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This year’s update contains new quality and accountability measures and new national context data.

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A new brief summarizes program recommendations from an expert panel, which included America's Essential Hospitals staff.

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The move aims to give researchers a better understanding of key Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program information, including on utilization and spending under Medicaid managed care.

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Health care providers have until Dec. 3 to download their preview reports, which include overall hospital quality star ratings.

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The report shows a 9 percent decrease in central line–associated bloodstream infections, an 8 percent decrease in catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and a 12 percent decrease in hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections.

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The final rule includes provisions related to the Quality Payment Program, evaluation and management services, telehealth services, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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In a separate, forthcoming final rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will summarize and respond to the more than 1,400 public comments it received about proposed requirements for hospitals to make public their standard charges.

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The agency seeks comment on a questionnaire to enforce its revised public charge standard for visa applicants. Separately, the department sought comment and emergency review of information collection to enforce the presidential proclamation suspending the entry of immigrants without health coverage.

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The October refresh does not include an update of overall star ratings, which were last updated in February.

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Applications for the new payment models are due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Jan. 22, 2020.

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The update covers a wider variety of health care settings and includes guidance for the use of performance measures in infection control quality initiatives.

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The association expressed support for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's proposed revisions to confidentiality of records for patients with substance use disorders, while outlining remaining barriers to care coordination.

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The court struck down parts of the law that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and termination of pregnancy.

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The updated resource library includes new fact sheets and guides for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and Advanced Alternative Payment Models.

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The rule intends to align the State Department’s public charge definition with the Department of Homeland Security public charge final rule.

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America’s Essential Hospitals applauded the decision, noting that the rule threatens the health of millions and the stability of essential hospitals.

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This year's theme, Vaccines are Everybody’s Business, highlights the importance of protecting public health through vaccination.

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The guidance seeks to reduce the risk of substance use disorder while providing effective pain management for chronic pain patients.

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The report includes recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for improved oversight of these waivers.

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The proclamation states that the entry of immigrants who do not obtain health insurance financially burdens the health care system.

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The proposed rules seek to eliminate barriers to promoting care coordination under current fraud and abuse laws; comments are due to the agencies Dec. 31.

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The order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to alter the Medicare Advantage program, increase cost and quality transparency, and continue site-neutral payment policies.

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External actors can exploit cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices to assume control of a device and change or prevent its intended function.

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Plaintiffs in the court case that resulted in the reinstatement of the third-party payer rule have filed a petition for rehearing.

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The association urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reverse policies that will result in significant funding cuts to essential hospitals and hinder access to care.

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The agency seeks comments until Nov. 29 on a proposal to collect acquisition cost data from hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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The final rule revises conditions of participation and conditions for coverage and also targets emergency preparedness, quality reporting, infection control, and physical examination requirements.

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The final rule requires hospitals to create discharge plans for all inpatients and some outpatients and excludes several burdensome requirements that were included in the proposed rule.

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The 18-month grants, awarded to 15 state Medicaid agencies, seek to increase the ability of providers to deliver substance use disorder treatment and recovery services.

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America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concern that changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could increase food insecurity and worsen health outcomes.

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The methodology outlines how the agency will calculate states’ Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment reductions and encourages states to target remaining payments to hospitals caring for the most low-income patients.

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Beginning in April 2020, hospitals with multiple service locations must accurately enter the address of their off-campus, provider-based departments.

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Facilities located in areas designated as emergency or major disaster areas will be exempt from provisions of Medicare quality reporting programs.

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America's Essential Hospitals warns the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that its proposal will weaken federal oversight of Medicaid payment rates and undermine beneficiary access to care.

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The agency is waiving program requirements and suspending enforcement activities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.

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Funding will support the State Opioid Response Grant Program and a cooperative agreement to help state and local governments track overdose data.

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Covered entities that fail to complete recertification will be removed from the 340B program for a minimum of one quarter.

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The agency urges health care providers to use duodenoscopes with disposable endcaps to simplify cleaning and reduce contamination.

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America's Essential Hospitals urged the agency to leverage a new pilot program to expand telehealth services in communities essential hospitals serve.

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Two rising quality leaders will work directly with National Quality Forum leadership to gain exposure to the federal quality improvement and policy realms.

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Merit-based Incentive Payment System participants can request a targeted review of their performance feedback and final score if they find an error in their 2020 payment adjustment calculation.

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The guidance follows a May 23 presidential memorandum calling for increased enforcement of laws related to individuals sponsoring immigration applicants.

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Two proposed rules aim to remove barriers to care coordination and facilitate information sharing for providers treating patients with substance use disorders.

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An NEJM Catalyst article assesses four public hospital quality reporting programs' ability to classify hospital performance.

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The ruling reinstates a 2017 final rule requiring that audits include payments from Medicare and commercial payers when calculating the hospital-specific disproportionate share hospital funding limit.

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The agency plans to update the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings methodology in 2021 and will host a Sept. 19 listening session to seek stakeholder feedback.

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America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concern that changes to nondiscrimination protections will decrease access and worsen outcomes for vulnerable patients, including transgender individuals and individuals with limited English proficiency.

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The final rule revises the criteria that determines whether an individual seeking to enter the country or become a lawful permanent resident could become a public charge.

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America’s Essential Hospitals urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reduce administrative burden regarding clinical documentation, health information technology, and public health reporting.

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To facilitate multi-payer alignment for ambulance services, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation will provide an interactive learning system with targeted learning opportunities for state Medicaid programs.

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The agency will reimburse hospitals at least 65 percent of the cost for this innovative cancer treatment.

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The agency now will require hospitals to submit documents supporting the hospital classification they select during 340B Drug Pricing Program registration.

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The court ruled that the Secretary of Health and Human Services failed to adequately consider the effect of the work requirements on Medicaid coverage.

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The rule increases inpatient operating payment rates by 3.1 percent, makes other payment and quality reporting policy changes, and estimates a $140 million increase in Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments.

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The refresh includes results from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems but does not include overall star ratings.

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The Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule for calendar year 2020 would continue cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and to off-campus provider-based departments and introduce new transparency requirements.

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The calendar year 2020 proposed rule includes updates to the Quality Payment Program, a request for information on the creation of Merit-based Incentive Payment System Value Pathways, and other topics of interest to essential hospitals.

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Two informational bulletins outline information on services for infants via residential pediatric recovery centers and a limited exception to the institutions for mental disease exclusion for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder.

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Three essential hospitals will join the National Institutes of Health's Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network to research quality addiction treatment for opioid use disorder in jails, drug courts, and other criminal justice settings.

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America’s Essential Hospitals and other national hospital associations released a report, based on interviews with hospital patient experience leaders, on modernizing the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey.

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A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report to Congress details an action plan to assist states in providing housing-related support for Medicaid beneficiaries with substance use disorders.

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Covered entities can access the webinar online or via phone on Aug. 14 from 1–2 pm ET.

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Hospitals in the Inpatient Quality Reporting, Prospective Payment System–Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting, and Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting programs can view their preview reports through Aug. 14.

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The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response initiative seeks to harness cutting-edge technologies to support emergency response and recovery. It will kick off with an innovation day event, Aug. 7–8, to engage with stakeholders.

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The tools include a checklist of required waiver elements and model templates to help states better understand their options and the waiver approval process.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced new payment models through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to promote high-quality, coordinated care for patients with chronic kidney disease.

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The two mandatory payment models will test prospective episode-based payments for radiation oncology therapy and end-stage renal disease treatment.

