Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Policy and Regulation News

MedPAC to Explore if Hospital Consolidation Impacts Medicare Costs

September 11, 2018 - The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has asked the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to investigate whether or not hospital consolidation increases Medicare spending. In a letter to MedPAC, Representatives Greg Walden (R-OR), Michael C. Burgess (R-TX), and Gregg Harper (R-MS) noted that hospital consolidation rates are on the rise. The Government Accountability...


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CA Plans Medical Loss Ratio Guidelines for Dental Insurance Plans

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Consumers of dental plans may benefit from more transparency around the medical loss ratio (MLR) of dental insurance options, asserts the California Dental Association (CDA). In a recent research paper published in Health Affairs, the CDA...

Handful of States Propose Lower ACA Premium Rates for 2019

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Several states have announced lower ACA premium rates for 2019, bucking a national trend brought on by unstable markets and regulatory changes.   While early proposals from a number of states, including Virginia, Maryland, and...

Payers Sue to Collect 2017 Cost Sharing Reduction Payments

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Payer organizations are exercising their right to use the court system to collect cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments that were not provided in the last quarter of 2017. A number of lawsuits are challenging the government’s...

AMA Expresses Concern with Medicare Part D Formulary Changes

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New Medicare Part D formulary policies introduced by CMS in August may increase patient safety risks and complicate the prior authorization process, said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, to HealthPayerIntelligence.com. In an emailed...

CMS Adds Flexibility to Medicare Part D Formulary Strategies

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CMS is encouraging Medicare Part D health plans to adopt new formulary design strategies that are geared towards lowering drug prices and improving consumer choice. A memo from the agency highlights a major upcoming change to the...

ACA Health Insurance Tax to Cost $16B, Lead to Higher Premiums

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The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance tax (HIT) is expected to levy $16 billion in fees for health insurers by 2020, leading payers to increase premiums by an anticipated 2.2 percent, according to a Oliver-Wyman report...

GOP Senators Propose to Reinforce Pre-Existing Condition Protections

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Half a dozen Republican Senators have introduced a bill that would ensure the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing condition protections would remain a federal law despite upcoming legal challenges. The Ensuring Coverage for Patients...

GAO Critiques HHS Actions on ACA Navigator Program Funding

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has questioned the data-driven methodology behind significant reductions in funding for the ACA navigator program and subsequent declines in new enrollment in health insurance plans.   In a...

CMS Provides $8.4M to Stabilize State Insurance Markets

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CMS has awarded $8.4 million to 31 states in an effort to stabilize state insurance markets and increase the number of affordable health plan options for beneficiaries. Recipients are allowed to use the ACA-funded State Flexibility Grant...

New Jersey Gains CMS Approval for Reinsurance Program

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New Jersey has received approval from CMS to implement a five-year reinsurance program that aims to lower individual health plan premiums by 15 percent. The program will operate from 2019 to 2023 and provide $218 million in reinsurance...

CMS Proposed Rule Aims to Secure 2018 Risk Adjustment Payments

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CMS has proposed a new rule that aims to resolve legal issues over the risk adjustment program’s payment methodology.  The rule would ensure that payers will receive appropriate risk adjustment payments for plan year 2018. The...

CMS Final Rule Extends Short-Term Health Insurance to 3 Year Max

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CMS has issued a final rule that triples the length of time a beneficiary can keep short-term health insurance. The rule allows individuals to purchase a new short-term, limited benefit health plan that lasts for 12 months, or extend...

CMS Approves Wisconsin State Reinsurance Program

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CMS has approved Wisconsin’s plan to launch a state reinsurance program from 2019 to 2023 to help reduce individual state premiums and control the growth of state healthcare spending. The program, called the Wisconsin Healthcare...

12 Attorneys General File Lawsuit Over Association Health Plans

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A dozen state attorneys general are suing the Department of Labor (DOL) over the expansion of association health plan (AHPs).   In the suit, which was filed in the DC District Court of Appeals, the officials argue that broad...

CMS Proposes Site-Neutral Payments, Drug Price Negotiation

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CMS has proposed a rule that would expand the use of site-neutral payments and improve the drug price negotiation process with manufacturers in order to reduce Medicare’s overall spending. The new rule would allow Medicare to...

CMS: We Will Make $10.4B in 2017 Risk-Adjustment Payments

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CMS has issued a final rule that will allow the agency to disburse $10 billion in 2017 risk adjustment payments that had been in doubt due to a court ruling.   To comply with the initial outcome of a New Mexico lawsuit contending the...

CMS Proposes Drug Pricing, Price Transparency Changes for Medicare

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CMS has proposed a series of policy changes for Medicare that would promote prescription drug affordability within Medicare, and has also requested stakeholder comments about ways to improve price transparency for Medicare services. As...

CMS Cuts ACA Navigator Funding Grants by $26M for 2019

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CMS has announced a $26 million cut to funding grants for ACA navigators, from $36 million down to $10 million. CMS will provide a minimum of $100,000 in each of the states that operate a federally-facilitated exchange (FFE). The funding...

CMS Suspends $10.4B in Risk Adjustment Payments to Payers

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CMS has temporarily withheld $10.4 billion in risk adjustment payments for 654 healthcare payers, citing a ruling in the US District Court of New Mexico that invalidated the agency’s risk adjustment methodology. The ruling, which...

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