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Patient Groups Eye More Discrimination Complaints Against Exchange Plans

An HIV/AIDS patient advocate involved in a discrimination complaint against several Florida health plans offering products on that state's exchange is talking with advocacy groups covering a variety of diseases about filing similar challenges in additional states.

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A case to be heard by the Supreme Court in October over whether the North Carolina dental board can keep dental hygienists from opening up independent teeth whitening clinics may have wider implications for ongoing efforts to expand the scope of practice for other medical professionals such as nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

CMS plans to use the expanded prior authorization demonstration for power wheelchairs to help direct its future fraud investigations, the agency says in a notice on the demonstration.

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers Tuesday (July 29) asked governors for advice on how to extend or revise the Children's Health Insurance Program, which will lose funding after Sept. 30, 2015.

The Government Accountability Office recommended Tuesday (July 29) that CMS increase its oversight and transparency of funding sources that states use to pay their share of Medicaid because states often bump up federal-match Medicaid payments by taxing providers and making local governments chip in for Medicaid.

A recent New England Journal of Medicine article, penned by Harvard professors and researchers who highlighted potential shortfalls of increasing accelerated approvals under new and proposed FDA pathways, drew strong backlash from stakeholders pushing these ideas.

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) said FDA's proposed expedited program for premarket approval medical devices is too narrowly tailored and should be expanded to include devices cleared through the 510(k) pathway.

The Institute of Medicine on Tuesday (July 29) drew objections from teaching hospital and physician groups by proposing Medicare overhaul the way it funds physician training. Teaching hospitals complained the recommendations would cut their graduate medical education funding by 35 percent and exacerbate workforce shortages.

The National Quality Forum will use a trial to test the impact of sociodemographic factors -- such as income and education -- on programs like the hospital readmissions program, but some stakeholders say that the open-ended trial leaves no clear path forward and Congress should step in.