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New CMS Rule Provides Regulatory Relief for Providers

September 18, 2018

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new proposed rule designed to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens associated with Medicare’s health care facility compliance regulations. CMS projects savings of nearly $5.2 billion and reduction of 53 million hours of administrative burden through 2021.  

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New Census Reporting Confirms that PA’s Uninsured Rate Held Steady at 5.5% for 2017; Cuts to Navigator Funding Pose Challenges for 2019 Open Enrollment

September 17, 2018

The U.S. Census Bureau last week announced good news for Pennsylvania’s health care. Despite uncertainty stemming from federal policy actions that could have undermined marketplace enrollment during 2017, Pennsylvania’s uninsured rate held steady at a low 5.5 percent.

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Advocates for Medical Research Call for Investments in the National Institutes of Health

September 14, 2018

A broad coalition of medical research advocates, including researchers and stakeholders representing more than 300 organizations and institutions, are urging Congress to make funding the National Institutes of Health a national priority.

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HAP Outlines Priorities for Physician Payment Policy

September 11, 2018

This week, HAP provided feedback for newly proposed policies that will impact how physicians are paid and seek to promote the goals of an initiative to encourage providers to focus on “Patients over Paperwork.”

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Legislation Championed by Senator Casey to Support Training of Pediatricians Poised to Become Law

September 06, 2018

The U.S. Senate approved legislation, spearheaded by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D, PA), that will support and reinforce the training of pediatricians and pediatric specialists.

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Hospitals Refile Lawsuit to Reverse 340B Cuts

September 05, 2018

Several national provider organizations and three hospital plaintiffs refiled their lawsuit to reverse Medicare payment cuts for many hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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Forty Eight Percent of Survey Respondents Support National Health Insurance Program

August 31, 2018

According to the results of PwC’s Health Research Institute survey on national health plans, 48 percent of respondents support a national health insurance program available to all Americans in which physician practices and hospitals would remain private, while 57 percent support expanding Medicaid eligibility to any US resident.

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CMS Announces New Model to Address Impact of the Opioid Crisis for Children

August 29, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new Innovation Center state payment and local service delivery model, Integrated Care for Kids (InCK), to combat the nation’s opioid crisis.

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HAP Calls for Modernizing Stark Law to Promote Care Coordination

August 23, 2018

The 1989 physician self-referral law or “Stark Law”—which was designed to address overutilization in a fee-for-service environment—is antiquated and must be modernized to meet the objectives of the new value-based payment system, which rewards quality over quantity of care. In a comment letter issued today, HAP endorsed efforts to modernize Stark Law to enable hospitals and physicians to coordinate care and improve patient outcomes. 

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Pennsylvanians That Didn’t Receive New Medicare Cards Urged to Follow-up

August 14, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in conjunction with its distribution timeline, has completed mailing new Medicare cards to beneficiaries in Pennsylvania. Federal officials have provided instructions for residents who haven’t received their new card.

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AHA Calls for Changes to Stark Law to Ensure Greater Patient Care Coordination and Improved Outcomes

August 06, 2018

The American Hospital Association recently sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services calling for exceptions to the Stark Law to enable hospitals and physicians to coordinate care and improve patient outcomes.

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PA Hospital Perspective, Economic Impact Shared During Federal Opioid Policy Roundtable

August 03, 2018

Federal and state policymakers received input from business leaders, local officials and hospital and health care providers during a roundtable policy discussion this week in Somerset exploring the impact of the opioid crisis on economic development in Appalachia counties.

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PA Insurance Commissioner Issues Letter to HHS on State’s Plan to Implement Association Health Plans Rule

August 02, 2018

Today, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman sent a letter to the U.S. departments of Labor and Health and Human Services outlining the state Insurance Department’s position on the implementation of a federal rule aiming to expand association health plans (AHP).

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Trump Administration Continues to Promote Less-Costly, Less-Generous Coverage

August 01, 2018

A newly finalized federal policy significantly extends the amount of time individuals may remain enrolled in short-term health insurance plans from three months to up to three years. The stated intent of the policy is to expand access to less expensive alternative insurance options; however, these plans are not subject to the full patient protections and benefits assured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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Federal Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense Features Hospital Preparedness, Highlights PA’s Coordinated Preparedness

July 31, 2018

In testimony before today’s meeting of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D, PA) spoke about his efforts to reauthorize the hospital preparedness program and pointed to Pennsylvania as a leader in adopting a coordinated regional approach to preparedness.

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