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In DC, Exchange Heads Pushing Status Quo With Some Updates In Mind

State exchange directors head to Washington this week for talks with administration officials, with a message that they hope to maintain the marketplaces' status quo -- with a few regulatory tweaks -- as President Barack Obama's tenure draws to a close, officials from nearly a dozen exchanges told Inside Health Policy.

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CMS on Monday (July 25) proposed another mandatory pay bundle, this one for cardiac care, along with a cardiac rehabilitation incentive-pay program and the addition of hip and femur fractures to the hip and knee replacement pay bundle.

CMS officials proposed Monday (July 25) a cardiac bundled pay demonstration that would count as an alternative pay model that receives a 5 percent pay bonus under the upcoming physician pay system, and they're proposing to also let other bundled-pay models qualify.

CMS is seeking input from stakeholders on a wide-range of topics for a future rule to revise the Open Payments system, according the proposed 2017 physician fee schedule and an announcement for an open door forum to gather ideas.

CMS on Thursday (July 21) put out data on the national distribution of overall hospital quality star ratings and by hospital characteristics and said it would soon post the ratings for individual hospitals, but hospitals remain concerned.

Although the House Ways & Means Committee on July 13 passed a bill again delaying the so-called 25 percent rule for long-term care hospitals, an analyst and hospital lobbyist say it is unlikely that LTCHs will get out from under the pay restriction in large part because Congress doesn't have much time to pass the legislation.

Key health IT groups take issue with FDA's press for use of ONC-certified electronic health record date in clinical trials, telling the agency that ONC requirements don't meet the rigor required for clinical investigations and impede data interoperability.

New FDA guidance outlining steps for codevelopment of in vitro companion (IVD) diagnostic devices drew praise from industry sources for its emphasis on open communication among sponsors and agency centers.

HHS' task force on cybersecurity heard from an industry official on how to expand participation by healthcare providers in an info-sharing organization, discussed the role of procurement rules in identifying security vulnerabilities, and seemed to agree that additional standards are likely not needed.