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COVID-19 Update: Friday, December 4

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the state and federal governments as of 2:45 p.m. on Friday, December 4. SNAP Advocacy SNAP has written to Congress to request additional COVID-19 legislation between now and the end of the year.  SNAP asked Congress for additional funding for the Provider Relief Fund; extension of the temporary moratorium on continued implementation of the 2011 Budget Control Act’s Medicare sequestration; and the suspension of any other federal cuts for health care providers, such as the scheduled reduction of Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allocations to the states.  Read SNAP’s message to Congress. Pennsylvania Update Department of Health The Department of Health has posted a fact sheet on the CDC’s arrangement with pharmacies … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

SNAP Seeks Help From End-of-Year Federal Legislation

Eliminate Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts (Medicaid DSH), appropriate additional resources for the Provider Relief Fund, and extend the current suspension of the two percent sequestration of Medicare spending, the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania asked members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation in a letter SNAP sent earlier this week. The request comes as Congress returns to Washington to take up the funding of the federal government at a time when authorization for spending under a continuing resolution ends on December 11.  In addition to addressing federal funding, Congress also may consider COVID-19 legislation. Learn more from SNAP’s letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation.

Posted in COVID-19, DSH hospitals, Federal Medicaid issues, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

SNAP Asks PA Congressional Delegation to Help Preserve Federal COVID-19 Aid for Hospitals

Protect the COVID-19 aid the federal government has given to Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals and others, SNAP has asked in a letter to members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation. The letter refers to changes in how the federal Department of Health and Human Services wants hospitals to calculate the revenue they lost as a result of COVID-19 – the justification in part for the Provider Relief Fund payments hospitals have received through the CARES Act.  In June, HHS told hospitals how to make that calculation but late last month it changed those directions in ways that could force many Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals to return some or even much of the federal aid they received. In the letter, SNAP asks members of Pennsylvania’s … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

MFAR is Dead

At least for now. The controversial Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation, slated for implementation this fall over the objections of many health care stakeholders, will not move forward at this time. In a tweet earlier this week, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma wrote that We’ve listened closely to concerns that have been raised by our state and provider partners about potential unintended consequences of the proposed rule, which require further study.  Therefore, CMS is withdrawing the rule from the regulatory agenda. If implemented, opponents maintained, the regulation would have: Deprived states of important, established policy-making prerogatives. Created major new administrative burdens for state governments and hospitals. Inappropriately regulated financing of the state share of Medicaid spending. Introduced … Read More

Posted in Federal Medicaid issues, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

Eliminate Medicaid DSH Cut, SNAP Asks PA Delegation

A Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government in FY 2021 should eliminate a cut in federal Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments to the states, and the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has written to the state’s congressional delegation asking its members to convey this message to congressional leaders. The cut was mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act but has never been implemented. In its letter to the delegation, SNAP wrote that The Medicaid DSH cut was predicated on the expectation that the Affordable Care Act would greatly reduce the number of uninsured Americans, and while it has, millions remain uninsured, including nearly 700,000 Pennsylvanians – a number thought to be rising because of the job loss associated with … Read More

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

SNAP Asks PA Delegation to Help Prevent Attempt to Undermine 340B

Pharmaceutical companies are attempting to prevent safety-net hospitals and others from receiving the full benefits of the section 340B prescription drug discount program and the Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania has asked of the state’s congressional delegation to sign a congressional letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking to him intervene and stop the pharmaceutical companies. In asking members of the delegation to sign onto the bipartisan letter, SNAP notes that The 340B program is essential for Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals, other qualified Pennsylvania providers, and others like us throughout the country, enabling us to obtain discounts on prescription drugs we dispense on an outpatient basis to qualified, low-income patients. The program greatly enhances the ability of hospitals to … Read More

Posted in 340b, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

SNAP Asks PA Senators for COVID-19 Help

Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals need help with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health emergency, SNAP wrote yesterday in a letter to Pennsylvania senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey. In its letter, SNAP asked the senators to advocate: An additional $100 billion for hospitals. Forgiveness for money provided to hospitals through the federal CARES Act’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program. An increase in the federal Medicaid matching rate (FMAP). An increase in states’ Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments and a delay in the scheduled implementation of Medicaid DSH allotment cuts to the states. Action to prevent implementation of the Medicaid fiscal accountability regulation. A moratorium on changes in hospital eligibility for the 340B prescription drug discount program, Medicare indirect … Read More

Posted in 340b, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Federal Medicaid issues, Medicaid supplemental payments, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

SNAP Warns State About Use of COVID-19 Survey Data

On Thursday SNAP wrote to Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller to point out challenges that arise in the potential use and interpretation of the data hospitals have reported to DHS in that agency’s survey of hospitals’ financial condition as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the letter, SNAP cautioned against possibly inappropriate interpretations of some of this data and offered to work with DHS officials to address these concerns.  See SNAP’s letter here.

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

COVID-19 Update: June 11, 2020

Coronavirus update for Thursday, June 11 as of 4:00 p.m. SNAP Advocacy SNAP wrote to Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller to point out challenges that arise in the potential use and interpretation of data hospitals have reported in DHS’s survey of hospitals’ financial condition as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  SNAP cautioned against possibly erroneous interpretations of some of this data and offered to work with DHS officials to address these concerns.  See SNAP’s letter here. Department of Human Services DHS has published a report on its most recent stakeholder meeting.  Two passages in that report are of particular interest and relevance: CARES Funding Update Work continues to prepare for distribution of funds for providers from the … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania

COVID-19 Update: June 4, 2020

Coronavirus update for Thursday, June 4 as of 2:30 p.m. Pennsylvania Update SNAP Advocacy Today SNAP wrote to Pennsylvania senators Robert Casey and Pat Toomey to ask them to pursue legislation with five major COVID-19-related policy initiatives that Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals need: A 14-point increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). An additional $100 billion for hospitals. Another delay in implementation of Affordable Care Act-mandated cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share (Medicaid DSH) allotments. Prevention of implementation of the Medicare fiscal accountability regulation (MFAR). Reduced interest rates and a longer payback period for Medicare payments advanced to hospitals through the CARES Act’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program. See SNAP’s letter here. Governor Wolf Governor Wolf announced that the Office of … Read More

Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Pennsylvania safety-net hospitals, Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania, Uncategorized
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2012 Safety-Net Association of Pennsylvania