Archive for July 2017
The House Ways and Means Committee’s Health Subcommittee has launched a new initiative to attempt to improve the delivery of Medicare services and eliminate statutory and regulatory obstacles to more effective care delivery. The subcommittee describes its “Medicare Red Tape Relief Project” as …a new initiative to deliver relief from the regulations and mandates that impede innovation, drive up costs, and ultimately stand in the way of delivering better care for Medicare beneficiaries. In support of this initiative, the committee has announced a three-part approach in which it will seek feedback from stakeholders, host roundtables with stakeholders across the country, and pursue congressional action to address the problems identified through this process. As part of the first step, the Health … Read More
Last week the House Energy and Commerce Committee took a look at the 340B prescription drug discount program, which requires pharmaceutical companies to sell discounted drugs for outpatient use to hospitals that care for especially large numbers of low-income patients. The previous week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a proposed Medicare regulation calling for significant reductions in Medicare payments for such drugs. The hearing touched on the CMS proposal to reduce Medicare payments for 340B drugs, the high prices of prescription drugs, the 340B program’s growth over the years, the possibility that the program is being abused by hospitals and clinics, and more. The 340B program is an essential tool in the efforts of Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals … Read More
The combination of Congress attempting either to repeal and replace or repair the Affordable Care Act and Pennsylvania facing a multi-billion budget shortfall has led some policy-makers in Harrisburg to begin talking about ways to better manage or reduce the state’s Medicaid costs. Those costs climbed from $3.9 billion in 2004 to $6 billion in 2014. Among the possibilities state lawmakers are discussing: tighter rules for participation, greater efficiency, work and work search requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients, charging premiums for high-income families for which Medicaid provides coverage for their profoundly disabled children, and a pilot program to test whether a recipient care management program might eliminate medical errors, improve recipient health, and reduce health care costs. Learn more about … Read More
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published its latest Health Law News. Included in the June/July edition are articles about the status of Pennsylvania’s FY 2018 budget, including possible changes in the state human services code; a delay in awarding new HealthChoices contracts; new quality initiatives in the state’s contracts with HealthChoices managed care organizations; an update on the implementation of Community HealthChoices, the state’s new program of managed long-term services and supports; and more. Find the newsletter here.
Medicaid beneficiaries are generally satisfied with their access to care and the quality of care they receive. Or so reports a new study based on results of the federal Medicaid Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey for December of 2014 to July of 2015. According to the survey, nearly half of Medicaid patients rated their overall care 7.9 or greater on a scale of 10; 84 percent reported that they had been able to receive all of the care they needed over the past six months; and most were generally satisfied with the coverage. Relatively few reported problems finding providers willing to accept their Medicaid coverage. Survey results generally were slightly more positive in Medicaid expansion states … Read More