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Legislation to Repeal SGR Introduced by U.S. House and Senate Leaders

March 19, 2015

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation to permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) for Medicare physician payments was introduced in the U.S. House today. Absent action by Congress, physicians will see a 21 percent reduction in Medicare payments starting on April 1.

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U.S. Senate Releases Proposed Budget

March 19, 2015

The U.S. Senate Budget Committee released its proposed budget resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2016, which seeks to balance the nation’s budget in ten years.

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Patient Status Notification Legislation Passes U.S. House

March 17, 2015

The U.S. House passed H.R. 876, the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act, which would require hospitals to provide notice to Medicare beneficiaries about their patient status.

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U.S. House Majority Releases FY 2016 Budget

March 17, 2015

The U.S. House Budget Committee unveiled its proposed budget resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The budget would reduce spending by $5.5 trillion during the next ten years to balance the federal budget.

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U.S. House Passes Trauma Care Legislation

March 17, 2015

The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed two bills—H.R. 647, Access to Life-Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act, and H.R. 648, Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act—that would improve trauma care and support trauma systems.

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Federal Legislation to Account for Socioeconomic Risk in Readmissions

March 11, 2015

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate—H.R. 1343 / S. 688—that would adjust the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program to account for patients’ socioeconomic status when calculating the risk-adjusted readmission penalties.

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Effort to Align Standards for Hospital Based Nursing Program

March 11, 2015

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate—S. 629, the Making the Education of Nurses Dependable for Schools (MEND) Act—would align accreditation and regulatory requirements for hospital-based nursing education programs receiving Medicare “pass-through” support payments.

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Majority Leaders Release Draft Proposal to Extend CHIP

February 25, 2015

U.S. Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16), along with the chairmen of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce and U.S. Senate Finance Committees, released a discussion draft which would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and modify program requirements.

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Allocation of Federal Ebola Preparedness Funding Announced

February 23, 2015

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response released a funding opportunity announcement which allocates some of the Ebola preparedness funding authorized by Congress this past December.

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CMS Publishes Proposed Medicare Advantage Payments and Policy Changes

February 23, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed 2016 payment and policy changes for Medicare Advantage (managed care) and Part D prescription drug programs.

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