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The agency proposes to rescind the requirement due to states' concerns regarding undue administrative burden.

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The $100 million pilot program aims to bring telehealth services to low-income patients, veterans, and areas lacking adequate health care.

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In a July 9 letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concern that changes to federal housing assistance eligibility requirements could increase housing instability and worsen health outcomes.

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An expert panel will share the evidence behind current guidance for opioid tapering and how to apply this guidance in practice, as well as case studies and pain management challenges from the field.

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Under the requirement, delayed until October, the address a hospital lists on a claim will have to exactly match agency enrollment records for the hospital to receive payment through the Outpatient Prospective Payment System.

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Hospitals must complete recertification through the Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System by Sept. 16 to remain in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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Under five-year demonstration projects, these states are approved to receive Medicaid matching funds for treatment in facilities that qualify as institutions for mental diseases.

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Registration is open for the July 11 webinar, hosted by the National Quality Partners Social Determinants of Health Data Integration Action Team.

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An unauthorized person potentially could wirelessly connect to a nearby MiniMed insulin pump and change the pump settings.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a $50 million funding opportunity for up to 10 states to aid in treatment and recovery services for individuals with substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder.

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Louisiana is the fifth state cleared to pursue value-based purchasing agreements for supplemental rebates with manufacturers through a state plan amendment.

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The administration issued a June 24 executive order addressing hospital price disclosure, quality measurement, data sharing, and the expanded use of health savings accounts.

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America’s Essential Hospitals encouraged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to consider the disproportionately negative financial effect on essential hospitals of certain quality reporting requirements and administrative burden in the Promoting Interoperability Programs.

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A House-passed bill to extend funding for Medicaid programs heads to the Senate; the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions introduced the Lower Health Care Costs Act.

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission outlines issues of importance to essential hospitals, including Medicare payment strategies for Part B drugs, the Medicare Shared Savings Program,and Medicare fee-for-service spending for emergency department services.

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The commission's June report to Congress includes recommendations on the use of third-party payments in calculating Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments and on Medicaid prescription drug policy.

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In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concern that changes to the consumer inflation index would negatively impact vulnerable populations’ access to Medicaid coverage.

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The state plan amendment is specifically designed to allow the state to negotiate under a “subscription” model with manufacturers of prescription drugs that treat patients with hepatitis C. Washington is the fourth state cleared to pursue value-based purchasing agreements for supplemental rebates.

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The decision does not impact ongoing litigation challenging Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System policies or Medicaid disproportionate share hospital third-party payer policy.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expecting a three- to 10-month nationwide shortage of Aplisol, used in tuberculin skin tests.

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The agency requests feedback as part of its Patients Over Paperwork initiative to update or eliminate administratively burdensome regulations.

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In July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will require hospitals with multiple service locations to accurately enter the address of their off-campus, provider-based departments to receive payment through the Outpatient Prospective Payment System.

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In June 3 letters, America's Essential Hospitals encouraged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to consider the regulatory burden that new interoperability requirements would place on essential hospitals.

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A new online training resource released by Patient Priorities Care and the American College of Physicians aims to help clinicians identify treatment options according to what matters most to patients.

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The rule would eliminate protection from discrimination in health care settings based on gender identity and roll back requirements to notify individuals with limited English proficiency of antidiscrimination policies and access to translation services.

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An America's Essential Hospitals analysis identified more than 300 hospitals with mismatching fiscal year 2015 uncompensated care values compared with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' provided Factor 3 values.

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Under current law, most individuals applying to enter the country on a visa or applying for a green card must submit an affidavit of support from a sponsor residing in the United States who meets certain criteria. The memo claims these requirements are not adequately enforced.

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The agency seeks feedback on proposed criteria for selecting direct contracting entities to participate in the new population-based payment model.

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The agency released a request for applications on the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport model for emergency ambulance services. The new model encourages treatment for Medicare beneficiaries outside the emergency department.

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In a May 17 Capitol Hill briefing, leaders from NYC Health + Hospitals, East Alabama Medical Center, and Eskenazi Health shared how disproportionate share hospital funding sustains their hospitals.

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The new chair is Melanie Bella, head of partnerships and policy at Cityblock Health and former founding director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office. The Government Accountability Office also appointed a new vice chair and two new members.

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The guidance lists warning signs for which hospital staff should be aware, recommendations for active shooter responses, and suggested protective measures.

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Providers interested in the professional or global options under the new Primary Cares Initiative must submit a nonbinding letter of intent by Aug. 2.

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A federal judge found the Department of Health and Human Services’ Medicare outpatient payment cuts in 2019 to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program were unlawful, extending a similar decision regarding 2018 cuts. The case was sent back to the agency to determine the appropriate remedy.

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In a new request for information, the agency seeks ideas for innovative programs and waiver concepts states could consider in developing Section 1332 waivers. The request follows October 2018 guidance aimed at increasing state flexibility.

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Revised guidance clarifies what constitutes a ligature risk and outlines a ligature risk extension process for deficient hospitals; comments are due June 17.

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In a letter to state Medicaid directors, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services encouraged states to partner with the agency to test innovative approaches to better serve beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will accept applications for its second cohort of participants in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced Model; second cohort participants will start model year three, beginning on Jan. 1, 2020.

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The Primary Cares Initiative comprises five new voluntary payment model options under two paths. The new models build on the experience of the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Next Generation Accountable Care Organization model.

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A new proposed rule would increase inpatient 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 24.

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The Office for Civil Rights updated its website with new guidance related to health information technology access rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The guidance is particularly relevant given the push for increased patient access through third-party applications.

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Hospitals in the Inpatient Quality Reporting, Prospective Payment System–Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting, and Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting programs can view their preview reports through May 21.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology extended to June 3 the deadlines for commenting on two proposed rules related to interoperability, patient access to health information, and information blocking.

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CMS finalized the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace and the annual letter to issuers offering plans on the federally facilitated marketplaces for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

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Learn why cultural competency matters during emergencies, explore the potential consequences of being culturally incompetent, and gain resources to help build understanding.

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Hospitals with the greatest proportion of Medicare patients dually eligible for Medicaid had decreased readmissions penalties, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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The new Care Coordination Toolkit showcases the work of accountable care organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Next Generation ACO Model. The agency also released a set of case studies describing innovation ACO initiatives.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced notice of intent to apply and application deadlines for a Jan. 1, 2020, start date for the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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The guidance comes in response to a recent federal court decision striking down a regulation expanding the availability of association health plans.

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Utah joins a growing list of states with approval to implement Medicaid work requirements, but it is the first state to limit enrollment to individuals below the federal poverty level and implement a spending cap.

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The agency on April 1 launched a long-awaited website that outlines pharmaceutical manufacturers' ceiling prices under the 340B Drug Pricing Program. A recent webinar outlines how covered entities can view this data and report 340B pricing issues.

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The agency in April will randomly select nine Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act–covered entities, including health plans and clearinghouses, for compliance reviews.

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In response to reported hepatitis A virus outbreaks in multiple states, the agency urges health care providers to vaccinate at-risk groups, including people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness.

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The United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that expanding the availability of association health plans illegally circumvents the Affordable Care Act and violates the intent of federal insurance laws.

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The court ruled that the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its authority and failed to show that work requirements would help promote the purpose of the Medicaid program

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America’s Essential Hospitals encouraged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to suspend publication of the overall hospital quality star ratings until the agency addresses issues with the underlying methodology.

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The recently released 2017 Quality Payment Program Experience Report includes participation and performance statistics for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and Advanced Alternative Payment Model tracks.

