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America’s Essential Hospitals invites you to our Fall Policy Assembly, Oct. 24 – 25, in Washington, D.C. At this event we will demonstrate our commitment to increasing equitable access to quality health care services for all patients, and emphasize the need for continued funding support for this work, especially as Congress considers cuts that could force essential hospitals to scale back vital community services.

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EssentialCommunities.org provides a resource for hospitals on the journey to community-integrated health care. Learn more about how our hospitals address social and economic factors that influence health, take a virtual tour of population health programs nationwide, and share a program of your own.

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The move jeopardizes coverage for millions of working Americans, could substantially raise premiums for those who remain in marketplace plans, and could increase uncompensated care costs at essential hospitals.

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The five-year demonstration project, beginning Jan. 1, 2018, aims to strengthen substance use disorder care for state Medicaid beneficiaries.

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The Congressional Budget Office estimates premiums will increase 20 percent by 2018 and the uninsured population will increase by 1 million; 19 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit arguing that withholding the payments violates current law.

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From Oct. 15 to Oct. 21, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology will raise awareness about antibiotic resistance through a Twitter chat and new infographic.

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The fellowship, based at Harvard University, is designed to prepare physician-leaders to improve health system capacity and promote policies and practices to improve access to care for minority, disadvantaged, and vulnerable populations.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' frequently asked questions document clarifies aspects of the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity final rule for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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The document explains hospital payment adjustments under the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; adjustments are applied as a reduction to the hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System percentage increase for FY 2018.

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The Buffalo, N.Y., hospital took a creative approach to animal-assisted therapy by inviting two Shetland ponies, Quinton and Lilly, to visit patients.

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Ending the government’s cost-sharing subsidies to insurers in the Affordable Care Act marketplace won’t fix the law’s shortcomings or move us closer to a workable alternative. It only will destabilize the insurance market and drive costs higher for patients who can least afford increases.

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Interpersonal violence is considered a social determinant of health; several association members have worked to reduce such violence as part of community-integrated health care.

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Essential hospitals use naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug, to fight the growing opioid crisis; the association will host an Oct. 17 webinar on navigating the opioid crisis at essential hospitals.

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Hospitals will have until Nov. 21 to complete the recertification process through the new Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System.

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Senate and House bills to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program are similar, but the House version includes a one-year delay of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts.

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A new website launched by Essential Hospitals Institute can help hospitals evaluate their community’s greatest needs to determine where population health efforts will be most valuable.

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America's Essential Hospitals opposed the proposed payment model, which would have reduced Medicare payments to providers for Part B drugs.

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Hospitals have until Oct. 31 to preview their quality data; CMS hospital-specific preview reports for overall quality star ratings will be available to hospitals in mid-October.

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The emergency operations center was activated in January 2016 to respond to the harmful effects of the virus when contracted during pregnancy.

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Hospitals use the worksheet S-10 to submit uncompensated care data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the agency will begin using the worksheet to calculate Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments in fiscal year 2018.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not receive any letters of intent for the 2018 start date of the Medicare-Medicaid accountable care organization model.

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America's Essential Hospitals appreciates the one-year delay of cuts to disproportionate share hospital payments and will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for a two-year delay to provide greater stability for hospitals and more time to find a long-term fix.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will conduct field testing from Oct. 16 to Nov. 15 of eight episode-based cost measures for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

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The new road map recommends policies and practices providers can adopt to promote health equity and eliminate disparities.

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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will hold an informational town hall session on Oct. 17 for interested applicants; letters of intent are due Oct. 31.

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America’s Essential Hospitals applauds the HEALTHY KIDS Act for extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program but remains concerned the bill's disproportionate share hospital provision will make it harder to find a sustainable solution to uncompensated care.

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The harmful payment reduction was included in the 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule, expected to be finalized this fall.

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The federal fiscal year came to a close Sept. 30, ending a nearly yearlong congressional effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and bringing tax reform efforts and other health care priorities to the forefront in Congress.

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Clinicians can participate in the first year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and avoid a negative payment adjustment if they begin collecting data by Dec. 31.

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America's Essential Hospitals was among those urging the agency to suspend overall star ratings and examine concerns with the methodology.

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The most recent delay to July 2018 comes after the Health Resources and Services Administration issued a proposed rule seeking feedback from stakeholders.

