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MedPAC Weighs Uncertainties Around MIPs, Alternative Pay Models In SGR Replacement

Congressional Medicare payment advisers raised questions about the alternative pay models and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System included in the law replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate, and one commissioner called for new payment models to be carefully and rigorously thought out in light of the failed SGR formula.

GAO Taps Members Of Advisory Panel That Will Guide CMS On New Physician Pay Models

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CMS Chief of Staff Mandy Cohen will take on a new role of chief operating officer on Nov. 1 following the retirement of Deb Taylor at the end of this month, Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt and Acting Principal Deputy Administrator Patrick Conway wrote in an email announcing leadership changes they say “will set the table for CMS' long-term health and operational stability.”

Kentucky Health Cooperative on Friday (Oct. 9) became the first co-op to drop out of its health insurance exchange for 2016 following the release of federal risk corridor data, and blamed the lower-than-expected return to insurers for its decision not to offer plans next year.

House Republicans on Friday (Oct. 9) shepherded a budget reconciliation package that would repeal both key and never-implemented parts of the Affordable Care Act through the House Budget Committee, passing the legislative package in a 21-11 vote.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will vote against the confirmation of Robert Califf as the new FDA commissioner because of his ties to the pharmaceutical industry, the Democratic presidential candidate said in a release Friday (Oct. 9).

Legislation on government oversight of laboratory developed tests is not expected to be included in the initial draft of the Senate health committee's Innovation for Healthier Americans bill, the chamber's counter-part to the House-passed 21st Century Cures measure, lobbyist sources told Inside Health Policy.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) on Thursday (Oct. 8) introduced legislation in their respective chambers that would build on the Affordable Care Act by granting HHS the ability to reject or modify proposed rate increases.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest sued FDA Thursday (Oct. 9) demanding the agency respond to the group's 2005 citizen petition calling for stricter controls over salt levels in food.

A deputy director in FDA's drug center assured stakeholders that the agency has moved beyond the hiring and training of qualified reviewers and expects to clear out backlogged generic drug reviews in the next two years.