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Week in Washington Included Movement on Drug Pricing, Protecting the ACA, Surprise Balance Bills

May 10, 2019

Health care coverage and associated costs took center stage in Washington, D.C. this week, with the U.S. Congress and Trump Administration working to advance policies to address drug prices, health care bills, and access to health coverage.  

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Court Again Rejects 340B Payment Cuts; Calls for Quick Resolution on Remedy

May 07, 2019

Consistent with a ruling during late December, a Federal District Court judge ruled yesterday that the Administration’s nearly 30 percent cut to Medicare payments to hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program was unlawful and ordered the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to resolve the harm caused by the cuts “promptly.”

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Annual Graduate Medical Education Day Brings Residency Shortages to the Forefront

May 06, 2019

Today in Washington, D.C., hospital advocates participated in the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) Graduate Medical Education (GME) Day of Action to reinforce the importance of Congressional support for residency programs, workforce initiatives, and learning opportunities across the United States, in an effort to meet society’s ever-evolving health care needs.

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Legislation Reintroduced to Strengthen the Workforce to Respond to the Opioid Epidemic

May 03, 2019

Building on sustained efforts at the federal level to address the opioid epidemic over the last two Congressional sessions, federal lawmakers reinitiated a bipartisan effort to strengthen the health care workforce’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis by incentivizing the training of more addiction specialists.

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U.S. House Hearing, New CBO Report Identify Complicated Considerations for Single-payor, Medicare for All

May 02, 2019

As policy conversation in Washington, D.C., continues to explore avenues to advance health care reform and Democrat presidential hopefuls are challenged to define their perspectives regarding a single-payor health care system, a Congressional hearing in the U.S. House Rules Committee this week and a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) highlight the complicated considerations surrounding such a significant health care overhaul.

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PA Hospitals to See Slightly Reduced Penalties under New CMS Rule

April 29, 2019

A study published last week in JAMA Internal Medicine analyzed how Medicare’s recent changes to the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) affect hospitals with high versus low proportions of dual Medicaid- and Medicare-eligible patient populations. 

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PA’s Senator Casey Calls for Strong Commitment to NIH Funding to Support Research That Saves and Improves Lives

April 18, 2019

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) are taking a lead role advocating for federal funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the 2020 federal budget.

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New Report Outlines Potential Pitfalls of Site-neutral Payment Policies

April 11, 2019

A recent American Hospital Association (AHA) report provides new insight into site-neutral payments, which may impact the reimbursement rate for the care that hospitals provide to patients in outpatient settings.

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Federal Lawmakers and Stakeholders Aligned in Focusing on Protecting Patients from Surprise Balance Bills

April 03, 2019

Broad consensus continues to emerge regarding the need to pursue policy that will protect patients from surprise balance billing.

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HAP Supports a State-based Health Insurance Exchange in Pennsylvania

March 29, 2019

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department is proposing to create a state-based health insurance exchange to better serve Pennsylvanians with a target implementation date of 2021. 

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Future of ACA in Focus as Administration Challenges Law and U.S. House Democrats Reaffirm Support

March 26, 2019

As the U.S. Department of Justice called for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a Texas District Court decision invalidating the Affordable Care Act (ACA), U.S. House Democrats are pursuing a legislative strategy to reinforce patient protections under the ACA and protect the ACA insurance markets from actions by the Trump Administration to undermine the law.

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HAP Statement: HAP Takes Action to Protect Patients’ Access to Care

March 25, 2019

On behalf of Pennsylvania patients and the hospitals they count on for care, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) today filed a motion in the Middle District Federal Court to intervene in a lawsuit resulting from the significant policy consequences of recent actions by the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

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U.S. HHS Leader Azar Pledges Historic Regulatory Reforms During 2019

March 20, 2019

Federal Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar addressed health care attorneys this week about the role that regulatory reform plays in better health care at a lower cost.

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U.S. House Committee Exercises Oversight of “Skinny” Health Plans

March 15, 2019

The U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee initiated an oversight investigation into the practices of short-term, limited duration insurance health care plans and insurance brokers. 

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Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Funding Extension Reintroduced

March 14, 2019

A bipartisan, bicameral group of federal lawmakers today held a press conference to announce the introduction of the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act—legislation that would extend and expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic initiative.

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