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Michelle Rosenfeld

Manager of Communications

Michelle Rosenfeld is manager of communications at America's Essential Hospitals.

As a bipartisan group of senators crafts infrastructure legislation, Senate Democrats work to develop a human infrastructure package.

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The rule includes provisions related to telehealth, vaccine payment rates, the Quality Payment Program, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program; comments are due to CMS by Sept. 13.

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Notable to essential hospitals, the Biden administration's July 9 executive order includes health care items related to prescription drugs, price transparency, hospital consolidation, and health insurance.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration extends to Aug. 20 the comment period for the COVID-19 health care emergency temporary standard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration say fully vaccinated individuals do not need COVID-19 booster shots.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aims to vote on a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill, as well as a budget resolution to begin the process of advancing a "human infrastructure" package, before the chamber adjourns for its August recess.

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The Department of Health and Human Services announced $250 million in grant awards to 73 local governments as part of a new initiative to identify and implement best practices for improving health literacy to enhance COVID-19 vaccination among underserved populations.

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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 highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant has been found in all 50 states and experts warn unvaccinated individuals and younger populations are highly susceptible. This variant presents a significant threat in states with low vaccination rates, including Arkansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Utah.

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The Supreme Court’s decision to review the case marks a significant step in the association’s efforts to overturn harmful Medicare Part B cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case in its next term, with a decision likely in 2022.

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On July 1, the House passed a five-year $715 billion surface transportation and water infrastructure bill, fulfilling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) commitment to clear an infrastructure bill before the July Fourth holiday. The Senate continues work to develop broad infrastructure legislation.

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Providers who received Provider Relief Fund dollars and are required to document their use during reporting period 1 (April 10–June 30, 2020) have until Sept. 30 to access the portal and submit the information.

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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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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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America's Essential Hospitals commented on several policy proposals of interest to essential hospitals in the Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule and responded to a request for information on closing the health equity gap in hospital quality programs.

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CDC extends to July 31 the eviction moratorium to protect people unable to make rental payments due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Distribution of bamlanivimab and etesevimab is paused after tests find they are ineffective against some COVID-19 variants.

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A bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement with the White House on a $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure framework that lists extending the 2 percent Medicare sequester cut as a potential method of funding the package. Lawmakers now must turn the framework into legislation.

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America's Essential Hospitals urged the agency to ensure essential hospitals receive much-needed relief and are equipped for their central role in the continued response to the pandemic, including allocating remaining Provider Relief Fund dollars and revising guidance on the use of these funds.

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In its June report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission issues recommendations on issues of importance to essential hospitals, including payment for Part B drugs, alternative payment models, indirect medical education payments, and Medicare coverage of vaccines, among other topics.

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Senators continue efforts to build consensus on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan physical infrastructure proposal introduced last week, but Democrats are taking steps to initiate the budget reconciliation process in case those talks ultimately fall short.

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Nevada is the second state to pursue a public option health coverage plan, after Washington implemented a public option in 2019. The law requires the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Insurance, and Silver State Health Insurance Exchange to create a public option by 2026.

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The Biden administration proposes to rescind a Trump-era final rule requiring federally qualified health centers to charge certain low-income patients no more than the 340B Drug Pricing Program price for insulin and injectable epinephrine. Comments on the proposed rule are due July 16.

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The interim guidance covers physical and mental health conditions present four or more weeks after some COVID-19 infections, including by patients who initially had mild or asymptomatic acute infections.

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The lawsuit, brought by individual plaintiffs and 18 Republican-led states, argued the ACA’s individual mandate was unconstitutional and that the entire ACA had to be dismantled as a result. The court's decision was made on procedural grounds and did not rule on the underlying merits of the case.

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The new infrastructure deal comes after months-long negotiations between the Biden administration and Senate Republicans fell apart. It includes roughly $579 billion in new spending. However, lawmakers in both parties expressed skepticism that the plan could secure enough votes to pass the Senate.

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Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated 90.4 percent efficacy in clinical trials; CDC urges vaccination upon hospital discharge.

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The new timeline for spending and reporting on Provider Relief Fund (PRF) dollars depends on when a provider received the payments. The PRF reporting portal, which so far has been open only for registration, will open July 1 for providers to begin reporting on the use of their PRF payments.

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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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Several states have reached or surpassed President Joe Biden's goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the U.S. adult population by July 4. However, other states lag behind; in 15 states, less than half the adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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The emergency temporary standard aims to protect those working in health care settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated.

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A bipartisan infrastructure plan is unlikely to pass the Senate by July. Democrats are likely to explore using budget reconciliation, but a recent parliamentarian ruling indicates they might be unable to attempt the process using the FY 2021 budget resolution.

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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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