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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 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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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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House committees begin marking up portions of the forthcoming "human infrastructure" reconciliation package, which is expected to include provisions to expand health coverage and lower prescription drug prices. The association's calls for government relations professionals will resume Sept. 9.

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In a letter to Democratic congressional leadership, the association urges consideration of essential hospital priorities — including funding for critical workforce and hospital infrastructure needs and protecting the 340B Drug Pricing Program — in forthcoming budget reconciliation legislation.

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This State Policy Snapshot summarizes how states are working to improve maternal health and equity through Medicaid Section 1115 waivers, provider training, community-based services, and panels to investigate maternal deaths.

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The Society of Hospital Medicine study invites association members to participate at no cost and receive mentoring and educational resources, access to data, and collaboration.

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A CDC advisory committee voted Aug. 30 to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine; the agency warns against using ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19.

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology will host a series of webinars to discuss information sharing requirements finalized in a 2020 rule. The first webinar, focused on clinicians, will be Sept. 14, from 1–2 pm ET. 

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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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The rule includes numerous policy and payment changes for Medicare’s Inpatient Prospective Payment System for fiscal year 2022, including a 2.5 percent increase in inpatient payment rates.

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This guide documents the exceptional work by essential hospitals to improve the health and well-being of the people and communities they serve, including programs to reduce maternal stress, overcome housing instability, prevent workplace violence, help immigrants navigate care, and battle COVID-19.

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FDA and CDC recommend a third mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised people; CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant and breastfeeding people.

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When contacting your delegation, emphasize the need to consider essential hospitals when crafting legislation related to infrastructure, emergency preparedness, COVID-19 relief, and the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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The Senate voted 69–30 to advance a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats released a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, the precursor to a partisan reconciliation bill on “human infrastructure” priorities. Notably, the resolution does not contain a debt limit increase.

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Two CDC studies highlight the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in preventing reinfection and hospitalization; CDC extends the eviction moratorium.

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CMS proposes to rescind the Trump administration’s Most Favored Nation model interim final rule, which aimed to reduce payment for 50 Medicare Part B drugs. America’s Essential Hospitals previously urged the agency to withdraw the model due to substantive and procedural issues.

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CMS on Aug. 2 released its fiscal year 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule, which includes payment and quality reporting provisions. The rule does not finalize provisions related to new residency slots, organ acquisition costs, or Section 1115 waiver days. 

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The annual 340B Drug Pricing Program recertification period for hospitals will begin Aug. 16. Hospitals will have until Sept. 13 to complete the process.

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CDC recommends everyone, even those who are fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors in public in areas with substantial and high COVID-19 transmission.

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Proposed rules for Medicare’s Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Physician Fee Schedule would continue Medicare Part B cuts, continue site-neutral policies, and halt the phase-out of the inpatient-only list. Both rules also contain an information request on closing the health equity gap.

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An upcoming members-only learning collaborative will offer expert insight, technical guidance, and peer support to improve Black maternal health outcomes. 

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Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) introduced H.R. 1846 to reauthorize the Hill-Burton program and allocate $10 billion over five years for hospital construction and modernization. It is imperative to build robust support for H.R. 1846 now.

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As COVID-19 cases rise, the association calls on members to require employee vaccination; CDC urges immunocompromised people to continue wearing masks.

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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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The U.S. Surgeon General issues a health misinformation advisory; CDC and the Office of Minority Health develop a Minority Health Social Vulnerability Index.

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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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Recently, some states have started to direct providers on which carve-in or carve-out options they take so the state can claim its rebates without concern of duplicate discounts. This State Policy Snapshot examines the current landscape of state carve-in and carve-out policies.

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