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Advocates Say Shutdown May Put FDA Hiring Efforts, Food Safety At Risk

Food safety advocates say that the month-long partial government shutdown could have long-term negative effects on the morale of FDA’s food inspection staff, as well as FDA’s ability to retain and hire personnel, who might be turned off by the prospect of being furloughed.

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CMS proposed Friday (Jan. 18) to share with insurers savings from lower Part D catastrophic spending in return for plans agreeing to penalties when they exceed spending targets.

Arizona is the eighth state to receive permission from the Trump administration to add work requirements to its Medicaid program, and after months of behind-the-scenes negotiations between state officials and CMS lawyers, CMS allowed the state to exempt some Native Americans from the requirements.

CMS on Friday (Jan. 18) announced a nation-wide expansion and several new features of its Value-Based Insurance Design model, which provides flexibility to Medicare Advantage plans with the goal of encouraging beneficiaries to consume high-value clinical services.

House Energy & Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) says his committee will be looking into the Medicaid work requirement waivers, which the Trump administration has approved for eight states, but E&C oversight subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) says they aren’t at the top of her agenda.

Federal Medicare advisers grappled Thursday (Jan. 17) with how CMS could better track opioid use in hospitals and encourage non-opioid alternatives, and it must report to Congress on those issues by March due to a mandate in last year’s landmark opioid bill.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted Thursday (Jan. 17) on 2020 payment recommendations for provider services ahead of CMS’ release of its annual pay rules and policies.

The 2020 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, the crucial rule that will set the requirements for next year’s Affordable Care Act marketplaces, cleared the review at the White House Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday (Jan. 16) and could be published soon.

The number of Arkansas Medicaid beneficiaries who lost coverage as a result of the state’s newly enacted work requirements grew to more than 18,000 last month, according to data released by the state Tuesday (Jan. 15).

The White House Office of Budget and Management’s review of CMS’ tweaked home health pre-claims review demonstration, now called the Review Choice Demonstration for Home Health Services, has seemingly stalled since CMS submitted it to OMB for review, leaving Illinois providers preparing for a demonstration with an uncertain start date.