deadline by which manufacturers of flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products must submit premarket applications, the agency announced Monday (April 8).

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April 08, 2019

The Republican attorneys general seeking to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act have reversed course and no longer oppose a July oral argument date in the Texas v. Azar appeal now that the Trump administration has agreed the ACA should be scrapped and has requested a hearing for the week of July 8, which suggests DOJ may be taking the reins from the appellees even though the government formally remains an appellant in the high-profile case.

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