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AMA Lobbies To Limit Claims Data Releases, But Family Docs Push For More Data

The American Medical Association and specialists are lobbying Congress to limit the amount of billing data that CMS is publishing about physicians, but family doctors say making more data public will smooth out the controversies over CMS' release of Part B claims data in April.

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CMS should push back by one year its proposed schedule for changing Medicare pay codes for physician services, 71 medical societies tell CMS, and they have a proposal to align the schedules of AMA's CPT Editorial Panel and the its Specialty Society Relative Vale Scale Update Committee (RUC).

The administration on Friday (Aug. 22) proposed extending its accommodation for religious non-profits that object to covering contraceptive services to certain closely-held for-profit companies, and it issued an interim final rule that makes it easier for non-profits to avoid covering contraceptives.

Top lawmakers on the Senate health committee Friday (Aug. 22) unveiled a discussion draft bill that would streamline FDA's evaluation of sunscreen ingredients by establishing a timeline for reviews and also push the agency to establish timelines for other over-the-counter ingredients.

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A bill passed by the Senate and working its way through the House that would require CMS to extend an exemption to “direct supervision” rules for outpatient services in critical access and small rural hospitals has received a thumbs up from the Congressional Budget Office.

A U.S. federal claims court recently sided with CMS over a protest by CGI Federal, Inc., clearing the way for the agency to award the new recovery audit contracts, CMS told Inside Health Policy.

Contrary to popular belief, most of the emergency room visits by Medicaid beneficiaries are for urgent symptoms that require quick medical attention, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).

The Drug Enforcement Administration does not believe moving hydrocodone combination products from schedule III to the more restrictive schedule II would dissuade prescribers from dispensing the drug, the agency said Thursday (Aug. 21) in a final rule mandating the scheduling change.