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Insurance Commissioners, Governors To Testify At Senate Health Committee Hearings On Market Stabilization

State insurance commissioners will testify before the Senate health committee on Sept. 6 and governors will follow up on Sept. 7 as Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Democrat Patty Murray (WA) lead the effort on a stabilization package for the individual markets in 2018.

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CMS' Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment recommended Monday (Aug. 21) the agency drop a proposal to cut hospitals' Medicare reimbursement for drugs purchased through the 340B discount program.

CMS officials have been working on a Request For Information on the direction of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, according to sources familiar with the RFI.

Republican health reform efforts may have stalled but Democrats are moving forward on a number of proposals that aim to build on the existing infrastructure in a move toward universal coverage and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) will soon introduce legislation that would expand Medicare to all Americans.

In a newly published New England Journal of Medicine article, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb expanded on how FDA will move forward with establishing a regulatory framework to lower nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes, including considering peer-reviewed studies to determine a maximum nicotine level, looking into how lowering nicotine will affect current smokers' behavior and investigating the potential for smokers to turn to alternative tobacco products.

Durable medical equipment suppliers say legislation to provide “long-term relief” from Medicare pay cuts for suppliers in rural and non-competitive bid areas as well as address fee schedule cuts for stationary oxygen and allow an exemption from competitive bidding for accessories for manual complex rehabilitation technology could be introduced when lawmakers return from August recess.

FDA's Pediatric Advisory Committee will weigh the safety and benefits of using opioid products to treat cough in children as part of a two-day meeting next month that will also include discussion on whether several other drugs and devices can safely be used for children.

After receiving an unsatisfactory response to a citizen petition calling for FDA action on formaldehyde in keratin hair straighteners, two environmental groups are suing FDA in an attempt to force the agency to make a decision, within a set time period, on whether to ban the ingredient.