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The recent webinar reviewed publication of 340B Drug Pricing Program ceiling prices and the process by which covered entities can report 340B pricing issues.

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The report includes recommendations on several issues of importance to essential hospitals, including hospital inpatient and outpatient services, hospital quality incentive programs, and alternatives to opioids.

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The report proposes three recommendations responding to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital allotment reductions and responds to concerns about the accuracy and completeness of available upper payment limit data.

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The tools and guidance aim to help states monitor and evaluate the effects of Section 1115 waiver demonstrations, including those with work and community engagement requirements and those that combat substance use disorder.

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Ohio’s waiver requires beneficiaries ages 18 to 49 who are eligible through Medicaid expansion to work or participate in other community engagement activities for at least 80 hours a month.

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Adjusting for social risk factors in Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program results in decreased penalties for hospitals serving a safety-net role.

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The budget plan proposes to overhaul the Medicaid program, as well as significantly change the 340B Drug Pricing Program and expand site-neutral payment policies in hospital outpatient departments.

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The revised Appendix Q to the State Operations Manuals includes key changes to the immediate jeopardy definition. CMS also released updated online training and a template to assist surveyors.

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Long-expected "Medicare-for-all" bill formally introduced; Congressional hearings continue to focus on rising health care costs and prescription drug prices.

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A new Vital Signs report calls on health care providers to increase prevention efforts for Staphylococcus aureus infections.

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Hospitals now have until March 14 to submit data for the Medicare Promoting Interoperability and Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) programs.

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The agency posted potential changes to the star ratings program for public comment, including potential hospital peer grouping.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated the Promoting Interoperability Programs website with new resources for the 2019 program year. The agency also announced two calls on the recently released interoperability and patient access proposed rule.

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A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services bulletin notes that states can cover non-opioid pain management therapies using several Medicaid authorities, including Section 1945 health home benefits, 1915(i) state plan amendments, Section 1115 demonstrations, and managed care strategies.

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Hospitals in the Inpatient Quality Reporting, Prospective Payment System–Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting, and Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting programs can view their reports through March 9.

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The Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport model for emergency ambulance services encourages treatment for Medicare beneficiaries outside the emergency department.

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As initially planned, any pharmacy participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program could have been denied rebates provided through the pharmacy benefit manager, resulting in significant cuts to 340B hospitals.

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The proposals aim to increase interoperability and improve patients’ access to their health information, while reducing regulatory burden on hospitals.

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In response to a request for information, America's Essential Hospitals urges the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act encourages care coordination and reduces regulatory burden on essential hospitals.

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The hospital-acquired condition rate, which captures 28 patient safety event measures, decreased 13 percent from 2014 to 2017.

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The report, by America’s Essential Hospitals and six other national hospital associations, highlights the importance of interoperability and outlines six pathways to ensure health information technology systems can seamlessly communicate.

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Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission members unanimously approved three recommendations to mitigate the impending Affordable Care Act–mandated Medicaid disproportionate share hospital allotment reductions.

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The waiver requires beneficiaries ages 19 to 49 who are eligible through Medicaid expansion to work or participate in community engagement activities for at least 80 hours a month.

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Proposed provisions aim to further the Trump administration’s goals to lower premiums, increase market stability, reduce regulatory burden, and protect taxpayers.

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The tool includes 2018 Qualifying Alternative Payment Model (APM) Participant and Merit-based Incentive Payment System APM status.

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America's Essential Hospitals praised the administration’s efforts to streamline managed care regulations for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, reduce regulatory burden, and increase state flexibility.

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Maine and Michigan join five other states to receive approval for Medicaid work requirements; unlike most other states, Maine's work requirements will apply to both existing beneficiaries and those newly eligible through expansion.

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The new report, released by a public-private task force led by the Department of Health and Human Services, outlines common cybersecurity threats to health care organizations and best practices to counter such risks.

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The association urged the agency to consider the interplay of new policies with existing government programs, such as the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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The Medicare Shared Savings Program final rule creates a pathway for accountable care organizations to transition more rapidly to performance-based risk.

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The modules are part of a training series based on agency guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

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In a letter to state Medicaid directors, the agency shared 10 opportunities to improve service to individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

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The waiver permits federal reimbursement for short-term stays in institutions for mental disease for individuals with substance use disorders.

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The new guidance recommends that clinicians consider prescribing or coprescribing naloxone to individuals with a high risk of opioid overdose.

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A new association tracker lists grants and demonstration projects available under H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, that will be available to essential hospitals.

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The Department of Health and Human Services released a request for information on ways to modify the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to improve care coordination, promote value-based care, and reduce regulatory burden on providers.

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The state’s waiver initially was approved in May, but required a second approval to extend beyond Dec. 31.

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The association urged the Department of Homeland Security to exclude nonemergency Medicaid benefits and low-income subsidies for Medicare Part D beneficiaries from the list of programs considered in public charge determinations.

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The frequently asked questions are about a new requirement, under the fiscal year 2019 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule, that hospitals make public a list of their standard charges via the internet.

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Seven new requirements under the National Patient Safety Goals program require hospitals to screen for suicide risk and standardize treatment procedures.

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Hospitals have until Dec. 30 to preview their quality data before it is published on the Hospital Compare website in February 2019.

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The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the previous approval, saying the administration failed to adequately assess the waiver's impact on Medicaid’s core objective: to provide health care coverage for beneficiaries.

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The association expressed concerns about two disparity methods developed to report readmission rates among patients with social risk factors; the deadline for comments has been extended to Dec. 14.

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The final rule and advanced effective date represent a significant victory for essential hospitals.

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More than 1 million eligible clinicians received a neutral or better payment adjustment in the first year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, one of two tracks in the Quality Payment Program.

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The agency will hold educational webinars to help health care providers understand the new user interface for Hospital Compare preview reports.

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America’s Essential Hospitals urged the agency to promptly finalize its proposal to move up to Jan. 1, 2019, the effective and implementation date for a final rule on the calculation of ceiling prices for drugs purchased through the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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America’s Essential Hospitals highlighted the unique role essential hospitals play in treating individuals with social risk factors.

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America’s Essential Hospitals encouraged the agency to continue its efforts to reduce regulatory burden at essential hospitals, including through refining Medicare and Medicaid conditions of participation.

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Senators of both parties and House Republicans last week began elections for leadership positions in the 116th session of Congress; after the Thanksgiving holiday, lawmakers will continue work to approve a spending bill by Dec. 7.

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A new demonstration opportunity, which can be carried out through Section 1115 waivers, would allow states to receive reimbursement for services at institutions for mental disease for individuals with serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance.

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A Centers for Disease Control & Prevention toolkit provides educational resources and social media messaging for Antibiotics Awareness Week 2018.

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The proposed rule reflects the agency’s broader strategy to relieve regulatory burden, support state flexibility, and promote transparency and innovation in the delivery of care.

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The long-delayed final rule on the calculation of ceiling prices in the 340B Drug Pricing Program, as well as civil monetary penalties on manufactures who knowingly overcharge, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

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Wisconsin is the fifth state to receive approval to incorporate work and community engagement requirements as a condition of Medicaid eligibility.

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The Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule for calendar year 2019 broadens the scope of cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and to off-campus provider-based departments; in a statement, the association strongly objected to these additional payment cuts.

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The rule includes updates to the Quality Payment Program and documentation and payment changes for evaluation and management services.

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The agency seeks stakeholder feedback on two disparity methods measuring patient outcomes based on social risk factors; comments are due Dec. 14.

