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GAO Warns Of Exchange Enrollment Fiasco Redux Unless CMS Gets Handle On Contractors

The Government Accountability Office will tell a House Energy and Commerce panel Thursday (July 31) that future exchange open enrollment periods could falter like the first unless CMS improves its management of contractors, according to advance testimony that reveals CMS had spent $840 million on the federal exchange system as of March.

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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.

In the flood of bills leading up to August recess, Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Wednesday (July 30) introduced legislation to extend by two years an ACA policy that temporarily bumped up Medicaid payments for primary care physician services to match Medicare rates.

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.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Tuesday (July 29) issued a report finding that premiums in California increased significantly from 2013 to 2014, and said that he expects increases to continue because the state has no authority to reject the rates insurance companies have proposed.

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.