Policy

CMS proposes putting $2.5B into hospitals’ coffers, eliminating part of price transparency rule

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CMS has released its proposed inpatient payment rule for fiscal year 2022, which includes a payment bump that could increase reimbursement for hospitals by $2.5 billion. Further, in a win for hospitals, the proposal aims to repeal a part of the price transparency rule related… Read More »CMS proposes putting $2.5B into hospitals’ coffers, eliminating part of price transparency rule

Some proposed HIPAA changes could inadvertently expose the data it’s supposed to protect

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The government’s proposed changes to HIPAA aim to provide guardrails against data breaches and misuse, but some of the modifications may not work as intended. Three healthcare experts delved into the ways in which certain proposals could provide inappropriate access to health data during a… Read More »Some proposed HIPAA changes could inadvertently expose the data it’s supposed to protect

Public health, racial equity, climate action drive Biden’s budget requests for healthcare

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President Joe Biden has submitted his discretionary budget for 2022 to Congress. Among its healthcare provisions are funding requests for the CDC, mental health and social determinants of health programs. But there are some unusual requests as well, such as funding for an Office of… Read More »Public health, racial equity, climate action drive Biden’s budget requests for healthcare

3 changes coming to drug pricing

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No matter if Democrats or Republicans are running the show in Washington, here are three solid bets for pharma companies to plan for in the changing drug-pricing landscape

Why Infertility Treatments Should Be Covered by Insurance

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Why Infertility Treatments Should Be Covered by Insurance Although it’s improving, most insurance coverage for infertility treatment doesn’t match that provided for other conditions. Here’s what you need to know. The Doctor Weighs In

FDA issues warning on pulse oximeter limitations, but says little about racial disparities

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In an alert on Friday, the Food and Drug Administration warmed that pulse oximeters might be inaccurate in some circumstances. The agency listed skin color among other factors that may affect the accuracy of a reading, but didn’t mention research that has demonstrated the devices… Read More »FDA issues warning on pulse oximeter limitations, but says little about racial disparities

More states require telehealth coverage going into 2021

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Several states passed recent laws that would require commercial insurance plans to cover more telehealth services on a permanent basis. More states now require health plans to pay the same amount for telehealth as in-person visits.

Why hospitals want CMS, FTC to examine two UnitedHealthcare policies

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Two UnitedHealthcare policies have raised several concerns among providers, including that they may display anti-competitive behavior and could block patient access to certain healthcare services. The American Hospital Association is asking the FTC and CMS to review and potentially block these policies.

46 hospitals file suit to reverse HHS bad debt policy

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A group of hospitals have sued HHS Secretary Alex Azar, arguing he should reverse a policy that prevents hospitals from getting reimbursed for Medicare-related bad debts pending at outside collection agencies. The policy has raised hospital debt payments by about $1.35 million, the lawsuit claims.

Regence, MultiCare Health System to Deploy HL7 Da Vinci Member Attribution List for Value-Based Care Arrangements

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What You Should Know: – Regence and MultiCare ink first-in-the-nation value-based care partnership to deliver improved health outcomes at lower costs. Health insurance provider Regence and MultiCare Health System, an independent accountable care organization (ACO) have partnered to deploy a first-in-the-nation value-based model that delivers… Read More »Regence, MultiCare Health System to Deploy HL7 Da Vinci Member Attribution List for Value-Based Care Arrangements

FDA gives nod to Moderna vaccine for Covid-19

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The company’s vaccine is the second approved for emergency use by the FDA. It is expected to pose fewer logistical challenges than the first, which was developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

FDA gives emergency OK to Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine

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The vaccine was developed in record time, a big scientific accomplishment, even though the agency’s move follows an unusual level of pressure from President Trump’s White House, renewing concerns that politics drove the vaccine process even as the first doses are shipped.

Biden to nominate California AG Xavier Becerra as HHS head

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President-elect Joe Biden named Xavier Becerra, the current California attorney general, as his nominee for HHS secretary. A 12-term congressman and vocal supporter of the ACA, Becerra would become the first Latino to lead the federal agency if confirmed.

Supreme Court justices seem unlikely to axe the ACA

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Now with a 6-3 conservative majority, the nation’s highest court still seems reticent to throw out the Affordable Care Act altogether. If the law stays in place, it would be the foundation for many of President-elect Biden’s planned healthcare policies.

To avoid crisis, pharma must address costs

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Scrutiny of drug prices will continue whether Trump or Biden wins. But pharma can take steps to address critics and cut costs before they reach a crisis point, according to a panel of industry experts.

Nebraska gets approval to add work requirements to Medicaid expansion

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After Nebraskans cast their vote for Medicaid expansion in 2018, the state is finally expanding coverage to more residents. As part of the state’s rollout, it split its expanded Medicaid plans into two tiers, with work and other requirements to access dental and vision coverage.