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President Trump signed long-awaited bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid epidemic; the law does not align confidentiality regulations for substance use disorder treatment records with HIPAA privacy standards.

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The five-year demonstration, beginning in 2020, would be open to hospitals and physicians in selected geographic areas representing 50 percent of Medicare Part B spending on separately payable drugs.

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The Maternal Opioid Misuse model will last five years and support the integration of clinical care with other services critical for health, well-being, and recovery for pregnant and postpartum Medicaid beneficiaries.

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In its comments, the association encouraged OIG to narrow the application of anti-kickback statute and beneficiary inducements civil monetary penalty laws to promote value and care coordination.

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The guidance allows states additional flexibility to waive certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act while preserving access to affordable, comprehensive coverage.

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This nine-month program enhances the advocacy skills of government relations professionals at hospitals with a mission to serve vulnerable people and communities; apply by Dec. 14.

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The expansion is expected to give up to 400,000 additional Virginians access to the program; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not announced a decision on the state's Section 1115 waiver, which includes work requirements.

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These no-cost, downloadable cards include ready-to-use infection prevention assessment forms tailored to 19 common themes, environments, or patient populations.

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America’s Essential Hospitals and six other hospital groups urged Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to refrain from adding health information exchange requirements to the Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation.

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America's Essential Hospitals encouraged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to promote stability in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and allow essential hospitals more time to stay in savings-only tracks.

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The association strongly encourages essential hospitals to submit individual comments with specific examples of how your institution addresses social risk factors among Medicare beneficiaries; comments are due Nov. 16.

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This new report, published in the Antibiotic Resistance Patient Safety Atlas, is the first to measure year-to-year health care–associated infection prevention progress using the updated 2015 baseline.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is waiving program requirements and suspending enforcement activities in Florida and Georgia.

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Participating entities, including 832 acute-care hospitals, will receive bundled payments for certain episodes of care to promote value in care delivery.

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This yearlong global initiative challenges governments, private industries, and nongovernmental organizations to commit to reducing antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance.

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The agency will publish accrediting organization (AO) performance data, redesign AO validation surveys, and share its annual report to Congress.

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The Oct. 15 webinar will review how to use the new Medicare Cost Report e-Filing system to submit cost reports for fiscal years ending on or after Dec. 31, 2017.

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A new notice makes technical and typographical corrections to the fiscal year 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule.

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The frequently asked questions clarify the type and format of information that hospitals must post under new requirements finalized in the fiscal year 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule.

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Health care providers can use this interactive tool to compare performance among states, identify areas for improvement, and find models for best practices.

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The proposal differs from a previously leaked version and expands the list of public programs for consideration in a public charge determination.

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Cooperative agreements with seven organizations aim to develop, improve, update, or expand quality measures for Medicare’s Quality Payment Program.

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America’s Essential Hospitals urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reverse policies that will result in significant funding cuts to essential hospitals and hinder access to care.

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The Sept. 26 webinar will review requirements for submitting value-based payment approaches as an Other Payer Advanced Alternative Payment Model under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

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This funding supports initiatives under the agency's Five-Point Opioid Strategy and was distributed in conjunction with Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

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Essential hospital staff are invited to provide feedback on overall hospital quality star rating methodology during an Oct. 4 listening session; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will use the feedback to inform future methodology updates.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services waived program requirements in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued guidance for treating carbon monoxide poisoning in hurricane victims.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration data provide a statistical context for the country’s opioid crisis and other behavioral health matters.

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The association urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to adequately reimburse off-campus, provider-based departments and refine physician quality reporting to account for costs of care and the unique needs and patient populations served by essential hospitals.

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New data show 472 accountable care organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program cared for 9 million program beneficiaries in 2017.

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New resources from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center outline new hacking and malware threats and prevention techniques.

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Covered entities that fail to complete recertification by the deadline will be removed from the 340B Drug Pricing Program for a minimum of one quarter.

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The hospital-specific reports, available for download through Sept. 24, use dual eligibility as the social risk factor for stratification of readmission rates within a hospital and enable comparison of differences across hospitals.

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The toolkit includes strategies and examples to help Medicaid agencies prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters.

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Leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions expressed concern that the Health Resources and Services Administration is not using its existing authority to ensure proper management of the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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In its response, the association encouraged federal regulators to revisit the Stark law with an eye toward easing barriers to care coordination and reducing regulatory burden.

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The Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model seeks to target physical and behavioral health needs through prevention, early identification, and treatment.

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The letter marks the first time the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has clearly described its budget neutrality calculation and represents its attempts to streamline the waiver process and control costs.

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The new guidance outlines the types of rules association health plans must follow under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and reiterates that states and the Department of Labor have a joint responsibility to regulate such plans.

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In an Aug. 16 bulletin, the agency announced it has decreased approval times for state plan amendments and Section 1915 waivers through a process improvement strategy and will continue efforts to streamline the waiver approval process.

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The new Food and Drug Administration draft guidance encourages researchers to consider a broader set of outcomes when approving new drugs for medication-assisted treatment, including a reduction in relapse overdoses and rates of disease transmissions.

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The agency will not convene a proposed task force to reduce environmental risks associated with the care of psychiatric inpatients, opting instead to use findings from The Joint Commission special report on suicide prevention in health care settings.

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A new proposed rule would create a pathway for accountable care organizations to more rapidly transition to performance-based risk.

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Abstracts should show the results of work to improve health or health care at a local, regional, or national scale.

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The confidential reports, available Aug. 24, will allow hospitals to review two disparity methods that assess performance for patients with social risk factors.

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Under the final rule , short-term, limited-duration insurance plans can be issued for up to 12 months, with a maximum duration of 36 months after renewals and extensions.

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This training details approaches to controlling antibiotic resistance in health care settings; participants must sign up for a free Medscape account.

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The special open-door forum aims to educate prescribers on federal resources and strategies to combat the opioid epidemic.

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The final rule increases Medicare inpatient payment rates to acute care hospitals by 1.85 percent, revises electronic health record requirements, and changes the payment adjustment methodology for the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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Hospitals have until Aug. 25 to preview their quality data before publication on the Hospital Compare website in October.

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The year-long intensive program, offered by the Center for Community Investment, trains rising executives in the leadership skills needed to help disadvantaged communities.

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Senate action on opioid legislation has been delayed by the debate over the Supreme Court nomination and what to include in the final package; Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said senators likely will consider opioid legislation after the August recess.

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The waivers allow each state to create a reinsurance program to lower premiums in the individual market; the waivers will take effect in 2019 and are approved through 2023.

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This second segment of a no-cost, online training course focuses on outpatient antibiotic stewardship and communicating with patients; participants can receive up to eight hours of continuing education credit.

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A new proposed rule for Medicare’s Outpatient Prospective Payment System would broaden the scope of cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and to off-campus provider-based departments; it also contains provisions related to quality reporting and transparency.

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Hospitals will have until Sept. 12 to complete the recertification process through the Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System.

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In the rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continues a policy of reduced payments to new off-campus provider-based departments; the agency also provides updates to the Quality Payment Program.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services extended to Aug. 8 the participation agreement deadline for the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced model and announced that participants can retroactively withdraw from the program in March 2019.

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The project would waive Merit-based Incentive Payment System requirements for clinicians who participate in certain Medicare Advantage plans that involve taking on risk to better align such plans with fee-for-service Medicare.

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Merit-based Incentive Payment System participants can request a targeted review of their performance feedback and final score if they find an error in their 2019 payment adjustment calculation.

