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The American Hospital Association’s good stewardship principles for the 340B Drug Pricing Program demonstrate and affirm the hospital community’s commitment to accountability and transparency for this vital program.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services waived program requirements in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued guidance for treating carbon monoxide poisoning in hurricane victims.

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Two senators lead a letter-signing campaign to stop the expansion of hospital outpatient department cuts; in a 99-1 vote, the Senate approves legislation to combat the opioid crisis and is poised to vote on a spending bill for fiscal year 2019.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration data provide a statistical context for the country’s opioid crisis and other behavioral health matters.

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Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are leading a letter that responds to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposal to expand site-neutral payment cuts to grandfathered outpatient clinics. Contact your senators as soon as possible and urge them to sign this letter.

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The association urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to adequately reimburse off-campus, provider-based departments and refine physician quality reporting to account for costs of care and the unique needs and patient populations served by essential hospitals.

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Several presentations at VITAL2018 focused on a foundational issue for essential hospitals—finance and payment policy—and provided member insights on topics such as Section 1115 Medicaid waivers, state policy trends in the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and digitizing the revenue cycle.

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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute focuses on three new areas of interest in this funding opportunity, which supports clinical effectiveness research that seeks to eliminate health care disparities; letters of intent are due Nov. 6.

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will accept proposed topics for Evidence-based Practice Center reports through Sept. 21.

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Applications are open for two projects of particular interest to essential hospitals: the Systems for Action research program and the Culture of Health Prize.

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America’s Essential Hospitals, the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and 340B Health filed their lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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The Senate is expected to vote this week on a bipartisan legislative package to combat the opioid crisis. The House considers legislation to roll back Affordable Care Act provisions.

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In a blog post, a Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness official notes that providers should consider health equity during emergency preparedness, response, and recovery to ensure disparities are not inadvertently created or exacerbated.

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New data show 472 accountable care organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program cared for 9 million program beneficiaries in 2017.

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America’s Essential Hospitals, the American Hospital Association, and the Association of American Medical Colleges, along with three hospital plaintiffs, refiled our lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reverse Medicare cuts to 340B hospitals.

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New resources from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center outline new hacking and malware threats and prevention techniques.

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Before starting the final campaign stretch, Congress returns to Washington to consider Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and to fund the federal government for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

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Essential hospitals face the challenge of food insecurity daily; nationwide, they serve more than 10 million patients who lack access to healthy food. Association members UMass Memorial Health Care and Hurley Medical Center shared initiatives to address this issue at a Capitol Hill briefing.

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Covered entities that fail to complete recertification by the deadline will be removed from the 340B Drug Pricing Program for a minimum of one quarter.

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The hospital-specific reports, available for download through Sept. 24, use dual eligibility as the social risk factor for stratification of readmission rates within a hospital and enable comparison of differences across hospitals.

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The toolkit includes strategies and examples to help Medicaid agencies prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters.

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Leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions expressed concern that the Health Resources and Services Administration is not using its existing authority to ensure proper management of the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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The Senate passed a funding package for the Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments and now must reconcile its version with House-passed legislation.

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In its response, the association encouraged federal regulators to revisit the Stark law with an eye toward easing barriers to care coordination and reducing regulatory burden.

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The Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model seeks to target physical and behavioral health needs through prevention, early identification, and treatment.

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The letter marks the first time the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has clearly described its budget neutrality calculation and represents its attempts to streamline the waiver process and control costs.

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The new guidance outlines the types of rules association health plans must follow under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and reiterates that states and the Department of Labor have a joint responsibility to regulate such plans.

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Essential hospitals improve population health through innovative approaches to address the social determinants of health and promote community-integrated health care. Several presentations on population health at VITAL2018, our annual meeting, highlighted key insights from population health leaders.

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In an Aug. 16 bulletin, the agency announced it has decreased approval times for state plan amendments and Section 1915 waivers through a process improvement strategy and will continue efforts to streamline the waiver approval process.

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A proposed rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program would overhaul participation tracks to create a "glide path" along which accountable care organizations could transition from a rewards-only model to a two-sided model with risk and the potential for greater rewards.

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Our Hospitals, Our Patients

America’s Essential Hospitals’ annual membership profile finds that essential hospitals across the nation continue to provide more uncompensated care, treat more uninsured and Medicaid patients on average than other U.S. hospitals.

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Postelection Policy Assembly

Policy Assembly will give essential hospitals an opportunity to shape late-breaking health care legislation, as well as lay the foundation for advancing high-priority policy initiatives in the next session of Congress.

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Value-Based Care Collaborative

America’s Essential Hospitals and Premier have partnered to help essential hospitals plan for and succeed in value-based care and payment models. Our new collaborative focuses on Medicaid, uninsured, and underinsured populations.

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