Archive for Telehealth

 

Federal Health Policy Update for Monday, August 8`

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Monday, August 8.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

Congress

On Sunday, the Senate passed the Democrats’ health care, climate, and tax bill, H.R. 5376, The Inflation Reduction Act, by a vote of 51-50, with Vice President Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.  Health care provisions in the reconciliation bill include:

  • allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices
  • limiting out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare enrollees to $2,000 a year
  • extending for three years enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies for individuals to buy health insurance on the marketplace.

The bill now heads to the House, which expects to pass it Friday.  Find the Democrats’ summary of the bill’s health care provisions here.

White House

President Biden has issued an “Executive Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services” to build on action the administration has taken to protect access to reproductive health care services.  The executive order coincides with the first meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access and includes actions to support patients traveling out of state for medical care, even raising …

Federal Health Policy Update for Wednesday, July 27

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27.  Some of the language used below is taken directly from government documents.

Final Medicare Payment Regulations for FY 2023

  • CMS has issued its final FY 2023 Medicare inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) payment system regulation, finalizing a rate increase of 3.9 percent, which is greater than the 2.8 percent the agency proposed in April.  To learn more about CMS’s final IRF payment rule for FY 2023, see this CMS fact sheet and the final rule itself.
  • CMS also has finalized its Medicare inpatient psychiatric facility prospective payment system final rule for FY 2023, including a 2.5 percent rate increase.  Learn more from this CMS fact sheet and the final rule itself.
  • In addition, CMS has published its FY 2023 hospice payment rate update final rule, finalizing a 3.8 percent rate increase.  Learn more from this CMS fact sheet and from the final rule itself.

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 its latest briefing here.

The White House …

Federal Health Policy Update for Wednesday, July 20

The following is the latest health policy news from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20.  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 teleconference briefing here.

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra has renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency effective July 15.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • CMS has released its proposed Medicare outpatient prospective payment system regulation for calendar year 2023.  Highlights include:
    • A proposed rate increase of 2.7 percent for Medicare-covered outpatient services.
    • A proposed rate increase of 2.7 percent for ambulatory surgical center services.
    • A proposal to pay rural sole-community hospitals the full outpatient prospective payment system rate, rather than the site-neutral, physician fee schedule equivalent rate, for clinic visits in excepted off-campus provider-based departments.
    • An incomplete proposal for 340B payments in which CMS is formally proposing a payment rate of average sale price minus 22.5 percent for drugs and biologicals acquired through the 340B program, as it has been in recent years, but the proposed

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 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