Energy & Commerce Republicans Announce Sweeping Health Hearing

Lawmakers will consider a plethora of health care bills aimed at increasing patient access to care and reducing red tape for providers, House Energy & Commerce Republicans announced Thursday (Oct. 12). The hearing comes as the lower chamber continues to struggle with its speaker selection process, all amid the ticking clock of a dwindling continuing funding resolution set to expire in just one month and health care extenders to deal with. The hearing is set for the morning of Thursday...
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CMS Issue: 
Inside CMS - 10/19/2023
CMS Volume: 
Vol. 26, No. 42
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HHS Recommends Marijuana Scheduling Change Using FDA Data

HHS has recommended to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that marijuana be moved from a Schedule I to a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), a move that would allow it to be made available via prescription and increase its availability in medical research, winning immediate praise from Democrats who favor decriminalization. Bloomberg reported Wednesday (Aug. 30) that the recommendation was based on an extensive review of evidence on the control status of marijuana by FDA,...
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FDA Issue: 
FDA Week - 09/01/2023
FDA Volume: 
Vol. 29, No. 35
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Labs Pleased CMS Opening Process For Revising Medicare Pay Rates

Laboratories are pleased that CMS is opening the process of setting reimbursement for laboratory services, just as it is doing for physician services, which will give labs more say over pay rates. The change, which is part of the annual Physician Fee Schedule rule unveiled late last week, adds to the run of positive developments for labs that started when Congress replaced CMS' plan to change clinical lab fees based on technological changes in the patch to the Sustainable Growth...
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Newsletter Volume: 
Vol. 17, No. 28
Newsletter Issue: 
Inside CMS - 07/10/2014
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Moran Report: Outpatient Chemo Costs Higher Than Clinics

Patients who receive chemotherapy in hospital outpatient departments cost Medicare more than those who receive the same care in cancer clinics, according to a Moran Company report for the US Oncology Network and Community Oncology Alliance. The oncologists are using the report to fight CMS' proposal to pay the same rates for cancer care in physician offices and outpatient departments. The Moran report finds that outpatient chemotherapy spending per beneficiary was 25 percent to 47 percent higher than physician clinic...
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Editor's Note

There will be no updates posted June 19 in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.
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CBO: After Historic Lows, Uninsured Rate Will Rise Due To Immigration, Expired ACA Subsidies, Medicaid Disenrollments

The uninsured rate could climb to 8.9% by 2034, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, attributing the rise to a surge in immigration, the expiration of enhanced marketplace insurance subsidies after 2025 and the unwinding of the pandemic-era protections for Medicaid enrollees -- though analysts now expect fewer beneficiaries than previously expected will lose coverage due to the unwinding. CBO also expects Medicare to grow from 60 million to 74 million by 2034 and two-thirds of beneficiaries will be in...
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ASTHO, NAMD Ask Congress To Fully Fund Territories’ Medicaid, CHIP

United States territories’ Medicaid programs still aren’t sustainably funded, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) say in a Tuesday (June 18) letter to key lawmakers calling for an end to the territories’ annual cap and equality and permanency for Puerto Rico’s federal Medicaid matching rate. After years of temporary fixes to give territories funding beyond their statutory limit of 55% in federal funding, Congress approved a long-term solution in...
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Long COVID Advocates Meet With HHS To Urge Antiviral Research, Raise NASEM Definition Concerns

Long COVID patient advocates will meet with HHS officials on Tuesday (June 18) to push for increased research into whether long COVID is caused by viral persistence and to advocate for testing antiviral treatments. The groups, led by the Long COVID Action Project and the Long COVID Foundation, will also discuss their opposition to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) proposed long COVID definition, and the mask bans proposed in various states. The groups also will promote...
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E&C Discuses Lengthening Telehealth Diabetes Prevention Bill

House lawmakers and stakeholders are considering creating a Medicare diabetes prevention telehealth option that would last five years when the full House Energy & Commerce Committee takes up broader telehealth extension legislation, coming after the E&C health subcommittee recently voted for a two-year virtual diabetes program, a key lobbyist told Inside TeleHealth . The full committee’s decision to delay marking up its broader telehealth extension bill gives proponents of the separate diabetes bill extra time to lobby for a...
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CMS To Shutter Advanced Payment Program For Change Attack

CMS will end the program that sent advanced payments to some Medicare providers to mitigate the effects of February’s attack on Change Healthcare, the agency announced Monday (June 17). Launched in March, CMS’ Accelerated and Advanced Program (AAP) for the Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD) sent more than $2.55 billion in payments to about 4,200 Part A providers and 4,722 payments totaling $717.8 million to Part B providers. Providers and suppliers are able to bill Medicare again and CMS says...
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