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Angoff Says No Talk That Subsidies Unavailable In Fed Exchange When He Was At HHS

Jay Angoff, who was the administration’s first chief of the ACA implementation office, tells Inside Health Policy that while during his tenure many HHS officials clearly wanted states to establish their own exchanges, there was never an indication that subsidies would not be available through the federal exchange.

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The Senate health committee will kick off hearings on its version of the House 21st Century Cures Initiative next Tuesday with a meeting featuring outgoing FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins.

Two key drug industry groups are urging the Senate health panel to embrace an expedited approval pathway for breakthrough therapies as part of its recently unveiled initiative “Innovation for Healthier Americans” -- which parallels the House's 21st Century Cures efforts -- as well as weighing in on issues such as using real-world evidence to determine therapeutic benefits.

CMS opened an invitation to stakeholders across the industry to join the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network to expand alternative payment models beyond Medicare and into Medicaid and the private sector and laid out details for how the forum will work.

Medicare regulations are not keeping pace with payment reforms, and that gap between those pay reforms, which often involve penalties, and the lack of updates to regulations that help hospitals implement them exacerbates the financial hardships that hospitals face, hospital executives said Thursday (Feb. 26).

CMS last week opted not to create additional exceptions for major life events that would trigger a special enrollment period (SEP) in federally run exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, saddening consumer advocates who called for pregnancy and domestic violence to be added to a list of SEP categories in the final 2016 benefit and payment parameters rule released Friday (Feb. 20).

American Medical Association this week weighed in on how it would like to see House lawmakers tackle laboratory-developed tests in their evolving 21st Century Cures bill: The physicians group says only a small subset of complex genetic and genomic tests should be subject to FDA regulation and otherwise opposes the LDT framework developed by the agency last year.

It would be tough for FDA to track whether a traditional compounding facility, which is not required to register with the agency, is limiting its compounding of drugs to specific indications, said an FDA official at a Pharmacy Compounding Advisory Committee meeting Tuesday (Feb. 24).

The House Ways & Means Committee narrowed the scope of its earlier proposal to lock some beneficiaries into certain pharmacies and providers or “safe pharmacies networks” as the committee marked up the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act Thursday (Feb. 26), but otherwise made few changes to the broad anti-fraud bill before unanimously passing it out of committee.