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Daily News

June 03, 2021

Nebraska has decided to withdraw its Section 1115 waiver application that required people in the Medicaid expansion population to participate in work and other personal responsibility requirements in order to access dental, vision and over-the-counter medication benefits, and as of Oct. 1 all Medicaid beneficiaries will now have access to these benefits.

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The White House on Thursday (June 3) revealed that of the total 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses the United States plan to share around the globe, an initial 25 million tranche will go to the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative, which will send the doses to countries in South and Central America, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa.

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Ways & Means oversight subcommittee Chair Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) is following up his recent hearing on private equity investment in health care by requesting the Government Accountability Office analyze the relationship between PE ownership and subsequent bankruptcies over the past 10 to 15 years.

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FDA on Thursday (June 3) published four guidances that lay out how drug makers and trading partners can comply with certain requirements under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, including how to identify and notify FDA of illegitimate drug products, and how to include product identifiers on product packages.

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The coalition promoting value-based insurance design is applauding bipartisan House legislation that would codify IRS’s criteria for HSA-linked high-deductible plans to pay for care management services prior to the deductible.

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While health care costs for a family of four dropped 4.2% in 2020, spending on retail prescriptions drugs remained strong as mail order drug delivery surged and drug prices increased, according to the Milliman Medical Index.

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Two House lawmakers reintroduced bipartisan legislation to create a state-based back-up to the existing federal stockpile of drugs at risk of shortages due to public health crises such as the pandemic.

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FDA is not close to letting states import Canadian drugs, according to the Biden HHS’ response to PhRMA’s lawsuit against the Trump-era rule, and even if FDA were to allow imports, the Canadian government might not allow exports.

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June 02, 2021

The heads of four of the largest international organizations this week jointly called for world leaders to support a $50 billion plan -- proposed by the International Monetary Fund -- to vaccinate people in low- and middle-income countries against COVID-19 in an effort to not only save lives, but also boost global economic recovery.

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The lobby representing the nation’s insurance plans has dropped its full moniker-- America’s Health Insurance Plans -- and, in the tradition of AARP, KFC and countless others, the group will now be known only by its former acronym: AHIP.

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Long-term care is the next big debate in health care reform, and it's increasingly clear that more long-term care will be home-based going forward, AARP leaders said during a roundtable on long-term care Wednesday (June 2).

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The National Institutes of Health is contemplating how to move forward with psychedelics research for mental health disorders like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Counties, cities and mayors are asking Congress to reject the Republican proposal to repurpose COVID-19 relief funds allocated under the American Rescue Plan to pay for an infrastructure package.

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Congress has expressed support for continuing telehealth flexibilities after the pandemic but has yet to pass legislation, spurring a handful of states to move ahead with their own laws regulating audio-only services, cross-state licensing, payment parity and more, according to policy watchers.

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June 01, 2021

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing a proposed rule on health insurance exchanges for 2022 and beyond that is expected to revise the Trump administration’s state innovation guidance, reverse the Trump-era proposal to let states leave healthcare.gov, increase the exchange user fees and more.

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The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations on Tuesday (June 1) asked CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to give ACOs more time to apply to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program in 2022, saying it is concerned with shrinking turnaround times for application information and deadlines that have been set sooner than usual.

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President Joe Biden’s fiscal 2022 HHS budget-in-brief doesn’t include specific Medicare legislative proposals, but the president laid out a health care agenda that calls for extending the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by changing Medicare pay to private insurers -- which some lobbyists said is a reference to changing Medicare Advantage payment -- and provider pay.

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The National Institutes of Health on Tuesday (June 1) started a phase 1/2 clinical trial to test the safety and immunogenicity of giving a booster shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to adults who have already been immunized with one of the three other COVID-19 vaccine regimens currently authorized by FDA.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday (June 1) denied Johnson & Johnson’s request that it review a Missouri court’s decision to award billions of dollars to 22 women who claimed J&J’s talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer.

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The Center for Medicare Advocacy said Thursday (May 27) nursing homes penalized by CMS for infection prevention and control deficiencies should not have been eligible for the $2 billion in provider relief incentive payments, but nursing homes said excluding certain facilities would only hurt residents.

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