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Daily News

September 13, 2019

Justice in Aging and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care are urging others to “speak out for nursing home residents” by opposing CMS’ proposed rule to ease nursing home regulations, and the groups have developed sample comments that lay out why the agency shouldn’t move forward with many of the rule’s proposals.

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FDA warned patients and health care professionals on Friday (Sept. 13) that it has discovered low levels of a carcinogenic impurity in some over-the-counter and prescription heartburn and indigestion drugs.

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Health care once again dominated the Democratic presidential debate, leading to a number of fiery exchanges and a slight shift to talking more about threats to the health law posed by the Trump administration, which some strategists had hoped would happen.

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September 12, 2019

CMS Administrator Seema Verma told hospitals on Tuesday (Sept. 10) that the agency will have to tackle the high costs of hospital care in order to drive down total health care costs, even though she previously told reporters the agency was not planning to target hospital spending.

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Lawmakers and administration officials are slowly backing away from the White House’s promise to roll out a large-scale Affordable Care Act replacement plan and are instead saying the president is focusing on smaller-scale items such as drug pricing and surprise billing, and will take another look at protecting coverage for preexisting conditions if the courts overturn the health law.

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The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration program will lose its funding on Friday (Sept. 13) if the Senate does not act to pass another extension, and, despite reassurances by senators that funding is a priority, nothing appears to be moving forward ahead of that deadline.

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The Nebraska Supreme Court has declined to hear a lawsuit -- at least for now -- that seeks to force state officials to speed up their implementation of the state’s voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

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The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACOS) called on CMS to pay close attention to what it sees as a dip in the number of new ACO participants for 2019 and lays out recommendations that could help entice new organizations to join the program.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) added a health care plan, along with policies to control drug prices, to her presidential campaign website hours before she was to take the stage Sept. 12 to debate fellow Democratic candidates.

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A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of insurance data submitted to CMS finds that health insurance companies will likely distribute about $1.3 billion in rebates due to the Affordable Care Act’s medical loss ratio for the 2018 plan year, which is the largest amount since 2012.

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Health care issues made up a large portion of the first two Democratic debates as candidates parried over their respective visions on universal health coverage, and some Democratic strategists say the candidates in tonight’s debate need to also make clear that the Trump administration has been working to undermine the existing law, both through regulatory moves and by backing a lawsuit that aims to scrap the Affordable Care Act.

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Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen sued FDA on Tuesday (Sept. 10) for not acting on the group’s 2018 citizen petition to ban cesium chloride from dietary supplements.

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September 11, 2019

The California legislature passed an amended version of controversial legislation that aims to remove any financial incentives for dialysis firms to donate to chartable premium assistance programs by limiting reimbursement for patients receiving financial help, and stakeholders on both sides of the issue are now taking their case to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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The Trump administration has directed FDA to take swift action to remove non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products from the market as a result of preliminary data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey that shows a continued rise in youth e-cigarette use, especially through flavored products that appeal to kids, HHS announced in a Wednesday (Sept. 11) press statement.

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House Ways & Means Committee Democrats are finalizing their surprise medical billing legislation, and, although the committee hasn’t settled on a payment rate, Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) told reporters the Democrats are not discussing an air ambulance fix.

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The White House Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday (Sept. 10) wrapped up its review of FDA’s premarket tobacco application (PMTA) proposed rule, which would establish content and format requirements for PMTAs.

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A panel of two liberal judges and one conservative judge will decide the Trump administration’s appeal of rulings that blocked Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky.

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FDA urged compounders to improve their reporting of adverse events after an agency investigation found that one medical product provider had knowledge of more than 4,000 adverse events associated with compounded products that it had never reported to the agency.

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House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and oversight subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) will hold a hearing Sept. 25 during which officials from FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health agencies will testify about the public health impacts of e-cigarettes, their appeal to young people and the regulatory authorities related to e-cigarette manufacturing, sales and use.

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The Center for American Progress is pushing a number of policy options to help struggling rural hospitals stay open, some of which echo policy platforms from Democratic presidential hopefuls, and the left-leaning group is also imploring the Trump administration to stop allowing states to waive non-emergency medical transportation benefits in Medicaid.

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