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Julie Kozminski

Senior Policy Analyst

Julie Kozminski is a senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

Consumers now can preview health plans and prices on healthcare.gov ahead of open enrollment, which runs Nov. 1, 2020, through Jan. 15, 2021.

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CMS will require states to cover COVID-19 treatment with no cost-sharing for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program beneficiaries. Further, states in some circumstances must cover treatments for conditions that might seriously complicate the treatment of COVID-19.

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Money from the American Rescue Plan will fund up to 50 awards through the Health Resources and Services Administration's State Loan Repayment Program for state-run programs that support, recruit, and retain primary care clinicians who work in underserved communities.

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A new analysis finds annual clinical labor costs in the emergency department and intensive care unit and among nursing staff increased by $24 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, translating to about $17 million in additional expenses for the average 500-bed facility.

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HHS released a Spanish version of QuestionBuilder, an app that helps patients and caregivers prepare for their in-person or telehealth appointments, along with a report on Latino patients' access to care.

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The rule, released by the Department of Health and Human Service and the Department of Treasury, extends open enrollment, adds a new special enrollment period, expands navigator responsibilities, and modifies Section 1332 innovation waivers.

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In this first white paper of a new series, America's Essential Hospitals discusses the chronic underfunding of Medicaid as a form of structural racism and provides recommendations to ensure the program is an effective tool to improve equity.

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In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, America's Essential Hospitals commented on the first interim final rule implementing the No Surprises Act. The association urged HHS to delay implementation until after the COVID-19 public health emergency, among other requests.

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America's Essential Hospitals sent CMS recommendations for implementing the new Medicaid supplemental payment reporting system under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. The association noted the importance of accuracy and avoiding duplicate data collection.

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In an Aug. 13 letter to state health officials, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updates its guidance regarding the resumption of normal state Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Basic Health Program operations when the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.

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Many governors are taking renewed action to combat COVID-19 as the delta variant spreads. Some states have renewed their public health emergency declarations, while others are mandating vaccinations for certain state workers. However, nine states have enacted laws prohibiting vaccine mandates.

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A bulletin from the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services notes the withdrawal of the 2019 public charge rule and addresses states' role in safeguarding applicant and beneficiary information. The public charge rule was vacated and is no longer in effect, retroactive to March 2, 2021.

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HRSA announced $103 million in American Rescue Plan funding over three years to help reduce burnout and promote mental health among the health care workforce.

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CMS announces $15 million for state Medicaid agencies to launch mobile crisis intervention services, as authorized by the American Rescue Plan.

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The rule, released by the departments of Health and Human Services, the Treasury, and Labor and the Office of Personnel Management, bars health care insurers, carriers, and providers from billing patients more than in-network cost sharing amounts in certain circumstances.

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On July 1, the Biden administration released part 1 of the No Surprises Act interim final rule. Passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the rule establishes new patient protections from balanced billing and excessive cost-sharing, known as surprise billing.

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The departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services proposed extending open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, adding a new special enrollment period, expanding navigator responsibilities, and modifying Section 1332 innovation waivers.

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America's Essential Hospitals and 11 additional national groups sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services urging the agency to partner with stakeholders who can offer technical expertise and context in developing the supplemental payment reporting system.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is issuing $80 million in grant funding for navigators in states using the federal insurance marketplace for the 2022 plan year.

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Effective April 28, HHS expanded the group of providers eligible to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid use disorder, and removed some barriers to its use.

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The Department of Health and Human Services announced $80 million in grants to increase access to marketplace enrollment assistance for consumers. The agency's 2021 open enrollment report shows more than 12 million consumers selected a marketplace plan during the 2021 open enrollment period.

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The Office of National Drug Control Policy outlines the Biden administration's drug policy priorities for 2021, including expanding access to evidence-based treatment and prevention services, advancing racial equity, reducing supply of illicit substances, and advancing recovery-ready workplaces.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is extending until Aug. 15 the special enrollment period for 36 states using the federal health insurance marketplace, giving consumers more time to view new options under the American Rescue Plan, including lower premiums and plan upgrades.

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In an annual report to Congress, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission finds an increase from 2018 to 2019 in the number of uninsured and in charity care and bad debt. The report includes state-specific projections of the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital allotment.

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In response to an executive order, a new issue brief reviews four policy areas under Section 1115 demonstrations and their impact on Medicaid coverage and access to care. The brief notes all examined areas create barriers to enrollment and reduce coverage, leading to adverse health effects.

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A federal court vacated several policies in the Trump Administration’s 2019 health insurance marketplace rule for violating federal law, including provisions related to review of network adequacy, standardized options, income verification requirements, and reducing medical loss ratio rebates.

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The guidance clarifies how hospitals receiving Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments can use Provider Relief Fund general and targeted distribution payments.

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The special enrollment period, intended to ensure access to health coverage amid the the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue through May 15. The enrollment period applies to consumers in the 36 states that use the federal marketplace platform.

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President Biden released an executive order to strengthen Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. The order calls for a special enrollment period on the federally facilitated exchange for uninsured or underinsured individuals — particularly those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A new notice encourages states to improve health outcomes, reduce disparities, and lower costs within Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. It describes how states might address social determinants of health using flexibility available under current law.

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