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MedPAC Revisits Using 'Least Costly Alternative' Policy To Control Drug Prices

A few congressional Medicare advisers said they want to consider using CMS' stalled least-costly-alternative approach to control drug prices after seeming to lose interest in the controversial policy earlier this year.

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Electronic health records must be able to create antimicrobial use and resistance reporting information for electronic transmission under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s EHR 2015 criteria released Tuesday (Oct.6).

FDA won't provide criteria to antimicrobial animal drug sponsors on how to estimate species-specific drug sales and distribution data for the agency's recently proposed reporting requirements, an FDA official told stakeholders last week.

A deputy director in FDA's drug center assured stakeholders that the agency has moved beyond the hiring and training of qualified reviewers and expects to clear out backlogged generic drug reviews in the next two years.

The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals plans to expand its settlement conference facilitation pilot to include more appeals and will extend the program beyond Part B claims to also include Part A claims sometime next year, the office recently unveiled.

Home health care providers, as they sue CMS over the Medicare home health face-to-face policy, are also looking to Congress to revamp the requirement and are pleased the House Energy & Commerce Committee is discussing draft legislation that would ease burdens on providers.

CMS announced Wednesday (Oct. 7) the participants in the dialysis accountable care organizations, and industry expects that later in the week the agency will announce details of the star-ratings program for end-stage renal disease.

Unique device identifiers will be a required field in electronic health records under CMS' meaningful use Stage 3 rule and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's EHR 2015 criteria released Tuesday (Oct. 6).

Democrats in the Senate and House on Wednesday (Oct. 7) urged Republicans to stop a 52 percent increase in Part B premiums and a significant deductible increase next year for about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, but they didn't say whether or how they would pay for it.