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The decision strikes down the state's overall Section 1115 waiver, which included community engagement and work requirements, but it upholds as a separate waiver a portion allowing Medicaid reimbursement for substance use disorder treatment in institutions for mental disease.

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Several new or enhanced Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiatives are designed to improve Medicaid program integrity and sustainability through greater transparency and accountability, strengthened data, and innovative analytical tools.

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CMS approved Oklahoma's proposal to advance Medicaid value-based arrangements with drugmakers in negotiating supplemental rebate agreements; The agency rejected Massachusetts' request to institute a closed formulary for Medicaid outpatient prescription drugs.

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America's Essential Hospitals urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to implement its Medicare disproportionate share hospital payment methodology and quality measurement programs in a way that accounts for the unique needs and patient populations served by essential hospitals.

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The brief reviews each type of Medicaid hospital payment, information on payment goals, and state-level data on fiscal year 2016 supplemental payments to hospitals.

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A change brought by passage of the 21st Century Cures Act will ensure coverage for early and periodic screening, diagnostic, and treatment services for children under age 21 receiving inpatient psychiatric hospital services.

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The report provides updates on the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, off-campus emergency department access, the physician fee schedule, population-based quality measures and incentives, and Medicare accountable care organizations, among other topics.

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Medicare-eligible hospitals have until July 1 to apply for exception—and avoid a negative payment adjustment—for the 2019 payment adjustment year.

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This year's Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission report focuses on the high cost of prescription drugs and the opioid epidemic.

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The Department of Labor has issued a final rule expanding the definition of "employer" for purposes of establishing association health plans.

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Modeled on a program developed at essential hospital St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, in Paterson, N.J., the Alternatives to Opioids bill is one of 25 opioid-related bills the House passed last week.

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The Partnership For Disaster Health Response grant offers $6 million for two partnerships to improve disaster readiness and response across the delivery system.

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This finalized rule provides flexibility in determining episode spending for Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model participating hospitals affected by a major disaster, such as a hurricane or wildfire.

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A blog post and road map highlight the agency's approach to the crisis, including prevention of new opioid use disorder cases and use of data to target prevention and treatment.

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Letters of intent for this funding opportunity must be submitted by June 28 at 5 pm ET, and full applications are due Sept. 25 at 5 pm ET.

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The reports will focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and/or management of a specific condition; individual procedure, treatment, or technology; or organization or financial strategy.

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The June 19 webinar features a patient perspective on environmental disinfection in dialysis stations, along with strategies for enacting best practices.

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An informational bulletin outlines the role of Medicaid in the care of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, while a letter to state Medicaid directors offers guidance on funding Medicaid technology to combat the opioid crisis.

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The June 19 webinar will explore the 2016 final rule on emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating health care providers, along with 1135 waivers.

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Amid a critical drug shortage, manufacturer Hospira released special handling instructions for lots of Carpuject Luer Lock Glass Syringe products that potentially could contain cracked needle hubs and particulate.

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The first Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program scorecard is intended to increase public transparency and accountability in the two programs.

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This is the latest of several delays of a rule that provides guidance on the calculation of ceiling prices and imposes civil monetary penalties on manufacturers who knowingly exceed them.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration funding aims to increase access to medication-assisted treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder, as well as to decrease illicit opioid drug use and prescription opioid misuse.

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The funding will be awarded for research on patient safety improvements in perinatal, neonatal, and pediatric care in routine hospital and intensive care settings.

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To ensure Medicaid beneficiaries' access to quality care, America's Essential Hospitals urges CMS not to issue access monitoring review exemptions to states with high managed care penetration.

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The dashboards, which show spending for drugs purchased in Medicaid and Medicare Parts B and D, for the first time include data on year-over-year price increases for individual drugs.

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The association urged the Health Resources and Services Administration to immediately implement a final rule establishing the calculation of ceiling prices and imposing manufacturer civil monetary penalties.

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The plan cites and builds on proposed changes to the 340B Drug Pricing Program in the president’s fiscal year 2019 budget, as well as damaging cuts implemented through the calendar year 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule.

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The interagency effort targets obstacles to health care, including a fragmented delivery system and lack of specialty service access, faced by many rural communities.

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New Hampshire is the fourth state to receive approval to incorporate work and community engagement requirements as a condition of Medicaid eligibility.

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Hospitals have until June 2 to preview their quality data before it is published on the Hospital Compare website in July.

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The proposal would delay by an additional year implementation of a final rule on ceiling prices and manufacturer civil monetary penalties in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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Two new fact sheets clarify the application of privacy regulations under 42 CFR Part 2, a longstanding rule dictating how to share patient data related to substance use disorder.

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The podcast provides updates to survey vendors, self-administering hospitals, and client hospitals participating in the national patient experience survey.

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The webpage documents the health system's response to the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting and encourages other hospitals to create disaster response plans.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended to June 15 the deadline to complete an Agreement to Participate and Consent.

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The refresh includes data for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting, Prospective Payment System–Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting, and Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting programs.

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The plan is required by the 21st Century Cures Act and is meant to improve federal and state coordination around the enforcement of parity laws.

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A new proposed rule for Medicare’s Inpatient Prospective Payment System for fiscal year 2019 would increase inpatient operating payment rates by 1.75 percent.

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The new model would allow providers to contract directly with patients, rather than contracting with Medicare or private insurers; comments are due May 25.

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Clinicians eligible for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System can receive Improvement Activity credit for participating in a study on quality reporting burdens; applications are due April 30.

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The webinar, intended for Medicare Part A providers, will include a presentation on the new Medicare Cost Report e-Filing system followed by a question-and-answer session.

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Unlike previous data releases, this version of the tool allows users to view trend lines of the available metrics and health services areas.

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The event, for National Minority Health Month, will discuss how the opioid crisis affects minority communities and how organizations partner to combat the crisis and improve behavioral health.

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The April 18 webinar will explain the benefits of voluntary submission in calendar year 2018, share reporting resources, and answer attendee questions.

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Potential topics include a broad range of health conditions, risk factors, and applications, such as public health partnerships, care coordination approaches, and data integration strategies.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offers details on how Medicare Advantage plans might be affected by reimbursement reductions in the calendar year 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule.

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Providers who submitted data through the Quality Payment Program website can review preliminary performance feedback. Final scores and feedback will be available July 1.

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The agency outlines a five-step containment process and provides resources for health departments, labs, and health care providers.

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The grants will be used to establish, expand, and maintain assertive community treatment programs to reduce rates of substance use, homelessness, and criminal justice system involvement among individuals with serious mental illness. Applications are due May 29.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will award up to $15.75 million for research to advance understanding about opioid overdose prevention. Applications are due May 15.

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The annual report offers county- and state-level information on health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment.

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The reports provide estimated hospital-level proportions of dual-eligible patients, peer group assignments, and payment adjustment information using the program's new stratified methodology.

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Reports by the National Academy of State Health Policy and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission point to new trends, including increased focus on reform, new financing mechanisms, and standardized evaluation.

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The new rules allow surveyors to penalize a hospital for a deficiency if an individual fails to perform hand hygiene in the process of direct patient care.

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Hospitals have until Aug. 22 to petition the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for inclusion on the list for the 2020 plan year.

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A new analysis suggests specialty hospitals receive higher star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services than major teaching hospitals by reporting fewer quality measures.

