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Medicare

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission generally supported a draft recommendation to reform Medicare Advantage benchmarks, as staff stood by their conviction that the current system pushed up MA costs compared to fee-for-service Medicare.

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

Early data indicate that Quality Improvement Organization assistance to nursing homes led to a decline in COVID-19 cases in those homes as compared to homes that didn’t work with QIOs, a CMS staff member said at the CMS Quality Conference Wednesday (March 3).

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

Every member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission said Friday (March 5) they support recommendations that Medicare Part B cover all vaccines, without cost sharing for preventive vaccines, and that Medicare pay doctors 103% of wholesale acquisition cost to administer preventive vaccines, although they have yet to vote on the proposals.

March 05, 2021 | Daily News

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission staff found that rural beneficiaries have a harder time accessing specialty care than do urban beneficiaries, though the two groups reported similar satisfaction with overall care, and that a decline in inpatient admissions preceded rural hospital closures.

March 04, 2021 | Daily News

Congress’ Medicare pay advisors generally favored telling HHS to pare down the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s collection of demonstrations and focus on a smaller number of more coordinated models -- though Chair Michael Chernew said the commission has a lot of work to do on alternative payment models.

March 04, 2021 | Daily News

Private online broker eHealth has formed a new bipartisan advisory committee of public policy experts that will inform the company, the public and policymakers on best practices for improving health care.

March 03, 2021 | Daily News

Insurers are working to get 2 million vulnerable seniors COVID-19 vaccines as part of a new Vaccine Community Connectors pilot that was praised by White House COVID-19 Response Senior Advisor Andy Slavitt Wednesday (March 3).

March 03, 2021 | Daily News

Insurance plans assert the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission unfairly compared Medicare Advantage and traditional fee-for-service Medicare in a September presentation that said MA plans spend more than traditional Medicare, but MedPAC says it stands by its calculations.

March 02, 2021 | Daily News

Former Obama administration health staffer and Affordable Care Act architect Elizabeth Fowler officially took the helm of CMS’ powerful Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Tuesday (March 2), shortly after the innovation center put the Trump-era's Geographic Direct Contracting model on hold and stakeholders proposed ways for the center to revamp the Radiation Oncology demo.

March 01, 2021 | Daily News

Biden’s CMS decided to revisit the Trump administration’s controversial Geographic Direct Contracting model on March 1, the same day applications could be submitted, which a lobbyist said doesn’t bode well for the demo’s future.

February 26, 2021 | Daily News

CMS will consider provider-specific emergency waivers for Texas clinicians in Medicare and Medicaid due to the recent severe winter storms in the state, but the agency says it has already provided numerous waivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it will not add any more blanket waivers.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra on Wednesday again stressed that despite his long-held support of Medicare for All, if confirmed he will be serving at the pleasure of the President Joe Biden who has made clear that he wants to achieve universal health care by building off the Affordable Care Act.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

Lawmakers told the nation’s top physician lobby group they will consider extending the Medicare sequestration moratorium, easing prior authorization requirements and tackling other health care priorities like telehealth and graduate medical slots after Congress passes the pandemic relief package.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

Providers say CMS should continue to reimburse audio-only telehealth services after the public health emergency ends in order to ease health care inequities, but some policymakers and patient advocates still raise questions about the quality of care and potential for fraud with audio-only visits.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

The American Hospital Association asked HHS in a letter Monday (Feb. 22) to tell hospitals how their data’s being used to respond to COVID-19 and to give hospitals advance notice before adding more data reporting fields or changing the reporting platform again.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra told Senate health committee members Tuesday (Feb. 23) he would follow the data to set the length of the public health emergency, use provider relief funds to help nursing homes and back President Joe Biden’s push for a Medicare buy-in program.

February 22, 2021 | Daily News

The Center for Medicare Advocacy says in a new report that nursing homes could better protect themselves from COVID-19 by improving training and increasing the hourly wage for nursing home workers, setting federal minimum competency standards for nursing home administrators and reintroducing per-day fines for nursing homes not meeting CMS standards.

February 19, 2021 | Daily News

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure has been an advocate for maternal health equity, expanded data collection and overturning Medicaid work requirements throughout her health policy career, hinting at what might be in store for her tenure as CMS administrator if confirmed by the Senate.

February 19, 2021 | Daily News

While lawmakers and health care advocates say President Joe Biden’s pick for CMS administrator will help the administration tackle COVID-19, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure has not publicly discussed whether she thinks certain pandemic-related policies or waivers, like those expanding telehealth, should continue after the pandemic.

February 17, 2021 | Daily News

President Joe Biden has reportedly picked Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be the next CMS administrator.

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