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CMS confirmed Tuesday it will cancel two mandatory bundled payment programs and scale back another—and not all hospitals are happy about it.

A rule title posted to the Federal Register on Aug. 10 indicates CMS will cancel two mandatory bundled payment programs, the Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Models (EPMs) and Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive (CRI) Payment Models, while changing a separate payment program on joint replacements.

Following up on recommendations by his own White House commission, President Donald Trump said he will declare a national public health emergency on the opioid addiction epidemic, which would have an impact on healthcare providers.

In an analysis of what Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange insurers are requesting to charge customers in 21 major cities in 2018, the Kaiser Family Foundation found the cost for the second-lowest silver-level plan will range from $244 to $631 per month, with most enrollees cushioned from the price hikes by federal subsidies.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill on Aug. 3 which would allow terminally ill patients the “right to try” experimental treatments that haven’t yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but critics say it gives patients false hope without allowing for federal oversight.

 

Recent Headlines

AHIP: Market instability, higher premiums for sicker enrollees under Cruz amendment

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), health insurers’ largest lobbying group, has been largely silent on Senate Republicans’ version on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan, but now is warning against a conservative amendment to allow insurers to now offer plans which don’t comply with ACA regulations.

Senate delaying August recess to work on healthcare bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has taken the unusual step of delaying the Senate’s August recess, announcing the chamber will stay in session during the first two weeks of the month to address legislative priorities like the replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

CMS: Fewer insurer sign-ups on exchange show ACA is ‘failing’

The number of applications for insurers planning to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges for 2018 has fallen by 38 percent, according to CMS.

Senate unlikely to vote on ACA repeal until week of July 17

After failing to meet their self-imposed June 30 deadline to vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), Senate Republicans now say they’ll need another week in Washington before the bill may advance.

CBO: Senate healthcare bill would cut Medicaid more deeply over 20-year period

If the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) became law, Medicaid spending would be 35 percent lower by 2036 compared to levels under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report.

Legislation limiting malpractice damages passes House

Noneconomic damages in certain medical malpractice lawsuits would be capped at $250,000 under a bill passed through the House with only Republican support on June 28.

Senate to delay ACA replacement vote until after July 4 recess

The Senate will not vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act before the July 4 recess. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, informed his Republican colleagues at a June 27 lunch, according to multiple news outlets.

CBO: Senate’s ACA repeal bill would destabilize some markets, increase deductibles

Some 22 million more people would be uninsured by 2026, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs would sharply rise while premiums would be lower and certain markets could be unstable if the Senate’s version of an Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace plan becomes law, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Six-month insurance lockout penalty added to Senate ACA repeal bill

Four days after they first released it publicly, Senate Republicans have made a change to their version on Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace legislation, adding a “continuous coverage” provision to try and discourage people from canceling their insurance plans.

Industry groups oppose Senate ACA repeal: ‘We cannot let this happen’

Reaction to the Senate’s version of an Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace plan, titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) ranged from strong opposition from physician and hospital groups to outrage from Democrats, while one insurance organization saw some positives in the legislation.

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