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Cancellation of Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Raises Concern for Premium Increases, Destabilization of Insurance Markets

October 13, 2017

The announcement that the Trump Administration will not fulfil cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—designed to help reduce health care costs for lower-income Americans—raises serious concern for the stability of the health insurance marketplaces and significant premium increases.

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Administration Pursues Insurance Market Policy Changes through Executive Order

October 12, 2017

An executive order issued today by President Donald Trump seeks to promote health insurance options that do not have to adhere to all of the requirements and protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the executive order—Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States, the Secretaries of the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health & Human Services (HHS) are directed to review existing policies and put forth proposed regulations or revised guidance that will expand the availability and use of those insurance mechanisms.

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Congressional Committee Hears How Hospitals Use 340B Drug Pricing Program

October 11, 2017

In a hearing before the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, health care providers testified to how the 340B Drug Pricing Program helps them expand and improve access to care.

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GAO Report Highlights the Need for Federal Action to Address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

October 06, 2017

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), as directed by requirements included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, examined Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in the United States and related federal government response. A new GAO report describes the hospital and non-hospital settings for treating infants with NAS and how Medicaid pays for services, describes recommended practices and challenges for addressing NAS, and examines the federal strategy for addressing NAS.

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MedPAC Highlights Flaws in MIPS Design; Urges Immediate Repeal

October 06, 2017

After its analysis of the Merit-Based Payment Incentive System (MIPS), the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is urging the immediate repeal and replacement of the new payment system introduced as part of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

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U.S. Senate Stays Engaged in Federal Opioid Response

October 05, 2017

During the first in a series of hearings—The Federal Response to the Opioid Crisis—the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee heard from health care agency heads regarding actions to respond to the opioid crisis and implementation of recently enacted federal policy to address the epidemic.

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CHIP Funding Bills Advance; Delay to DSH Cuts Under Consideration

October 04, 2017

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee separately worked to advance legislation that would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The House legislation also would provide a one-year delay to impending Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment cuts. Addressing both policy issues—CHIP and DSH—is crucial to maintaining access to health insurance coverage and care for Pennsylvania patients.

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Federal Lawmakers Urge Delay of DSH Payment Cuts; Eight from PA Sign Letter

September 29, 2017

More than 220 members of the U.S. House, including eight from Pennsylvania, called for a delay in cuts to hospitals that serve a high proportion of Medicaid and uninsured patients.

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Pennsylvania Delegation Pushes CHIP Funding Extension

September 29, 2017

Seventeen members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation penned a letter to Congressional leaders urging swift action to extend federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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Bipartisan U.S. House Letter Urges CMS to Rescind Proposed Cuts to 340B Drug Pricing Program

September 28, 2017

Ten members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation have signed a bipartisan letter urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to abandon a proposed policy that will limit hospitals' use of the 340B Drug Pricing Program to better serve their patients. 

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CMS: Hospital Star Ratings On Hold, Methodology Under Consideration

September 28, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it will not update its overall hospital quality star ratings on the Hospital Compare website during October. The agency abandoned the planned update in order to continue to consider potential changes to the star rating methodology. The American Hospital Association and HAP have long advocated that improvements to the rating methodology are in order.

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U.S. Senate Approves Bipartisan Plan to Improve Care for Seniors with Chronic Conditions

September 27, 2017

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved bipartisan legislation that will improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries living with chronic conditions and also will lower costs.

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News Release: HAP Statement about Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson

September 27, 2017

News Release:  Yesterday, U.S. Senators abandoned a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the September 30 budget reconciliation deadline. They did not obtain the commitments for the 50 votes needed to pass the bill. Following the announcement, Andy Carter, president and CEO of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), released the following statement.

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U.S. Senate Abandons Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson ACA Repeal and Replace Proposal

September 26, 2017

Faced with a tide of opposition from health care stakeholders, advocates, patients and consumers, the U.S. Senate abandoned an effort to vote on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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U.S. Senate Pushes for Consideration of Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Proposal; PA Impact in Spotlight

September 25, 2017

In testimony before a U.S. Senate commitee, Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of Human Services said the newest ACA repeal and replace plan would reverse the state's low uninsured rate and result in skyrocketing numbers of uninsured individuals.

 

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