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Medicare

September 21, 2020 | Daily News

Administration officials haven’t figured out how to make coronavirus vaccinations free to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, though HHS Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Paul Mango said they would pay no more than $3.50.

September 18, 2020 | Daily News

CMS on Friday (Sept. 18) announced it will start on Jan. 1 a mandatory demonstration aimed at increasing the use of home dialysis and kidney transplants -- which the agency says should give providers plenty of time to prepare -- and also revealed it will include 30% of dialysis facilities and providers managing adults with End-Stage Renal Disease in the model rather than its proposed 50% while rejecting the idea of a voluntary approach.

September 18, 2020 | Daily News

Oncologists vowed to go to Congress if CMS doesn’t delay its plans to kick off in January a mandatory radiation oncology 90-day pay bundle demonstration for those providers, as they say starting a new model during the pandemic won’t work.

September 18, 2020 | Daily News

Beneficiary advocates say an independent report on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes puts too little responsibility on nursing homes and on CMS’ role in mitigating the crisis, even as CMS says the report validates its own actions.

September 17, 2020 | Daily News

An independent nursing home commission that reviewed the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday (Sept. 16) called for improved testing and screening within nursing homes among over two dozen recommendations, which the nursing home lobby said validates what it’s been demanding for months.

September 17, 2020 | Daily News

CMS on Thursday (Sept. 17) announced it was revising guidance on visitations in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow both indoor and outdoor visits with residents, citing the emotional toll that isolating nursing home residents has taken.

September 17, 2020 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (OR) on Thursday (Sept. 17) said the next president will be forced to tackle Medicare’s biggest financial crisis and he argued that the program must be protected from President Donald Trump.

September 16, 2020 | Daily News

The American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges and America’s Essential Hospitals asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to rehear their lawsuit over cuts to hospitals’ Medicare reimbursement for 340B drugs, arguing the court’s initial decision doesn’t match up with previous court rulings and doesn’t take into account the exceptional importance of the issue at hand.

September 15, 2020 | Daily News

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing a CMS proposal to decouple Medicare Part A enrollment and Social Security benefits, which would allow beneficiaries to decline Part A coverage while still accessing their other benefits.

September 15, 2020 | Daily News

CMS Administrator Seema Verma on Tuesday (Sept. 15) said CMS is looking at creating a new, outcomes-based reimbursement strategy for COVID-19 tests and hinted any policy changes on reimbursement will move quickly.

September 15, 2020 | Daily News

The American Hospital Association says the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s estimate that hospitals lost up to $30 billion in April but will recover with CARES Act funding is skewed because it considers only a few hospitals, does not consider that losses began in late March and assumes patient volume has uniformly returned.

September 15, 2020 | Daily News

Patients for Affordable Drugs is launching a multi-million-dollar campaign that calls on voters in swing states and battleground districts to support candidates who have plans to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

September 14, 2020 | Daily News

CMS intends to fully phase in changes to its risk adjustment policies, including relying on encounter data and completing its transition to the 2020 version of the CMS-Hierarchical Conditions Categories model, the agency says in the first part of its 2022 Medicare Advantage advanced notice.

September 14, 2020 | Daily News

CMS on Monday (Sept. 14) announced that accountable care organizations generated $1.19 billion in total net savings to Medicare in 2019, which the agency said proves the success of its revamped ACO program.

September 13, 2020 | Daily News

The White House released an executive order Sunday evening (Sept. 13) that extends the president’s controversial most-favored nation policy to include Medicare Part D in addition to Part B, a move that could eventually drastically lower seniors’ drug costs but that policy experts view as a Hail Mary before the election and expect to be challenged in court.

September 10, 2020 | Daily News

The House Energy & Commerce Committee passed 26 health bills on Wednesday (Sept. 9), including three meant to boost Medicare patient protections and mental health services, sending them to the House floor.

September 09, 2020 | Daily News

HHS in early August unveiled an 84-page roadmap to improve rural health that includes a number of policy initiatives and recommendations, including calls to expand care for postpartum depression, award grants for telehealth expansion and ease state licensure restrictions.

September 09, 2020 | Daily News

The White House is asking Congress to fund certain so-called Medicare and Medicaid extenders -- most of which are set to run through Nov. 30 -- as part of an expected continuing resolution to keep the government open in fiscal 2021, and an Office of Management and Budget document obtained by sister news service Inside Defense also says the White House would consider other policies that often ride along with the extenders, like a delay in cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments.

September 04, 2020 | Daily News

After the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Medicare Trust Fund will become insolvent two years sooner because of the pandemic, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission members said at a meeting on Thursday (Sept. 3) they want to be bold with their recommendations to Congress next year.

September 04, 2020 | Daily News

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Friday (Sept. 4) considered what aspects of telehealth should remain in Medicare after the COVID-19 public health emergency, with some commissioners saying they would support allowing more flexibilities in telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries in alternative payment models than in fee-for-service.

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