POLICY BRIEFINGS


Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


THIS WEEK'S BRIEFING - MAY 31, 2016


Lawmakers Continue to Comment on Part B Demonstration


Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has written to Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Andy Slavitt offering comments on the proposed Part B Drug Payment Model. Sen. Blumenthal urges CMS to “establish a formal mechanism that allows for direct patient input throughout the duration of the Model.” He also encourages CMS to monitor the model’s effect on access to medication and to educate beneficiaries about any potential impacts of the model. “By enabling input from beneficiaries and the health care community,” Sen. Blumenthal writes, “the Model can improve health care quality and enhance the cost-effectiveness of the Medicare program.”


Ways and Means Advances Hospital Pay Change Legislation


Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the bipartisan Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act (H.R. 5273) by voice vote. The package makes a number of changes to Medicare hospital payment policy. It would ease the hospital readmissions penalty by accounting for the socioeconomic status of patient populations. The legislation would also exempt hospitals that already had plans for off-campus office construction underway at the time of last year’s budget deal passage to receive higher reimbursement rates. The budget deal would require that these offices receive the lower reimbursement rates paid to physician offices. H.R. 5273 will now be advanced to the full House floor for consideration.



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