Beneficiary advocates are closely watching to see how CMS reacts as some states seek to limit the scope of Medicaid pregnancy coverage to services directly related to pregnancy, according to one women's health advocate.
Before passing SGR-repeal legislation Thursday (Dec. 12), the Senate Finance Committee approved seven amendments, including one by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) that increases Medicare payments for rural doctors, instead of increasing pay 0.5 percent for all physicians, which is the approach taken by the House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce committees.
HHS on Thursday (Dec. 12) released an interim final rule containing a series of strategies that aim to help consumers transition into new private coverage without experiencing gaps in coverage, many of which -- including a possibility for consumers to enroll throughout January and get coverage retroactive to Jan. 1 -- depend upon decisions made by industry.
HHS, facing pressure from the association representing state-run high risk pools to extend the ACA's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, has decided not to terminate the PCIP program on Dec. 31 and instead will give current enrollees the option of keeping their coverage until Jan. 31, 2014.
The Center for American Progress' nonprofit arm Doctors for America says that House Republicans are breaking away from their own ideology by complaining that the Affordable Care Act is causing insurers to drop expensive providers from their networks, while acknowledging network adequacy is a big concern for states and the federal government.
House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Wednesday alleged the Obama administration is criminally obstructing lawmakers' probe of healthcare.gov's launch by insisting HHS contractors defer to CMS when getting queries from Capitol Hill.
CMS revised the summary of a recent study on the impact of mail-order pharmacies on the Part D program, emphasizing in the updated version that, overall, mail-order negotiated prices are lower than retail pharmacies -- though the agency says it remains concerned that some mail-order plans have prices that are higher than those of retail pharmacies.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told lawmakers Wednesday morning (Dec. 11) that she has asked the HHS Inspector General to investigate the flawed rollout of healthcare.gov, and has requested that CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner immediately hire a "chief risk officer" who will be responsible for mitigating any IT security problems and reporting on CMS' contracting process.
As the White House continues its press resistant GOP states to expand their Medicaid programs, House Energy and Commerce Republicans say states won't be able to handle the coverage expansions under the health reform law and beneficiaries could face a situation where they do not have adequate access to physicians or may have to experience lengthy waits for necessary medical treatments.
The Obama administration Dec. 10 freed up $100 million allocated in the 2014 budget to hire more mental health providers in community health centers and expand and build mental health facilities, part of the movement to align mental health benefits and access to medical care.
FDA's new draft guidance that seeks to clarify how often companies need to use established names with brand names in advertising could relieve companies of continued mention of generic names, an industry source said.
There should be a permanent solution to prevent FDA user fees from being treated like taxpayer dollars and sequestered, the Advanced Medical Technology Association said . . .
Surgeon groups on Wednesday (Dec. 11) withdrew their opposition to a Medicare doctor-pay reform bill by the House Ways & Means Committee one day . . .
The deal announced by budget negotiators late Tuesday (Dec. 10) could influence movement on Medicare physician-pay reforms because it could boost trust between the parties . . .
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute announced Tuesday (Dec. 10) that it will be accepting applications for two new advisory panels: on rare diseases and clinical . . .
The National Partnership for Women and Families said it was disappointed by CMS' decision to extend the second stage of the meaningful use of electronic . . .