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Arkansas' Handling Of Private Option A Test Case For GOP If SCOTUS Axes Subsidies

The way that Arkansas' incoming GOP governor handles the state's Medicaid “private option” is a test case of the tough political choices that GOP-led states will face if the U.S Supreme Court rules that ACA subsidies aren't available in federally run exchanges, a health care sector analyst said.

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FDA's decision to punt to September 2015 a rule requiring generic drug companies to unilaterally update labels when new safety information emerges opens a window for generic companies to continue their fight to overturn the measure but disappoints public health advocates who view the labeling shift as a key drug safety measure.

A key safety equipment trade group is endorsing a set of new international specifications for choosing personal protective equipment (PPE) for stopping the spread of Ebola among health care workers and patients, saying selection of PPE should be tied to established performance standards and not “panic buys” stemming from Ebola-related crises.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee scheduled a hearing next Wednesday (Dec. 3) to examine the future of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is set to run out of funding in September 2015 unless Congress authorizes additional money, and also made clear that it would be tackling the issue next year.

Movie theaters and amusement parks are now required to post calorie amounts next to food items sold at concession stands as part of major changes to a proposed rule FDA finalized Tuesday that also agitated grocery store groups and food retailers due to the scope of retail establishments covered.

CMS, the government's lead agency in regulating how thousands of clinical laboratories reliably conduct testing on human specimens, is urging state health officials to ensure that labs follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in specimen collection to stop the potential spread of Ebola -- and hew to safety mandates and guidelines including those issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as part of infection control.

PCCA, a supplier of drug compounding chemicals and supplies, has established a preferred provider network of accredited member pharmacies, with the network seeking to mimic health insurers' preferred provider organizations.

The Medicare fee-for-service improper payment rate rose again in fiscal 2014, to almost 13 percent, according to a report recently released by HHS, and Recovery Audit Contractors point out that the increase coincides with CMS' decision to pause the RACs and limit what audits they could conduct.

CMS is giving hospitals an extra month to show meaningful use of electronic health records in 2014, pushing back the deadline for attesting to the so-called meaningful use program from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, the agency announced Monday (Nov. 24).