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CMS Finalizes Fiscal 2022 Pay Bumps For Hospice, SNF, Psych, IRF

CMS on Thursday (July 29) finalized fiscal 2022 pay bumps for nursing homes, inpatient psychiatric facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and hospices, as well as durable medical equipment policies that were initially part of other regulations.

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CDC: New Data Suggest Need For Indoor Masking Regardless Of Risk Area

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested Friday (July 30) that even jurisdictions without substantial or high COVID-19 transmission might consider expanding prevention strategies, including requiring people wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, in light of newly released data that show 74% of those infected in a recent COVID-19 breakout in Massachusetts were fully vaccinated.

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CMS wants to again allow states to use part of a provider’s Medicaid payments to cover consenting independent home health workers’ dues to support third-party benefits like health care and training, according to a proposed rule released Friday (July 30).

House lawmakers on Thursday (July 29) told FDA officials they aren’t moving fast enough to approve drugs that treat neurodegenerative diseases, namely amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and they asked whether FDA needs authority to use a model similar to the Conditional Approval path Europe uses for some drugs.

The average monthly premium for standard Part D coverage is projected to be $33 next year, a 4.9% increase from $31.47 this year, CMS said Thursday (July 29).

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously Thursday (July 29) to advance four bipartisan bills that aim to lower prescription drug costs by increasing the availability of generic and biosimilar products through antitrust and patent reforms.

The House on Thursday (July 29) passed 219-208 an FDA spending package that would give the agency $3.45 billion for fiscal 2022, an 8% funding increase over fiscal 2021 levels.

CMS is seeking detailed feedback on how it should craft regulations covering rural emergency hospitals, coming as some researchers warn the agency needs to work with closely with stakeholders to ensure the new Rural Emergency Hospital designation is useful for rural providers and patients in those areas.

FDA on Wednesday (July 28) approved the first interchangeable biosimilar product, Mylan’s Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn) for treatment of diabetes, which is biosimilar to and interchangeable with its reference product, Sanofi’s Lantus (insulin glargine).

House Ways & Means health subcommittee Chair Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) is backing legislation to ease Medigap enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries -- a policy that beneficiary advocates have urged lawmakers to tuck into the Senate budget reconciliation package, but which was not included in the Senate’s recent framework for the package.