Archive for Medicaid

 

Federal Health Policy Update for Thursday, June 30

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 30.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

White House

The White House has unveiled its “White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis.”

Monkeypox Update

  • The White House has announced the first phase of its national monkeypox vaccine strategy, a part of its monkeypox outbreak response.  The major components of the strategy include expanded efforts to vaccinate those most at risk, expanded testing supply and availability, and greater engagement with community leaders and stakeholders.  Learn more about the White House’s plan from this fact sheet.
  • HHS has announced an enhanced nationwide vaccination strategy to mitigate the spread of monkeypox.  The strategy includes vaccinating and protecting those at risk of monkeypox, prioritizing vaccines for areas with the highest numbers of cases, and providing guidance to state, territorial, tribal, and local health officials to aid their planning and response efforts.  HHS will provide 296,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine.  Of that amount, 56,000 doses will be made available immediately and an additional 240,000 doses will be made available in the coming weeks.  HHS expects more

Federal Health Policy Update for Monday, June 27

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:15 p.m. on Monday, June 27.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

White House

The White House COVID-19 response team has briefed the press about the administration’s latest efforts in the response to COVID-19.  Find a transcript of that briefing here and find the slides presented during that briefing here.

Supreme Court

In a case that challenged a 2005 change in how CMS calculates Medicare disproportionate share (Medicare DSH) payments, the Supreme Court has, in a 5-4 decision, reversed a lower court ruling and upheld CMS’s policy to count days of care for which Medicare does not pay in the Medicare fraction of the Medicare DSH percentage – a policy change widely viewed as disadvantageous to hospitals that care for larger numbers of low-income patients.  This means that Medicare exhausted days and days of care provided to Medicare enrollees with another source of third-party coverage count in the numerator and denominator of the Medicare fraction.  In most cases this results in a lower percentage of a hospital’s Medicare patients also being eligible for SSI and the lowering of that …

Federal Health Policy Update for Tuesday, June 21

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that CMS acted inappropriately when it reduced 340B payments to hospitals.  In a unanimous decision, the court found that the law creating the program gives the federal government two ways to set 340B payments for outpatient drugs for qualified providers and that the manner in which CMS cut those payments in 2018 followed neither.  Learn more from the Supreme Court opinion.
  • CMS has approved requests from Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C. to expand from 60 days to 12 months postpartum Medicaid and CHIP coverage, as authorized temporarily by the American Rescue Plan.  This brings to 14 the number of states that have taken advantage of this option.  Learn more from this HHS news release.
  • The latest edition of MLN Connects, CMS’s online newsletter about Medicare reimbursement issues, includes items about FY 2023 ICD-10 diagnosis codes, the July update of the ambulatory surgical center payment system, revised requirements for mental health visits via

Using Medicaid Money to Pay the Rent?

Some people think the time has come for Medicaid to help pay for housing for the homeless in the name of health and health equity.

“In the last decade Medicaid has inched toward acknowledging the interconnectedness of housing and health,” the New York Times reports, adding that “It has encouraged more state Medicaid programs to cover housing-related costs like furniture or security deposits – basically everything except paying the rent.”

In addition, most conversations about social determinants of health identify housing insecurity as a major obstacle to good health and health equity.  The Bush and Obama administrations invested in creating supportive housing beds for the homeless, leading to a decline of one-third in chronic homelessness, but in recent years such spending has not increased even as chronic homelessness has risen more than 40 percent.

Now, local officials find themselves increasingly looking to Medicaid to help address homelessness, and they have two apparent success stories to point to as proof that such an approach can work:  Philadelphia and Arizona, which have found ways to support housing for the homeless while remaining within federal guidelines for how Medicaid money can be spent.

Learn more about this new interest in using Medicaid money …

Federal Health Policy Update for Monday, June 13

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Monday, June 13.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

White House

  • The White House has issued a fact sheet outlining its plan for administering COVID-19 vaccines to children under the age of five.  Find the fact sheet here.  The White House also held a background call with the press to discuss this plan; go here to see a transcript of that call.
  • The White House COVID-19 response team has held a briefing for the press to discuss the latest in the federal response to the virus.  Find a transcript of that briefing here.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has created new HCPCS codes so providers may bill for stand-alone vaccine counseling they provide to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries; these codes can be used for stand-alone vaccine counseling provided in-person and/or via telehealth.  Go here for a list of the codes and an explanation of what each code covers.
  • CMS has developed and published webinar content from its Performance Period 2022 Eligible Clinician Electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM) Education and Outreach Webinar Series.  PDF