A “bald-faced lie” on LinkedIn followed by revisionist history of CMMI at HLTH panel

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HLTH aimed to reflect on the success of the decade-old Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) by a panel discussion with its directors. Except the first director was never included while his successor tried claiming the mantle of the “inaugural director” riling former colleagues… Read More »A “bald-faced lie” on LinkedIn followed by revisionist history of CMMI at HLTH panel

Cue Health gets $481M to expand production of rapid coronavirus test

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San Diego-based diagnostics startup Cue Health won a $481 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to produce more coronavirus tests. The company received an emergency use authorization in June for its rapid molecular test.

CMS promises a plan for Medicare to cover coronavirus vaccine

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Medicare doesn’t currently cover drugs approved under emergency use designations. But  CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency was coming up with a plan to make sure Medicare beneficiaries were covered once a coronavirus vaccine is developed.

Humana, Fresenius Medical Care Expand Partnership to Improve Care Coordination for Medicare Advantage Members

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What You Should Know: – Humana Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) today announced an agreement to broaden their collaboration toward improving the health of eligible Humana Medicare Advantage members – The agreement between Humana and Fresenius Medical Care North America goes into… Read More »Humana, Fresenius Medical Care Expand Partnership to Improve Care Coordination for Medicare Advantage Members

HHS renews $10.2M TeleTracking contract for Covid-19 data collection

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HHS will renew its contract with TeleTracking Technologies for another $10.2 million. Earlier this year, HHS controversially shifted Covid-19 data collection to the company from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would normally handle data collection.

FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma in Covid-19 sparks controversy

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While the emergency use authorization granted Sunday was not seen as scientifically unwarranted, it drew concerns from some experts that it could hinder enrollment in clinical trials, while the timing and circumstances of the FDA’s move fueled suspicions that political pressure – rather than science… Read More »FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma in Covid-19 sparks controversy

Managing Cultures During Physician Practice Merger

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Managing Cultures During Physician Practice Merger Culture is the most common reason why practice mergers fail. However, there are steps you can take to end up with a supportive culture. The Doctor Weighs In

District judge blocks HHS rule that would end transgender health protections

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A U.S. district judge blocked a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services that would end anti-discrimination provisions protecting transgender patients. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Frederic Block said that the rule violated a recent Supreme Court decision protecting LGBTQ workers’ rights.

Trust, privacy, and our American pandemic 

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Health information exchanges know about the hard work of building trust by delivering value in healthcare. They have been in these trenches. They need a seat at the table with our state public health leaders as America works to safely reopen.

Congress, states hold the keys to telehealth expansion

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Several federal agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have indicated their interest in expanding telehealth coverage after the federal emergency period ends. But to do that, they’ll need the help of states and Congress.

Trump executive order targets rural telehealth expansion

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The executive order would call on the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a new pilot payment model for rural hospitals, and would set up a task force to improve broadband infrastructure in rural communities.

FDA guidance eases some Covid-19 vaccine concerns, but others remain

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Amid fears of a premature emergency use authorization for a Covid-19 vaccine granted for political reasons, the guidance that the FDA released at the beginning of the month sets much tougher standards. But trial enrollment, anti-vaccine sentiment and other potential problems persist.

House bill would cement Medicare telehealth changes

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A bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday would permanently lift site restrictions for Medicare patients to access telehealth. During the pandemic, several restrictions on where telehealth visits could be conducted and what services were eligible were temporarily lifted.

Why Medical Translation and Medical Interpretation Services are Key in Quality Healthcare

Why Medical Translation and Medical Interpretation Services are Key in Quality Healthcare All industries need translators and interpreters who are trained in different languages. Although some items, symbols, and/or actions may be universally understood, you still need to convey subtle meanings and instructions across cultures.… Read More »Why Medical Translation and Medical Interpretation Services are Key in Quality Healthcare

BARDA, DoD give Regeneron $450M contract for Covid-19 antiviral drug

The contract covers manufacture and supply of the two-antibody drug cocktail REGN-COV2. The company had announced Monday that it entered the drug into three late-stage clinical studies, both as a treatment for existing SARS-CoV-2 infections and a preventive treatment for healthy exposed people.

Reflections on Death with Dignity

Reflections on Death with Dignity Facing a painful death from incurable cancer, Brittany Maynard had to move to Oregon so she could control her destiny & die with dignity. Why do so few states allow this? The Doctor Weighs In

Can You Believe in Science and Still Vote for Trump?

Can You Believe in Science and Still Vote for Trump? Most people understand the primacy of scientific facts in ordering our personal and public life, but a more primal imperative, tribalism, often wins out. The Doctor Weighs In