Archive for Medicare regulations

 

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 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

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

Federal Health Policy Update for Thursday, May 12

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

Provider Relief Fund

HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released $450 million in American Rescue Plan grants to rural health care providers.  Go here to find the updated database of rural grant recipients.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure have written to the nation’s governors about some of the challenges states will face when the COVID-19 public health emergency ends, including the redetermination of eligibility for current participants in Medicaid, CHIP, and Basic Health Programs and the need to address the flexibilities states have adopted to facilitate the delivery of care under the unusual conditions the pandemic has posed.  In addition to reminding governors of the president’s pledge to give them “…at least 60-days’ notice before any expiration or termination of the PHE,” the letter also includes links to tools that HHS and CMS have developed to help states with the work ahead.  Go here to see the letter from the HHS officials to governors.
  • HHS has announced

Federal Health Policy Update for Thursday, May 5

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 5.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS and its Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have awarded nearly $25 million to 125 HRSA-funded health centers to improve and strengthen access to school-based health services.  Awards will support local partnerships between schools and health centers to provide children and youth with comprehensive physical and mental health care.  Learn more from this HHS news release.
  • HHS and its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have announced $55 million in funding for SAMHSA’s Tribal Opioid Response grant program.  The grant program seeks to address the overdose crisis in tribal communities by increasing access to FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid misuse and supporting prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services for opioid and stimulant misuse and co-occurring mental and substance use conditions.  Funding will be provided each year for up to 150 grantees over a two-year project period beginning late FY 2022.  Learn more about the program from this HHS news release and learn more about