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The proposed rule would exempt states with high Medicaid managed care penetration from Medicaid access to care guidelines; 17 states currently meet the proposal's exemption requirements. America’s Essential Hospitals is analyzing the proposed rule and will provide written comment to CMS.

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The three-pronged approach aims to reduce drug demand, cut off the flow of illicit drugs domestically and internationally, and expand opportunities for proven addiction treatments.

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In its annual report to Congress, the commission also recommends curbing Medicare Advantage plan consolidation and evaluating telehealth services before including them in coverage.

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This year's report includes the commission’s statutorily required annual analysis of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments, as well as chapters on Medicaid managed care and telehealth.

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This year's theme, We Are All Patients, encourages health care providers to stand with patients and stresses the importance of patient engagement in safe care.

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A federal court in Washington, D.C., vacated a final rule requiring Medicaid disproportionate share hospital limit calculations to include Medicare and commercial insurance payments; the court explicitly issued a decision with nationwide impact.

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Three lots of the injectable opioid medication Hydromorphone HCl, distributed by Hospira and Teva, were recalled due to broken and cracked glass vials.

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A new CDC study finds a 30 percent increase in opioid overdose–related emergency department (ED) visits; the agency will host a webinar on coordinating clinical and public health responses to opioid overdoses treated in EDs.

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The new resources for Medicare-eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals include details about submitting data through QualityNet and information on clinical quality measures.

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In a March 6 comment letter, America's Essential Hospitals urged federal officials to ensure association health plans have proper oversight and cover all necessary services for beneficiaries.

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Under the approved waiver, Arkansas Medicaid beneficiaries ages 19 to 49 beginning June 1 must work or participate in community engagement activities for 80 hours per month to maintain their eligibility.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a frequently asked questions document about the new voluntary bundled payment model ahead of the March 12 deadline for applications.

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The Innovation Accelerator Program's March 26 webinar will focus on administrative and regulatory barriers to physical and mental health integration in the Medicaid program.

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Medicare-eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals now have until March 16 to submit attestation data and electronic clinical quality measure data.

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The proposal extends to one year the maximum length of short-term, limited duration plans — up from three months, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

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The Measure Applications Partnership Hospital Workgroup recommended greater alignment of measures across programs and proposed criteria for measure removal.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is giving up to 10 states the opportunity to participate in the program to design, develop, and implement value-based payment approaches.

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Health care professionals who complete the four-part web training program are eligible to receive up to eight hours of continuing education credit.

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A federal court in Missouri ruled that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ April 2017 third-party payer DSH final rule is unenforceable. This decision is the first to invalidate the final rule.

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Cracks in the defibrillator's gas discharge tube can allow gases to escape and the device to malfunction when used in automated external defibrillator mode.

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Administrators must review and sign the updated agreement by April 14 to retain access to the National Healthcare Safety Network.

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Group reporting through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services web interface must be completed by March 16; all other Merit-based Incentive Payment System data must be submitted by March 31.

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Senate Finance Committee leadership sent a letter to stakeholders requesting information on Medicare and Medicaid policy options that could be used to combat the opioid epidemic.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is awarding $8.1 million in targeted funding to assess and potentially alter states’ essential health benefits packages.

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The table identifies which alternative payment models (APMs) are designated as Advanced APMs under the Quality Payment Program or the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

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The Measure Applications Partnership submitted recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services on 35 performance measures under consideration for use in federal health care programs.

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The live session, on Feb. 8, will provide information on the upcoming transition to the QualityNet Secure Portal for hospitals participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved Indiana's request to incorporate work requirements in their Section 1115 Medicaid expansion waiver. This is the second waiver with work requirements approved by CMS.

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The new cards will have a Medicare beneficiary identifier to replace the existing health insurance claim number, which was based on the beneficiary’s Social Security number.

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The blueprint will guide opioid manufacturers in developing education tools for health care providers as part of the agency’s updated risk evaluation and mitigation strategy.

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Hospitals have until March 2 to preview their quality data before it is published on the Hospital Compare website in April.

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The agency is combatting an intravenous fluid (IV) shortage as Puerto Rico, where many IV solutions are produced, recovers from Hurricane Maria.

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The designation allows federal health agencies to allocate resources and hire specialists to combat the opioid crisis. The original declaration was set to expire on Jan. 23.

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The shortage is due to the effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, where much IV fluid is produced, and has been exacerbated by the severity of this year’s flu season.

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The agency expects to release comprehensive ligature risk interpretive guidance later this year for psychiatric units of acute-care hospitals and psychiatric hospitals.

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The agency has found marked progress over a decade in eliminating five health care–associated infections (HAIs), and offers an update on the Department of Health and Human Services' five-year goals to reduce HAIs.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will audit mid-build certifications this year and should complete all audits by December 2018.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the community engagement initiative, often referred to as work requirements, in a Jan. 11 letter and a frequently asked questions document.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will host an information session and a series of four webinars in the coming weeks to provide information on new opportunities for states.

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This year, there are 124 new participants, including 55 that will take part in the risk-baring Medicare Shared Savings Program Track 1+ model; Accountable care organizations now serve 10.5 million Medicare patients, up 1.5 million from 2017.

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Researchers discovered two techniques, known as Meltdown and Spectre, that can circumvent data protections and potentially expose data on many computers purchased over the past decade.

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The new rule is intended to improve care coordination and better align current rules with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

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The new system streamlines quality reporting through one portal; the data submission period runs from Jan. 2 to March 31.

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The guidance defines courtesy discounts, defines when a bad debt is "written off," provides clarity about unpaid coinsurance and deductibles, and more.

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The waiver extensions fund Texas' uncompensated care pool and delivery system reform incentive payment program and provide family planning services for low-income individuals in Mississippi for 10 years.

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In response to an annual update to the Quality Payment Program, the association called for increased flexibility and risk adjustment for socioeconomic factors.

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The final tax deal includes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, Advance Refunding Bonds and Private Activity Bonds.

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Hospital staff participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program will learn how to register, attest, and submit measures using the QualityNet Secure Portal.

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Hospitals serving low-income, underserved patients have until Dec. 22 to submit a petition for inclusion on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ final 2019 essential community provider list.

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Republican leaders hope to introduce the final tax reform bill early next week; a bill to stop cuts to the 340B Drug Pricing Program has 130 cosponsors.

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The association emphasized access to essential community providers within qualified health plan networks in its comments on the 2019 draft letter to issuers.

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These snapshots allow health care providers and officials to compare performance with other states and identify areas for improvement.

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Tax reform legislation heads to a House-Senate conference committee. Meanwhile, a bill to delay Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment cuts could be included in year-end legislation.

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The calendar year 2019 draft letter to plans offered through federally facilitated marketplaces also provides deadlines for qualified health plan certification.

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The association encouraged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure that state plans cover essential health benefits and include sufficient access to essential community providers.

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The legislative priorities include a health care extenders package, tax reform, and a long-term funding bill. Also, bipartisan House legislation to halt 340B payment cuts now has more than 50 cosponsors.

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During the Dec. 13 webinar, association member Boston Medical Center will discuss the hospital's substance use disorder treatment initiatives.

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The proposed rule increases flexibility for Medicare Advantage plans and implements the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016.

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The guidance specifies rate reductions in Medicaid fee-for-service that will not require access reviews by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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The House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; the Senate version of the tax reform bill includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.

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In response to the request for information, the association encouraged flexibility and a focus on hospitals treating high numbers of complex patients.

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Hospitals that contract with or are owned by state or local government must now identify a government official to attest to the hospital's classification.

