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Medicare

January 28, 2020 | Daily News

Epic Systems, a major medical records vendor, hit back following remarks from HHS Secretary Alex Azar that slammed critics of the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT’s proposed interoperability rule, as the health IT developer called on HHS to create patient privacy protections before finishing the rule.

January 28, 2020 | Daily News

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) says he is open to compromising with Senate Republicans and the White House on drug pricing legislation, though he doubts House Democrats will soften their stance on Medicare price negotiation.

January 27, 2020 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Alex Azar took aim at critics of the interoperability rules proposed by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator on Health IT and CMS, warning them that “defending the status quo is a pretty unpopular place to be,” and asserting that the rules, once finalized, will preserve patient privacy.

January 27, 2020 | Daily News

CMS on Monday (Jan. 27) expanded coverage of FDA-approved laboratory diagnostic tests that use Next Generation Sequencing for patients with germline, or inherited, ovarian or breast cancer.

January 27, 2020 | Daily News

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) top health aide Wendell Primus told lobbyists in closed-door meetings that he’s open to negotiating with Republicans on whether to let Medicare bargain with drug companies over prices, sources who recently met with Primus told Inside Health Policy.

January 23, 2020 | Daily News

Some kidney care stakeholders say the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission seems to be at odds with the administration over the need for innovation in treatments for end stage renal disease patients after commissioners at their January meeting leaned toward eliminating the transitional drug add-on payment adjustment to the ESRD pay bundle.

January 23, 2020 | Daily News

Beneficiary advocates say they anticipated Republicans would try to make up $1.5 trillion or so spent on the 2017 tax cuts in 2017 by reducing spending on entitlement programs, and so they were not surprised the president seemingly broke from his earlier pledges to protect Medicare and suggested during a Wednesday interview that changes to entitlement programs would come out toward the end of the year if he wins another term.

January 21, 2020 | Daily News

House Ways & Means, Energy & Commerce and Education & Labor Committee leaders are asking HHS and the Department of Labor to better inform individuals with COBRA about their Medicare eligibility, as the lawmakers say those who become eligible for Medicare while they have COBRA coverage face potential financial liabilities due to the current lack of coordination.

January 21, 2020 | Daily News

CMS will cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain as part of its efforts to increase access to alternatives to prescription opioids, the agency announced Tuesday (Jan. 21).

January 17, 2020 | Daily News

Congress’ Medicare advisers approved 2021 payment recommendations for a variety of health sectors Thursday, including suggestions that Congress eliminate a number of scheduled pay raises for various sectors, despite stakeholder pushback on some of the proposals.

January 15, 2020 | Daily News

The debate over the future of the health care system will continue to be a key issue on the presidential trail in 2020, but as Tuesday’s winnowed-down Democratic debate highlighted, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is now the lone top-tier presidential candidate still calling for a quick transition to Medicare for All, while the other Democratic candidates argue that their policy ideas are just as bold.

January 13, 2020 | Daily News

Federal appellate judges suggested Monday (Jan. 13) that CMS’ attempt to require that drug makers include list prices in television advertisements might lead to consumer confusion without bringing down drug prices.

January 13, 2020 | Daily News

Hospitals sued CMS Monday (Jan. 13) over the 2020 Medicare site-neutral cuts, reiterating arguments from their lawsuit over the 2019 cuts -- where the federal district court found in hospitals’ favor -- and reminding the court that it already ruled the agency doesn’t have authority for such a policy.

January 13, 2020 | Daily News

Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Amy Klobuchar (MN) last week separately unveiled proposals to roll back Medicare and Medicaid policies that they say harm individuals with disabilities, and the two senators also are pushing to expand long-term services.

January 10, 2020 | Daily News

CMS says the revamped Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations are on track to save $2.9 billion over 10 years, as the agency’s actuary projected when the regulatory overhaul was finalized, but the National Association of ACOs raises concerns about the program’s lack of growth because it says fewer new ACOs are joining the program than in past years.

January 10, 2020 | Daily News

CMS’ evaluation of the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization’s second year shows that Medicare spending increased slightly during 2017, though the National Association of ACOs said those results are likely due in part to the way the evaluation compared their performance to others.

January 10, 2020 | Daily News

The Supreme Court agreed Friday (Jan. 10) to hear a case that could revive an Arkansas law regulating pharmacy benefit managers, a move with widespread implications for state efforts to lower drug prices through limits on PBMs’ activities and profits.

January 10, 2020 | Daily News

CMS suggested as part of new guidance laying out ways to avoid duplicate discounts between 340B and Medicaid that states could use state plan amendments to keep some -- or all -- providers and contract pharmacies from using 340B drugs for Medicaid beneficiaries, and 340B hospitals quickly pushed back.

January 09, 2020 | Daily News

CMS hasn’t been able to pay more than 2,800 providers in alternative payment models their 5% bonus for 2017 performance because it doesn’t have their banking information, the agency says, and it has given those clinicians until Feb. 28 to clear that up so the bonuses can be paid.

January 08, 2020 | Daily News

The House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee considered three bills Wednesday (Jan. 8) that would strengthen patient protections for Medicare and Medicaid, and the hearing has given beneficiary advocates hope that these protections will be included in legislative packages passed this year.

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