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Reductions to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, went into effect on Oct. 1. A total of $2 billion will be cut from Medicaid DSH funding in fiscal year 2018 alone.

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The new directive applies to Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, but the specifics vary by country.

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Providers can register a new entity or contract pharmacy through the 340B Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System through Oct. 16.

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With 153 clinical C. auris cases reported in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated infection control guidelines.

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This video shares strategies to improve injection safety and reduce infection risks in narcotic diversion; participants must sign up for a free Medscape account to view the video.

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Three health system members of America's Essential Hospitals this year have chosen to partner with Premier Inc. for a variety of services, including performance improvement and supply chain services, consulting, and data analysis.

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The signers of the letter to Ryan and Pelosi include 162 Democrats and 59 Republicans from 41 states. They also include five House committee chairs and 13 committee ranking members.

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Tuesday's decision effectively ends Congress’ current push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; a letter calling for the delay of Medicaid DSH cuts has garnered nearly 200 signatures in the House.

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We hope the Senate’s decision to stop the rush to a vote on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal opens the door to renewed bipartisan talks on ways to fix the Affordable Care Act.

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America's Essential Hospitals continues to advance our opposition to the Senate's Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal.

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The committees were convened at the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services and include representatives from members of America’s Essential Hospitals.

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CMS is seeking broad feedback on a new direction for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, with increased emphasis on patient-centered care and market-based reforms.

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Affected providers will be exempt from reporting provisions of the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program, Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program, and Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program.

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The component enables manufacturers and covered entities to register for the 340B Drug Pricing Program, participate in annual recertification, and communicate with the Office of Pharmacy Affairs on pending tasks.

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America’s Essential Hospitals has prepared an analysis of provisions in the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal that would affect Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments.

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Christiana Care Health System works with Project SEARCH to provide internship experience and educational opportunities for young adults with disabilities.

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The bill would replace Medicaid expansion funding and private insurance subsidies with $1.2 trillion in block grants to states; the Congressional Budget Office is expected to release a score early next week.

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A push is underway on Capitol Hill to delay Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts and withdraw proposed 340B policy. Please urge your member of Congress to sign both letters.

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Two free online simulations help health care providers improve decision-making skills during infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.

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Merit-based Incentive Payment System–eligible clinicians and groups may apply for hardship exceptions due to connectivity issues or extreme circumstances, such as disasters.

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The proposal appears to significantly restrict federal health care funding through per-capita caps and block grants; shift costs to states, patients, providers, and taxpayers; and achieve the same result as earlier bills: millions left uninsured.

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The Health Care Access Design Challenge, offered through the Federal Transit Administration, aims to overcome transportation-related barriers to health care access.

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In a letter to House and Senate committees, leaders of more than 250 hospitals and health systems nationally urge Congress to stop a $2 billion disproportionate share hospital cut scheduled for Oct. 1 and to delay cuts for at least two years.

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Unless another delay is secured, Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments will be cut by $2 billion beginning in fiscal year 2018, escalating to $8 billion by 2024.

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The meeting came a day after the association submitted comments to the agency in response to the proposed annual update of the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System.

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The proposed rule would further cut payments to non-excepted provider-based departments to 25 percent of the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System rate and change certain quality reporting requirements.

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The 2018 Culture of Health Prize will honor communities for innovative partnerships and collective initiatives to improve population health.

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Congress aims to pass legislation by Sept. 30 to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance markets and reauthorize several health care programs; three senators plan to unveil new ACA repeal legislation.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal agencies have released several resources to help health care providers prepare for and respond to disasters.

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The funds will go to 44 states and the District of Columbia to expand prevention and tracking activities under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Overdose Prevention in States effort.

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The online course provides an overview of disaster preparedness and skills to gauge compliance with emergency preparedness requirements that go into effect on Nov. 15.

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The Sept. 13 webinar for covered entities will focus on the registration component of the new Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System.

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By cutting reimbursement rates for Part B drugs to 340B hospitals, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would harm essential hospitals, which care for the nation’s poorest, most complex, and costliest patients.

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Lawmakers return from the August recess to consider legislation and policy related to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, market stabilization, and cost-sharing reductions.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to hospitals and health care facilities in Federal Emergency Management Agency–designated major disaster counties.

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The changes include optimizing the assignment of star categories, eliminating the removal of outliers, and ensuring only hospitals meeting public reporting thresholds are assigned star ratings.

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.