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The new guide will help patients understand their mental and behavioral health, navigate treatment options, and find appropriate services.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will review December 2017 methodology enhancements and their impact on star ratings in a Nov. 30 webinar.

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The updated standards focus on collaboration between health care providers and emergency management officials in the community.

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In a speech to the National Association of Medicaid Directors, Administrator Verma also announced an initiative to create scorecards for Medicaid and CHIP outcomes.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will observe Antibiotics Awareness Week with a Twitter chat and webinar on Nov. 16.

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The Quality Payment Program combines and replaces three separate clinician quality programs with a single system for clinicians that bill Medicare Part B.

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The rule includes additional cuts to new off-campus, provider-based departments (PBDs), as well as physician payment and quality program changes.

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Due to technical difficulties, the new 340B recertification period will run through Dec. 6; hospitals that already started the process must restart.

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An agency bulletin instructs states on how to seek approval for state-directed payment arrangements and distinguishes directed payments from other payment models.

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The commission supports a national curriculum for opioid prescribers and state waivers to eliminate the Medicaid institutions for mental disease exclusion, among other recommendations.

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In a Nov. 2 Federal Register notice, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services posted final DSH allotments for FY 2015 and preliminary allotments for FY 2017.

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CMS announced a new streamlined process to encourage state innovation through demonstrations and approved new demonstrations for New Jersey and Utah.

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The rule cuts 340B Drug Pricing Program payments by $1.6 billion and requires hospitals to use modifiers to identify 340B drugs in Medicare claims.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services previously had extended the revision deadline to Oct. 31, following numerous changes to the worksheet S-10.

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The emergency declaration expands telemedicine services to treat addiction and opens up the Public Health Emergency Fund, among other actions to combat the opioid crisis.

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The quality measure data update excludes Hospital Compare overall star ratings, which will refresh beginning Nov. 3.

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These awards will support antibiotic resistance research with a focus on the human microbiome, environmental settings, and health care settings.

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Shifting from condition-specific to hospitalwide measures in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program would significantly increase penalties for hospitals with many vulnerable patients.

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A bipartisan Senate bill would fund cost-sharing reduction payments; Congress has yet to renew funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

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America's Essential Hospitals has compiled relevant immigration resources to inform essential hospitals about the rights of patients and providers.

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In its comments, America’s Essential Hospitals recommended that CMS finalize the cancellation of the mandatory episode payment models, work with stakeholders to develop voluntary models, and more.

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The five-year demonstration project, beginning Jan. 1, 2018, aims to strengthen substance use disorder care for state Medicaid beneficiaries.

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From Oct. 15 to Oct. 21, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology will raise awareness about antibiotic resistance through a Twitter chat and new infographic.

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The fellowship, based at Harvard University, is designed to prepare physician-leaders to improve health system capacity and promote policies and practices to improve access to care for minority, disadvantaged, and vulnerable populations.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' frequently asked questions document clarifies aspects of the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity final rule for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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The document explains hospital payment adjustments under the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; adjustments are applied as a reduction to the hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System percentage increase for FY 2018.

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Hospitals will have until Nov. 21 to complete the recertification process through the new Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System.

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America's Essential Hospitals opposed the proposed payment model, which would have reduced Medicare payments to providers for Part B drugs.

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Hospitals have until Oct. 31 to preview their quality data; CMS hospital-specific preview reports for overall quality star ratings will be available to hospitals in mid-October.

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The emergency operations center was activated in January 2016 to respond to the harmful effects of the virus when contracted during pregnancy.

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Hospitals use the worksheet S-10 to submit uncompensated care data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the agency will begin using the worksheet to calculate Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments in fiscal year 2018.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not receive any letters of intent for the 2018 start date of the Medicare-Medicaid accountable care organization model.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will conduct field testing from Oct. 16 to Nov. 15 of eight episode-based cost measures for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

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The new road map recommends policies and practices providers can adopt to promote health equity and eliminate disparities.

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The harmful payment reduction was included in the 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule, expected to be finalized this fall.

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Clinicians can participate in the first year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and avoid a negative payment adjustment if they begin collecting data by Dec. 31.

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America's Essential Hospitals was among those urging the agency to suspend overall star ratings and examine concerns with the methodology.

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The most recent delay to July 2018 comes after the Health Resources and Services Administration issued a proposed rule seeking feedback from stakeholders.

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The new directive applies to Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, but the specifics vary by country.

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Providers can register a new entity or contract pharmacy through the 340B Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System through Oct. 16.

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With 153 clinical C. auris cases reported in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated infection control guidelines.

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This video shares strategies to improve injection safety and reduce infection risks in narcotic diversion; participants must sign up for a free Medscape account to view the video.

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The committees were convened at the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services and include representatives from members of America’s Essential Hospitals.

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CMS is seeking broad feedback on a new direction for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, with increased emphasis on patient-centered care and market-based reforms.

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Affected providers will be exempt from reporting provisions of the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program, Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program, and Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program.

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The component enables manufacturers and covered entities to register for the 340B Drug Pricing Program, participate in annual recertification, and communicate with the Office of Pharmacy Affairs on pending tasks.

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Two free online simulations help health care providers improve decision-making skills during infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.

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Merit-based Incentive Payment System–eligible clinicians and groups may apply for hardship exceptions due to connectivity issues or extreme circumstances, such as disasters.

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The meeting came a day after the association submitted comments to the agency in response to the proposed annual update of the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System.

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The proposed rule would further cut payments to non-excepted provider-based departments to 25 percent of the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System rate and change certain quality reporting requirements.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other federal agencies have released several resources to help health care providers prepare for and respond to disasters.

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The funds will go to 44 states and the District of Columbia to expand prevention and tracking activities under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Overdose Prevention in States effort.

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The online course provides an overview of disaster preparedness and skills to gauge compliance with emergency preparedness requirements that go into effect on Nov. 15.

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The Sept. 13 webinar for covered entities will focus on the registration component of the new Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to hospitals and health care facilities in Federal Emergency Management Agency–designated major disaster counties.

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The changes include optimizing the assignment of star categories, eliminating the removal of outliers, and ensuring only hospitals meeting public reporting thresholds are assigned star ratings.

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The Get Ahead of Sepsis campaign includes a partner toolkit with educational and social media materials; CDC also will host a related webinar and Twitter chat.

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The proposed reductions are set to take effect Oct. 1; the association recommended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services protect state disproportionate share hospital payment allotments from total elimination, among other suggestions.

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Substantial cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments are set to begin on Oct. 1; strong and immediate input from essential hospitals is vital to successfully secure another delay.

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Nearly half of U.S. health care breaches in July were caused by hacking, marking the first time this year that hacking incidents outnumbered insider breaches in both frequency and number of affected patient records.

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The unexpired products by Bella Pharmaceuticals were distributed to health care facilities across the country from April 17 to Aug. 10; if not sterile, they could cause potentially life-threatening infections.

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The new webpage was launched by HHS' Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; a webinar highlighting the resources will be held Sept. 14.

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In response to a proposed annual update to the Quality Payment Program, America’s Essential Hospitals offered recommendations related to the merit-based incentive payment system.

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The Health Resources and Services Administration is seeking comments on whether to further delay implementation of a final rule on ceiling prices and civil monetary penalties in the 340B Drug Pricing Program by nine months.

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The report, mandated by Congress and released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, found continued gaps in access to care and other health disparities.

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The newly released set of frequently asked questions relates to potential payment issues for Medicaid managed care patients in institutions for mental disease.

