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Shahid Zaman

Principal Policy Analyst America's Essential Hospitals

Shahid Zaman is a senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

America's Essential Hospitals urges CMS to swiftly restore full Medicare Part B drug payment rates for hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and define a select group of hospitals with a safety net mission.

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The association urged CMS to adequately reimburse off-campus, provider-based departments; refine physician quality reporting; and codify a definition of essential hospitals.

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The Department of Homeland Security finalized a rule codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program with some limited changes.

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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 lawsuit alleges that, since acquiring third party administrator Wellpartner in 2017, CVS required 340B covered entities to work with Wellpartner.

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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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Certain providers who returned Provider Relief Fund payments because they were unable to meet the period 1 reporting deadline can apply for reissuance of these funds.

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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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The commission's June report to Congress includes illustrative policies about defining and supporting Medicare safety net providers and aligning payments across outpatient settings, among other topics of interest to essential hospitals.

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The Supreme Court’s dismissal of the appeal does not touch on the legality of the public charge rule but only on the ability of the 13 states to intervene in defense of the rule.

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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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The association thanked the administration for taking steps to reverse the damaging 2019 broadened definition of public charge and made recommendations for developing and implementing a new definition.

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The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education introduced two rural track program designations to accredited residency programs and seeks members for an advisory group on health care access for medically underserved areas and populations.

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The proposed fiscal year 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule would increase operating payment rates by 3.2 percent and make other changes to Medicare payment and quality reporting policies. CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule until June 17.

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Citing a depletion of funds for the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program, the agency says the last day for providers to submit claims for testing and treatment is March 22 and the last day to submit vaccine administration claims is April 5.

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The laws prohibit pharmacy benefit managers and insurance companies from discriminating against 340B Drug Pricing Program contract pharmacies and covered entities.

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Coupled with the $11 billion previously distributed, this brings total phase 4 payments to about $11.5 billion, leaving less than $6 billion in pledged funds. These new funds will reach more than 4,000 providers across the United States this week.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services outlines the application process for 1,000 new graduate medical education slots created by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Applications for the first round of slots are due March 31, 2022, and CMS intends to award slots July 1, 2023.

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The Department of Homeland Security proposed rule is a step toward withdrawing and replacing the controversial public charge regulation issued by the Trump administration. The new definition would include only cash benefits and long-term institutionalization. Comments are due April 25.

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The Department of Health and Human Services will distribute $19.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to help train primary care residents to provide quality care to diverse populations and communities, particularly in underserved and rural areas.

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The funds will reach more than 7,600 providers across the country this week; $6 billion in pledged phase 4 funds remain undistributed.

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The Medicare Part B drug model, also known as the most favored nation model, would have phased-in reduced payment rates for 50 Part B drugs over four years. America's Essential Hospitals previously called on CMS to withdraw the model.

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Providers now have until Dec. 20 to report lost revenue and expense information related to the receipt of Provider Relief Fund payments.

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A new Department of Health and Human Services report finds the share of Medicare visits conducted via telehealth increased from about 840,000 in 2019 to 52.7 million in 2020. In particular, telehealth was helpful in offsetting potential foregone behavioral health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The proposed rule aims to strengthen and preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which is critical to the nation's health care workforce. The association urges the Department of Homeland Security to formally add the policy through the notice-and-comment rulemaking process.

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The rule adjusts the conversion factor used to determine physician payment rates and includes provisions related to appropriate use criteria, Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, vaccine payment rates, the Quality Payment Program, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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The Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule for calendar year 2022 continues cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and pauses elimination of the inpatient-only list. The rule also includes provisions on price transparency, rural emergency hospitals, and health equity.

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America's Essential Hospitals submitted comments on the Department of Homeland Security advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the public charge ground of inadmissibility. Following feedback, the agency plans to engage in the rulemaking process to issue an updated public charge regulation.

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America's Essential Hospitals urged CMS to finalize withdrawal of the Trump administration's Most Favored Nation Model, citing procedural deficiencies, ongoing legal challenges, and significant reduction in provider payment rates.

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The Department of Homeland Security will use the notice-and-comment rulemaking process to codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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