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Dedicated staff at America's Essential Hospitals work together to produce high-quality, reliable content. Please view the about section for more details about staff.

The House voted 220–213 to pass the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act. It contains essential hospital priorities related to Medicaid, maternal health, and the health care workforce but also includes harmful cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital and uncompensated care pool payments.

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Final rules for Medicare’s OPPS and PFS for CY 2022 continue Medicare Part B drug payment cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program; continue site-neutral payment policies; and halt elimination of the inpatient-only (IPO) list.

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CMS recently announced vaccination requirements for providers as a condition of participating in Medicare and Medicaid. Simultaneously, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration released an emergency temporary standard for employers with at least 100 employees.

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Pfizer and BioNTech ask the FDA to authorize their COVID-19 booster vaccine for everyone age 18 and older; FEMA COVID-19 funding will continue until April 2022.

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The letter from America’s Essential Hospitals to the Senate Committee on Finance responded to the panel’s request for information on improving access to and enhancing mental and behavioral health care.

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The House passed the $1 trillion bipartisan physical infrastructure bill after agreeing on a path forward for the $1.75 trillion "human infrastructure" bill. New language in the human infrastructure measure calls for Medicare to negotiate certain drug prices and retains Medicaid DSH cuts.

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CDC recommends the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11; CMS holds a stakeholder call on its vaccine mandate for health care workers. Pfizer says its investigational novel COVID-19 oral antiviral candidate significantly reduces hospitalization and death.

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CMS announced phased vaccination requirements as a condition of participating in Medicare and Medicaid; vaccination must be completed by Jan. 4, 2022. A new Occupational Safety and Health Administration emergency temporary standard promotes vaccination for businesses with 100 or more employees.

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FDA authorizes the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 5 to 11 and delays approval of the Moderna vaccine in adolescents ages 12 to 17. The agency recommends providers avoid purchasing or using imported medical gloves from certain companies that might be in violation of laws and rules.

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President Joe Biden last week announced a $1.75 trillion framework for "human infrastructure" reconciliation legislation; the House subsequently released updated legislative text for its human infrastructure bill that aims to close the Medicaid coverage gap.

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The new strategy from the Department of Health and Human Services expands the scope of crisis response beyond opioids to include other substances often involved in overdoses. It focuses on four priority areas: primary prevention, harm reduction, evidence-based treatment, and recovery support.

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America’s Essential Hospitals and members of Congress agree: the interim rule does not accurately reflect congressional intent. Instead, it includes a lopsided IDR method that favors insurers.

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FDA and CDC recommend Moderna and Janssen booster vaccines, along with heterologous booster doses; the Biden administration releases a plan to vaccinate children.

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Democrats aim to reach a deal this week on a "human infrastructure" reconciliation framework, but topline spending numbers, social policy priorities, and other details remain undecided. Once the framework is set, the House will vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan physical infrastructure bill.

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A new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation white paper outlines a strategy to advance health system transformation. The goal is to achieve equitable outcomes by driving accountable care, advancing health equity, supporting innovation, addressing affordability, and creating partnerships.

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In a letter to congressional leaders, America's Essential Hospitals advocates for strengthening the health care workforce in the wake of COVID-19, including through more funding in public health emergencies, prioritized visas for foreign clinicians, and increased graduate medical education slots.

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To support the sustainability of the health care safety net, policymakers should include essential hospital priorities in the final reconciliation legislative package.

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Essential hospitals continue to experience increased costs and fewer resources, including staffing, due to the pandemic. We call on Congress to address various priorities to ensure our members remain able to carry out their mission to serve people who face social and financial barriers to care.

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Released on Oct. 7, part II of the No Surprises Act interim final rule outlines the independent dispute resolution process for out-of-network services and protections for uninsured and self-pay patients.

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The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee endorses booster shots of the Moderna and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, FDA delays authorization of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in adolescents ages 12 to 17 after reports of cardiac side effects.

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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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After passing a short-term measure to fund the government through Dec. 3, Congress shifts focus to the federal debt ceiling. A Republican filibuster in the Senate prevented passage of legislation to extend the debt limit; lawmakers must resolve the issue by Oct. 18 to avoid default.

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HHS guidance clarifies how HIPAA applies to COVID-19 vaccination status requests; CDC urges pregnant people to get vaccinated amid a surge in hospitalizations.

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FDA on Sept. 22 authorized a third booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for select groups. A CDC panel subsequently recommended the booster shots, and CMS announced coverage for all Medicare beneficiaries and nearly all Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program beneficiaries.

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An FDA advisory committee recommends a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster for a limited population; CDC announces $2.1 billion dedicated to infection control and prevention.

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The calendar year 2022 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule includes provisions on Medicare payment for telehealth services, the Quality Payment Program, and more. The association also responded to a request for information on improving health equity through data collection.

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The House this week is expected to consider a continuing resolution to temporarily extend current funding levels for the federal government. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) intend to suspend the debt limit as part of the resolution.

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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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The president's newly announced "Path out of the Pandemic" plan includes action steps for increasing vaccinations, further protecting those who are vaccinated, keeping schools safely open, testing and mask requirements, and economic recovery. CDC updates its infection control guidance.

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A total of $25.5 billion will be available, including $17 billion through the Provider Relief Fund and $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding for providers serving rural patients. Providers can apply for the new funding Sept. 29.

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An FDA committee will review Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine booster application; Moderna is applying for booster approval. CDC data show COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise among children.

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