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Legislative Briefing in Harrisburg Raises Challenges, Opportunities for Healthy Aging in Rural PA

May 18, 2016

Pennsylvania House Health Committee Chair Matt Baker and Senate Aging and Youth Committee Chair Michele Brooks hosted today’s Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health annual legislative briefing, which focused on healthy aging in rural Pennsylvania.

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HHS Issues Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities Final Rule

May 18, 2016

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities final rule on May 13, implementing regulations already included in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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PA Hospitals’ Economic Contributions Grow to $115B, Up $4B from 2014

May 17, 2016

News Release: With a healthy economy high on the public’s list of priorities during this presidential election year, HAP releases its 2015 economic impact analysis showing that Pennsylvania hospitals continue to be a major contributor to the state and local economies.

All hospitals—not-for-profit and investor-owned combined—contributed nearly $115 billion to local and state economies during 2015, an increase of $4 billion from 2014.

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Federal Lawmakers Focus on Opioid Solutions; U.S. House Advances Bills

May 13, 2016

In the face of public outcry over opioid abuse, the U.S. House passed 18 bills targeted at addressing the opioid epidemic through a multi-pronged approach. The bills serve as a companion to comprehensive legislation, S. 524, Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), passed by the U.S. Senate during March. 

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Federal Hearing Considers Insurance Market Dynamics and Affordability

May 11, 2016

Federal lawmakers reviewed current dynamics in the health care insurance market and discussed areas to improve access to affordable health insurance coverage during a hearing that took place today. Lawmakers highlighted key issues that included providing better care at a lower cost, addressing the financial impact of premiums and deductibles, and ensuring meaningful access to care including network adequacy.

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HAP Tells CMS Part B Drug Payment Model Won’t Address Drug Costs

May 10, 2016

HAP recently submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to its proposed payment model for Part B drugs, saying that the proposal will not meaningfully address rising drug costs.

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New HHS Challenge: “A Bill You Can Understand”

May 10, 2016

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is encouraging providers to design a new patient-friendly medical bill that’s easier for consumers to understand. The “A Bill You Can Understand” innovation challenge will accept submissions until August 10, 2016, and winners will be announced during September.

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Despite Gains, Disparities in Coverage and Health Care Use Persist for Adults with Serious Psychological Distress

May 04, 2016

The Affordable Care Act appears to be helping Americans with serious psychological distress get health coverage and access care. Nevertheless, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows many of these adults forego treatment because of cost.

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CMS Publishes Final Quality Measure Development Plan

May 03, 2016

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final Quality Measure Development Plan (MDP) which will serve as the strategic framework for the future of clinical quality measure development in the new merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs).

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DHS Announces Changes to PA’s HealthChoices Contracting to Advance Value-Based Care

April 28, 2016

In an effort to improve the health outcomes for the 2.1 million Pennsylvanians covered under the state’s Medicaid program, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced yesterday that it will negotiate contracts with eight managed care organizations to deliver physical health services to Pennsylvanians in the HealthChoices Medicaid program.

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HHS Releases Proposed Rule for Medicare Payments

April 28, 2016

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule implementing key provisions of a new Quality Payment Program required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

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CMS Releases Medicaid Managed Care Final Rule

April 27, 2016

Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its long-awaited Medicaid managed care final rule in an effort to modernize the regulations to reflect changes in the usage of Medicaid managed care organizations as well as to better align with rules governing Medicare Advantage and private insurance. 

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CMS Releases Data on Health Disparities; HAP Encourages Hospitals to Engage on Issue

April 21, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a report identifying the quality of care received under Medicare Advantage by racial or ethnic group. 

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Bundled Payment Initiative Extended: Participating PA Hospitals May Continue Efforts

April 18, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be offering the awardees in the Bundled Paymentsfor Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative the opportunity to continue their work to better coordinate and integrate care.

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CMS Request for Information Follows Growing Interest in Regional Budget Payments

April 15, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) on its Regional Budget Payment Concept, which seeks to build upon its experience with a Maryland pilot program and follows growing interest in regional budget payments.

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