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CMS Releases Proposed FY 2018 Medicare Payment Policies and Rates

April 17, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2018 Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System.

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Quality Assurance Group Makes Changes to Evaluation of Patient-Centered Medical Home Program

April 11, 2017

The National Committee for Quality Assurance introduced changes to its Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition program to increase provider flexibility and move to an annual check-in process.

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CMS to Test Clinical-Community Collaboration to Assist Patients, Align Services

April 06, 2017

In an effort to support local communities in addressing the health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will provide support to 32 organizations—including Pennsylvania’s Reading Hospital—working to bridge the gap between clinical and community services.

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Survey Finds Small Physician Groups Need Help with MACRA Implementation

April 05, 2017

A new survey commissioned by Healthcare Informatics shows that, despite the slower pacing of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), many small physician groups are not fully prepared for its implementation during 2017.

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NAM Report: Policy Priorities for Better Health with Lower Per-Capita Spending

March 27, 2017

The National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative  released its final report outlining top policy priorities for improving Americans’ health while reducing what we spend per-capita on health care. The report summarizes 19 papers and a national symposium that examined the issue over the past 18 months.

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CMS Delays New Bundled Payments, Again

March 21, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted notice of its intent to further delay the implementation of new cardiac bundled payment models and the expansion of the existing joint replacement bundle until May 20, 2017. This delay comes after an initial postponement from January 21 to March 21, 2017, as a result of the 60-day regulatory freeze by the Trump Administration.

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Pennsylvania Saw More Than 425,000 Marketplace Selections in 2017 Open Enrollment; More Than 116,000 Were New Consumers

March 17, 2017

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its full report for the 2017 open enrollment period in addition to public use files. Of the more than 425,000 Pennsylvania Marketplace selections, twenty-seven percent, more than 116,000 Pennsylvanians, were new consumers.

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Legislation to Partially Repeal and Replace the ACA Clears Final U.S. House Committee; Floor Vote Possible Next Week

March 16, 2017

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation that would partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cleared the U.S. House Budget Committee by a narrow vote of 19 to 17. The legislation could be considered on the U.S. House Floor as early as next week.

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HAP Welcomes Recommendations to Streamline Quality Measures

March 16, 2017

Today, the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) issued a report recommending improvements to quality measures used in federal programs. MAP’s focus on quality measurement centers on ensuring better health care for patients and reduced burdens for providers.

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CMS Releases Final Report on Health Insurance Marketplaces for 2017 Open Enrollment, Pennsylvania Saw More than 425,000 Plan Selections

March 15, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its full report for the 2017 open enrollment period. Approximately 12.2 million consumers selected or were automatically re-enrolled in a Marketplace plan during open enrollment.

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Estimates on AHCA Impact Issued as Hospital Community Awaits CBO Scoring

March 10, 2017

As legislators, policymakers, and the hospital community await the scoring on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)—likely to be issued next week—a number of national policy organizations have issued estimates regarding the impact of the proposal, which would partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

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HAP Says New ACA Replacement Plan Will Not Provide Comparable Health Care

March 07, 2017

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) President and CEO Andy Carter issued a statement about the House Republicans’ American Health Care Act expressing concern about coverage for the most vulnerable.

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National Report Projects Health Care Spending to Average 5.6 Percent During the Next Decade

February 21, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its national health expenditure projections for 2016–2025. The findings reflect that health spending, influenced by aging “baby boomers,” is expected to begin to increase at a faster rate, with the slowest growth during 2016 (4.8 percent) and 2017 (5.4 percent), and then higher increases during the remaining years. This follows a period of historically slow national health care spending growth.

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Health Care’s Transition to Value-Based, Patient-Centered Care Continues Through Population Health

February 20, 2017

Population health management is a key factor as health care executives work to control costs, and improve health care quality and outcomes. A new study looks at the evolution of population health management in the United States. 

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Medicaid Redesign Expert, Seema Verma, Receives Hearing to Serve as Head of CMS

February 16, 2017

In a hearing today, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee considered the nomination of Seema Verma—an experienced health care policy consultant who has championed redesign of Medicaid in several states—as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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