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Of 220 ACOs In Shared Savings Program, Only 53 Earned Bonuses

Of the 220 accountable care organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, 53 ACOs earned bonuses and another 52 reduced Medicare costs but not by enough to share in savings, according to the first-year results released by CMS Tuesday (Sept. 16).

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House Ways & Means health subcommittee chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) questions HHS' authority to settle hospitals' appeals of denied inpatient claims and is urging HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to retract what he views as an "ill thought" settlement process.

The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and 15 other stakeholder organizations are again asking CMS to let providers show meaningful use of electronic health records for three months in 2015, as opposed to a full year -- arguing the program's success hinges on the agency offering flexibility for the 2015 reporting period.

Reps. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Jim Matheson (D-UT) introduced a bill to give doctors and hospitals more time to show the meaningful use of electronic health records in 2015, shortly after stakeholders -- including HIMSS, the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and 15 other groups -- warned HHS Tuesday (Sept. 16) that the success of the program depended on providers getting extra time and flexibility.

CMS deputy administrator Andy Slavitt said Monday (Sept. 15) that 115,000 people have yet to respond to multiple requests to provide data verifying immigration or citizenship status and are at risk of losing insurance coverage as of Sept. 30, and another 279,000 households may have their tax subsidies adjusted on Nov.1 if they fail to provide updated income data by the end of this month.

FDA may get mixed views from industry attorneys at a public meeting Wednesday set up to gather feedback on the idea of using a public process to consider a generic drug's eligibility for 180-day exclusivity.

Congress' Medicare payment advisers on Friday discussed different ways to pay for short hospital stays, though Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Chair Glenn Hackbarth also said it's unlikely that all of the policy problems surrounding short hospital stays would be solved by payment adjustments.

Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Pay Tiberi (R-OH) have reintroduced a measure which has failed in past sessions that would allow Medicare to cover in-home infusion therapies for severe infections, cancer or chronic diseases such as diabetes -- procedures that are regularly covered by private insurers, state Medicaid programs, Medicare Advantage plans, Tricare, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.

Medicare post-acute care legislation is back on the House floor this week after being pulled the week before August recess, according to a voting schedule by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).