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Beth Feldpush

Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy America's Essential Hospitals

Feldpush oversees advocacy, policy, and communications work, providing strategic leadership and advocacy on behalf of safety net health systems.

Lawmakers continue work a permanent solution to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2023. Six senators release a request for information on ways to improve care and care coordination for dually eligible beneficiaries.

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Republicans are expected to take the majority in the House, although by a much slimmer margin than previously predicted. Democrats, meanwhile, will retain their Senate majority and might build on it with a runoff election in Georgia.

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The CMS Innovation Center shares a progress report on its 10-year strategy and a blog post announcing plans to improve integrated specialty care.

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Following the midterm elections, the House Democratic Caucus and the House Republican Conference will elect party leadership for the 118th Congress.

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The association urges CMS to educate and provide funding for essential hospital staff to conduct Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment activities.

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The document is the latest in a series addressing mental health policy challenges and focuses on increased integration, coordination, and access to care. A fifth and final document could be released in coming weeks.

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With the 2022 midterm elections two weeks away, congressional lawmakers have started the sprint toward Election Day. Must-do items, including legislation to fund the federal government, will keep them busy in the post-election period.

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The Biden administration extended the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) through Jan. 11, 2023, and would notify providers by Nov. 11 of ending the PHE after that date. The decision extends PHE-related waivers and policies.

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A new commentary in Health Affairs Forefront argues for creating a federal designation for essential hospitals to ensure they receive the support needed to meet their safety net mission. Also, the association publishes its annual member characteristics report, Essential Data 2022.

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On Sept. 30, Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 16. The legislation also continues several federal health programs through that same date and extends U.S. Food and Drug Administration user fees for five years.

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In a new Forefront commentary, the association's current, immediate past, and incoming board chairs say essential hospitals’ indispensable role, unique characteristics, and financial fragility argue for recognizing them as a distinct class in public health and policymaking.

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Bipartisan legislation to fund the government through mid-December saw progress with a deal to reauthorize FDA user fee programs, but obstacles remain to a final bill before the Sept. 30 end of the current fiscal year.

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Congressional negotiators are holding closely the details of talks on short-term legislation expected to extend government funding through mid-December and avert a shutdown at midnight, Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

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Lawmakers are working to balance Democrats' calls for more COVID-19 and Monkeypox funding under a continuing resolution with Republicans' demands for a "clean" bill to fund the government through the November midterm elections.

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CDC recommends updated Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccines that target the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of SARS-CoV-2.

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The Biden administration requests an additional $47 billion in emergency funding in the continuing resolution, including $22.4 billion to fight COVID-19; Congress must reauthorize the FDA user fee program by Sept. 30.

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President Joe Biden signed the legislation Aug. 16 after the House sent it to his desk with a 220-207, party-line vote. It extends Affordable Care Act subsidies through 2025 and makes other changes of interest to essential hospitals.

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The regulation contains payment and quality reporting provisions, a new designation to identify “birthing-friendly” hospitals, and a 4.3 percent increase in operating payment rates for general acute-care hospitals, compared with a proposed 3.2 percent update.

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The $433 billion Inflation Reduction Act would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and would extend expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies for three years. It also includes tax provisions and new investments related to energy and climate change.

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Work continues on a bill to advance through the reconciliation process by a Sept. 30 deadline. America's Essential Hospitals is pressing lawmakers to include more support for essential hospitals in the final package.

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) again halts Build Back Better human infrastructure package negotiations; House lawmakers will vote on a FY 2023 appropriations minibus.

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The Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule for calendar year 2023 reverses cuts to 340B Drug Pricing Program hospitals and seeks comment on remedying existing cuts to 340B hospitals.

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CMS proposes to decrease the conversion factor determining physician payment rates for specific services by $1.53. The proposed rule also includes provisions related to Medicare reimbursement of telehealth services, vaccine administration, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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Senate Democrats work to pass a revived human infrastructure bill before the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. The updated legislative language includes a Medicare prescription drug pricing proposal approved by all 50 Senate Democrats.

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CDC recommends the Moderna vaccine for kids ages 6 to 17; an FDA committee will consider modifying COVID-19 vaccine composition to reflect virus mutations.

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Amid strong financial conditions, state Medicaid spending is forecasted to grow at a slower rate in FY 2023 compared with FY 2022, based on proposed budgets.

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CMS approved Colorado's Section 1332 waiver application to create a state-based standard health benefit plan.

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The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act seeks to close gaps in current gun safety laws and bolster mental health care, including through new support for hospitals and other providers.

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The committee released a discussion draft of policies to improve youth mental health, the second of an expected five discussion drafts from the committee in advance of their full mental health legislative proposal.

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In a resounding victory for essential hospitals, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of America’s Essential Hospitals in its years-long legal challenge to restore full Medicare payment rates for 340B Drug Pricing Program hospitals.

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America's Essential Hospitals commented on several policy proposals of interest to essential hospitals and responded to requests for information on maternal health, equity, and climate change.

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