Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Healthcare Policy

MD Extends All-Payer Model, Targets $1B in Medicare Savings

May 15, 2018 - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and CMS have announced a five year extension of the state’s All-Payer Model, targeting an additional $1 billion in Medicare savings over the coming years, according to a public statement from Hogan’s office.   Since 2014, the Maryland All-Payer Model has generated $554 million in Medicare savings, exceeding initial savings goals set by the state...


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Payers Express Enthusiasm for Prescription Drug Pricing Reforms

by Thomas Beaton

Healthcare payers and associated trade groups have expressed enthusiasm about President Trump’s proposed prescription drug pricing reforms.   A number of influential organizations have offered commentary on the plan, including some...

More Competition May Benefit Medicare Advantage Bidding Process

by Thomas Beaton

The Medicare Advantage (MA) bidding process requires more competition to increase the availability of high quality MA plans for beneficiaries and reduce federal spending, according to a new Brookings Institute report. Brookings analysts believe...

CMS Approves Medicaid Work Requirements in New Hampshire

by Thomas Beaton

CMS Administrator Seema Verma has approved New Hampshire's request to implement Medicaid work requirements and change additional Medicaid rules related to member eligibility.  The approval makes New Hampshire the fourth state to integrate...

Former CMS Employee Found Guilty in Insider Trading Scheme

by Thomas Beaton

A former CMS employee leaked high-level information related to the agency’s rulemaking decisions and changes in provider reimbursement as part of an insider trading scheme, according to a guilty verdict in the Southern District of New York...

Medicaid Spending Drops When Members Transition to Community Care

by Thomas Beaton

Medicaid spending declined when beneficiaries transitioned from long-term institutional care into community care, a new report conducted by Mathematica Health Policy found. Researchers observed cost outcomes of Medicaid’s Money Follows...

CMS Releases Medicare Advantage Encounter Data to the Public

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has planned to release Medicare Advantage encounter data so that researchers and consumers have the ability to make informed opinions about the cost and healthcare outcomes of the MA program. The agency will allow researchers to access 2015...

Short-Term Health Plans Lack Mental Health, Prescription Benefits

by Thomas Beaton

Short-term health plans generally lack mental health and prescription drug benefits and may create financial-based health insurance barriers for unhealthy beneficiary populations, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis. The KFF...

CMS Aims to Catalyze Advancements in Consumer Price Transparency

by Thomas Beaton

A proposed rule that requires hospitals to post their standard service rates online is only the start of CMS efforts to advance consumer price transparency across the entire agency, according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma. Verma explained...

CMS Rule Ups Medicare Hospital Payments, Cuts Quality Measures

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a new federal rule that increases overall Medicare hospital payments while removing 19 quality measures in efforts to lower administrative burden to Medicare providers. The rule would also increase price transparency and provider...

AHIP Calls for Changes in Proposed Association Health Plan Policy

by Thomas Beaton

AHIP has issued a statement to CMS that calls for changes in the agency’s proposed rule on association health plan (AHP) and short-term plan policy to avoid unintentional disparities in health insurance access for individuals with pre-existing...

Senate Bill Proposes Medicare Health Plan for All Ages

by Thomas Beaton

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), with sponsorship from 11 other Democrats, has introduced a bill to create a Medicare health plan for all ages that would be offered in state and federal health exchanges, as well as the employer-sponsored market....

HHS Appoints James Parker to Address Health Insurance Costs

by Thomas Beaton

HHS Secretary Alex Azar has appointed James Parker as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Office of Health Reform to address healthcare challenges related to health insurance costs and health plan availability. Parker previously served as...

How Payers Can Succeed in Association Health Plan Markets

by Thomas Beaton

Association health plans (AHPs) may completely alter the nation’s health insurance markets with increasing support from federal entities and a handful of state insurance commissions. An expansion of the AHP market may materialize based...

Medicaid Coverage Creates Significant Healthcare Opportunities

by Thomas Beaton

Medicaid coverage led to significant healthcare opportunities that rivaled commercial health insurance care quality, according to a new study from AHIP. Nearly 74 million adults and children who receive Medicaid were found to have significantly...

Maryland Creates State Reinsurance Program to Control Premiums

by Thomas Beaton

Maryland governor Larry Hogan has signed legislation to create a state reinsurance program aimed at stabilizing health plan premium increases. The reinsurance program will use state and federal reinsurance funding to pay catastrophic claims for...

CMS Relaxes Affordable Care Act Health Plan Regulations

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has issued a final rule that relaxes certain Affordable Care Act health plan regulations in an effort to drive competition and affordability within state health insurance markets. The agency said that the new rule will give payers more flexibility...

Experts Support Medicaid Work Requirements Lawsuit Against KY

by Thomas Beaton

A lawsuit that contends the legality of Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky has received support from 43 public health experts and 8 medical school deans who say the work requirements directly violate the Medicaid program. In an amicus brief,...

CMS Final Rule Aims to Lower Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is planning to lower Medicare prescription drug costs through a final rule that allows members to purchase less expensive biosimilars and generic drugs and increases the potential value of Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plans. CMS Administrator...

OIG: Medicare Could Save $367M by Auditing Improper Payments

by Thomas Beaton

CMS auditing systems failed to recognize that 61 percent of Medicare payments for outpatient physical therapy claims in 2013 were improperly filed, which cost the Medicare program nearly $367 million, says a new report by the OIG. Only 116 out...

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