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February 05, 2021 | Daily News

The Senate late Thursday (Feb. 4) agreed to add to the budget resolution a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) that aims to replenish the Provider Relief Fund by $35 billion, with 20% set aside for rural hospitals. Only one senator, Mike Lee (R-UT), voted against the language, which now could be included as congressional committees write legislation for Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package.

February 04, 2021 | Daily News

A group of GOP lawmakers are backing providers’ push for relief funding to be included in the next COVID-19 stimulus package, with the Republicans asking President Joe Biden to add $35 billion for providers to his American Rescue Plan.

February 04, 2021 | Daily News

Medicare Advantage grew to almost 26 million enrollees last month, and while plans and MA advocates are pleased, other beneficiary advocates say Congress and CMS need to do a better job about treating the private plans and fee-for-service coverage equally.

February 03, 2021 | Daily News

The American Hospital Association says hospitals need more time to show they met interoperability requirements in 2020 due to problems with the reporting system and the burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the group asks CMS to push the attestation deadline from March 1 to May 1.

February 02, 2021 | Daily News

The Biden administration recently withdrew an unreleased draft rule on end-stage renal disease conditions of coverage that was expected to address the controversial issue of whether insurers must accept premium payments from third-party charities -- a move quickly applauded by kidney care advocates, although the rule could resurface.

February 01, 2021 | Daily News

Congressional Democratic leaders Monday (Feb. 1) kicked off the fast-track process for passing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package based on President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which includes temporary subsidies for COBRÅ and enhanced ACA tax credits in addition to boosting funds for vaccinations, testing and more.

January 29, 2021 | Daily News

The Biden administration on Friday (Jan. 29) delayed for 60 days a Trump administration rule to eliminate drug rebates that pharmacy benefit managers use to negotiate lower prices.

January 29, 2021 | Daily News

Biden’s CMS has withdrawn three separate Trump era regulations -- one to allow individuals to access Social Security benefits without taking Medicare Part A coverage, one on third-party pay for dialysis and one on accrediting organization oversight.

January 28, 2021 | Daily News

Congressional Medicare advisers said they are leaning toward recommending that Medicare Part B cover all vaccines, without cost sharing for preventive vaccines, at a meeting Friday (Jan. 15) on potential changes to the reimbursement formula for vaccines.

January 28, 2021 | Daily News

When Trump’s CMS finalized its policy to immediately cover breakthrough medical devices following FDA approvals, the agency decided against expanding the new rule to drugs.

January 27, 2021 | Daily News

A bipartisan group of top government health officials representing the National Academy of Medicine are recommending FDA and CMS policies that the Biden administration could use to control drug prices.

January 27, 2021 | Daily News

A bipartisan group of former Obama, Bush and Trump health officials are calling on the Biden administration to expand access to insurance by shoring up the individual market and working with Congress to lower the Medicare enrollment age to 55.

January 27, 2021 | Daily News

President Joe Biden’s health care agenda should focus on increasing value-payments, strengthening primary care via nurse practitioners and non-clinical personnel, building trust in vulnerable communities and improving health care information technology so the country is better prepared for the next pandemic, some experts said at a webinar by The Commonwealth Fund Tuesday (Jan. 26).

January 25, 2021 | Daily News

AARP has sued CMS over the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to stop imposing per-day fines on nursing homes that don’t meet certain CMS health and safety requirements.

January 24, 2021 | Daily News

The COVID-19 public health emergency is expected to continue through the end of 2021, Acting HHS Secretary Norris Cochran wrote in a Jan. 22 letter to governors, signaling the temporary 6.2% bump in federal Medicaid matching funds and a slew of other Medicare and Medicaid emergency waivers put in place during the pandemic will not end soon.

January 21, 2021 | Daily News

The Biden administration's COVID-19 response strategy boosts funding for community health centers and offers more help to safety net providers and nursing homes, and it asks CMS to consider increasing its pay rate for vaccine administration and to take any steps necessary to promote coverage of safe and effective COVID-19 treatments and care.

January 19, 2021 | Daily News

CMS is using a demonstration to weaken two pillars of patient protections in Part D: protected drug classes and the requirement that insurers cover at least two drugs in each class.

January 19, 2021 | Daily News

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted Thursday (Jan. 14) in favor of draft 2022 recommendations to eliminate or reduce the 2021 Medicare base payment rates for a variety of industries, including hospice and home health agencies, as staff continue to predict that COVID-19 will not financially disadvantage those areas in the long term.

January 19, 2021 | Daily News

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission discussed Friday (Jan. 15) how to properly reward skilled nursing facilities who care for the most  dually-eligible patients under their new value incentive program without offering bonuses for poor performance.

January 15, 2021 | Daily News

CMS estimates that Medicare Advantage plans will get more than 4% more in 2022 than they receive this year -- an increase of more than 1.25% compared to the rate in the advanced notice CMS released in October.