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News Release: End-of-Life Care Legislation Clears Key Committee Vote

December 12, 2017

News Release:  The Pennsylvania hospital community is praising the State Senate Health and Human Services Committee for its unanimous passage of legislation to help patients and their families communicate their end-of-life care wishes. Senate Bill 623, legislation sponsored by State Senator Gene Yaw (R–Lycoming), would establish the Pennsylvania Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program.

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PA Hospitals, Governor Urge Residents to Enroll for Coverage by December 15

December 11, 2017

Friday marks the deadline for the 2018 federal Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment and HAP, Pennsylvania’s hospitals, and Governor Tom Wolf are reminding individuals to make plan selections and complete enrollment by Friday, December 15.

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HAP Urges Congressional Support for Legislation to Reinstate the 340B Drug Pricing Program

December 08, 2017

As Congress finalizes its end-of-year agenda, HAP is urging members of Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation to cosponsor bipartisan legislation to block a detrimental new policy that will dramatically cut payments to certain hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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As Flu Season Enters Peak Months, Hospital Community Encourages Vaccination

December 07, 2017

Flu season is already under way:  it typically begins during October or November and peaks December through February. In an effort to encourage vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated the week of December 3–9 as National Influenza Week.

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Legislation Clarifying Opioid Reporting Requirements Passes Committee

December 06, 2017

The House Human Services Committee passed legislation, Senate Bill 728, to exempt epilepsy drugs from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program requirements. The prime sponsor, Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), indicated that policymakers have been made aware of the non-narcotic/non-opioid and non-addictive nature of these drugs.

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Federal Rebalancing Demonstration Report Released: Improved Quality, Reduced Costs

December 06, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its report to the President and Congress regarding the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration, a program established by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

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Moody’s Investors Service Changes 2018 Outlook for Not-for-Profit and Public Health Care to Negative

December 05, 2017

Moody’s Investor Service recently revised its outlook for credit conditions for the not-for-profit and public health care sectors during 2018 from stable to negative. Moody’s cites that revenue growth is under pressure because of lower payment increases, increased reliance on government payors, and the continued shift of employed groups and individuals to high deductible health plans.

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As CHIP Turns 25, Funding Extension Still Uncertain

December 05, 2017

This weekend, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) celebrated its 25th anniversary in Pennsylvania. Former Governor Robert P. Casey signed the original state CHIP authorization into law on December 2, 1992. The program served as a national model, and nearly seven years later, former President Bill Clinton signed legislation that enacted CHIP across the United States.

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News Release: HAP Statement about U.S. Senate-Passed Tax Plan

December 04, 2017

During Saturday, December 2, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Following the vote, Andy Carter, president and CEO of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) released the following statement.

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HAP Expresses Support for Extending Graduate Nurse Education Pilot

December 04, 2017

Andy Carter, HAP’s President and CEO, sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation endorsing the extension of the Medicare Graduate Nurse Education (GNE) Demonstration, an initiative that promotes clinical training of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) through partnerships between hospitals, schools of nursing, and non-hospital, community-based training sites.

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CMS Cancels Two Mandatory Bundled Payment Models

December 01, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its decision to cancel two mandatory bundled-payment models and reduce the number of providers required to participate in a third model.

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Marketplace Open Enrollment in PA: 124,000 Plan Selections So Far, Hospitals Continue to Push for Coverage

November 30, 2017

During the first four weeks of open enrollment (November 1–25), Pennsylvania has had 124,081 plan selections in the Health Insurance Marketplace via the HealthCare.gov platform.

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Drug Prices in Spotlight During Confirmation Hearing for HHS Secretary Nominee

November 29, 2017

Drug prices and the affordability of health care were key topics in the first confirmation hearing for Alex Azar, the nominee to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Telehealth Programs Likely to Expand, But Payment a Barrier

November 29, 2017

Most health care organizations and providers plan to expand their use of telehealth. But some also expressed concerns about reimbursement and other potential limitations, according to a recent study by KLAS Research and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. 

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Medicare Open Enrollment Ends December 7—Beneficiaries Should Review Options

November 28, 2017

Medicare Open Enrollment provides an opportunity for all Medicare beneficiaries to consider their health care coverage. The Medicare Open Enrollment period closes on December 7, 2017.

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