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The first performance year was set to begin Jan. 1, 2018; America’s Essential Hospitals previously expressed concern about the scope and pace of the models.

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The voluntary recall has been expanded to include various dietary supplements, such as liquid vitamin D drops and liquid multivitamins marketed for infants and children.

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Health professionals are encouraged to join social media campaigns, attend informational calls and webinars, and review a new fact sheet on Candida auris.

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The change aims to simplify data reporting for hospitals, as most already use the QualityNet portal for communications and quality data exchange.

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The funding will support state and local health departments in testing for drug-resistant fungi and promote the use of whole genome sequencing in testing.

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The system will be unavailable from Aug. 15 until mid-September; hospitals are urged to verify contact information for authorizing officials and primary contacts in the system before Aug. 14.

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The stool softeners could be contaminated with B. cepacia, a bacteria that could infect patients with compromised immune systems or chronic lung conditions.

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Exceptions are available for Merit-based Incentive Payment System eligible clinicians and groups that experienced insufficient internet connectivity, uncontrollable circumstances, or other issues; applications are due Oct. 1.

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The voluntary recall was issued after a customer reported particulate matter in a container of the product, which later was identified as stainless steel.

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The decision extends by five years the state's demonstration of a capitated Medicaid managed care program and a low-income pool to provide support for the safety net.

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The announcement to allow revisions to fiscal year (FY) 2014 worksheets is important because the agency will use FY 2014 data to calculate FY 2018 Medicare disproportionate share hospital compensation.

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The final rule updates Medicare inpatient rates to acute care hospitals by 1.21 percent, provides flexibility in reporting of electronic clinical quality measures, and changes the payment adjustment methodology for the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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The Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis' interim report encourages the president to declare a national emergency to fight the opioid epidemic.

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The guidance no longer recommends routine testing of women unless there was ongoing potential exposure; the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $7 million to fight Zika in U.S. territories.

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The report outlines programs implemented by hospitals and public health departments across the country to improve antibiotic prescribing practices as part of the agency's Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative.

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Expanded Medicaid access under the Affordable Care Act might have helped patients seek treatment for behavioral health issues, which disproportionately affect low-income populations.

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The Hospital Compare refresh includes data on new measures; hospitals can preview their overall star ratings through Aug. 13.

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Fujifilm will contact all customers by October for replacement parts and loan customers duodenoscopes to use during the replacement period.

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The delay allows for implementation of a new online tool that will allow providers to register and recertify 340B sites and contract pharmacies.

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A publicly released set of slides describes dramatic restrictions to CMS' budget neutrality policy for Section 1115 waivers.

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The project seeks to reduce harms caused by inappropriate antibiotic use; registration is open for a one-hour introductory webinar about the project.

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The funding will be used to track and prevent opioid overdoses; meanwhile, a report finds a drop in the estimated rate of Americans misusing prescription drugs.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will allow hospitals to submit revisions to Worksheet S-10 of their Medicare cost report for fiscal year 2015 by Sept. 30.

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Of the 303 performance measures submitted during the trial period, 65 were determined to have a conceptual basis for adjustment for social risk factors.

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Aids provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services include fact sheets and overview documents, lists of alternative payment models, webinars and other educational tools, and support contacts.

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The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule for calendar year 2018 includes physician payment and quality program changes.

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Essential hospitals, key providers of public health and emergency preparedness services, stand ready to support the nation's response to the spreading Zika virus. Find resources from the CDC and other experts here.

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The proposed rule would increase outpatient payment rates by 1.75 percent and drastically reduce Medicare Part B reimbursement for drugs purchased through the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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The special report suggests methods to improve care for the top 5 percent of high-need patients, who account for half of the nation's health care spending.

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The Evidence-Based Practice Centers Program is seeking suggestions for treatment, tests, and methods of health care delivery that should be considered for extensive evaluation.

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The update calls for improvements to federal network cybersecurity, protection of critical infrastructure, and an international engagement strategy.

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Courts in Minnesota, Tennessee, and Virginia have ruled in favor of hospitals challenging the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services' inclusion of Medicare and commercial payments in the calculation of disproportionate-share hospital payment limits.

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This is the second Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver to receive approval; Alaska is pursuing the waiver to stabilize the state's individual health care market.

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America’s Essential Hospitals has established this page of cybersecurity resources on preventing and responding to information technology attacks.

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Researchers from George Washington University and The Commonwealth Fund found the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 could cause an estimated 1.45 million jobs to disappear by 2026.

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Despite reductions in opioid prescribing, the amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 still was triple the amount prescribed in 1999.

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In the bulletin on the Medicaid managed care final rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it will use enforcement discretion based on state-specific facts.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show incidence of Clostridium difficile in hospitals and nursing homes fell for the first time in decades.

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A new strain of ransomware, known as Petya, could affect the health care sector and is unique because the virus is capable of self-replication.

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The video is the third in a series by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about challenges to preventing health care-associated infections.

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Two new reports warn about the same vulnerabilities that allowed the WannaCry virus to spread worldwide earlier this year.

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The brief projects Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payment reductions under the Affordable Care Act and the House-passed American Health Care Act.

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CMS proposes changes related to participation in the merit-based incentive payment system or Advanced Alternative Payment Models tracks.

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The findings highlight the need for continued mosquito surveillance and can help health departments and mosquito control districts plan for outbreaks.

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New Medicare cards will include a randomly generated Medicare beneficiary identifier instead of the Social Security-based health insurance claim number.

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In a report to Congress, the commission details state solutions for improving care delivery, increasing treatment availability, and reducing opioid misuse.

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's annual report examines various issues in the Medicare payment system and offers recommendations to Congress.

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The fact sheet gives a general overview of the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Quality Payment Program and explains how the programs work together.

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The National Quality Forum draft report evaluates the effectiveness of the two-year trial that risk-adjusted performance measures for socioeconomic status.

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The resources, designed for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-covered entities or their associates, include a checklist and infographic.

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America’s Essential Hospitals encourages CMS to improve transparency, risk adjust, and reduce regulatory burden for essential hospitals.

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The committee’s intentions remain unclear; we recommend essential hospitals prepare to publicly describe what auditors found and corrective actions taken.

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The error affects the 2015 and 2016 catheter-associated urinary tract infection predictive models; new models will be developed for affected facilities.

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The list includes reusable medical devices with the greatest risk of transmitting an infection or performing poorly if not properly reprocessed.

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CMS aims to eliminate or change outdated, costly, or inconsistent regulations for marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act.

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The Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force outlines resources and the importance of cybersecurity to patient safety and continuity of operations.

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The webinar on June 28 will focus on the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program's Reducing Substance Use Disorders program area.

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States have until June 12 to complete an expression of interest form for the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program track.

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The World Health Organization now groups antibiotics into three categories: Access, Watch, and Reserve, for drugs that should be used as a "last resort."

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The Vital Signs report notes ways to prevent the bacterial lung infection, which is fatal in 25 percent of people who contract it at a health care facility.

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The deadline for Medicare- and Medicaid-providers and suppliers to meet applicable requirements of the rule, including training and testing, is Nov. 15.

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Overall star ratings now will be released in October because of issues with data on three measures; hospitals can preview the ratings in July.

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CMS predicts nearly all clinicians in advanced alternative payment models in 2016 would qualify for a 2019 incentive payment for participating in 2017.

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The funds aim to increase the use of medication-assisted treatment, train first responders, and increase access to overdose reversal medications.

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The challenge asks organizations to share how they use the National Health Security Preparedness Index to advance health security and disaster preparedness.

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A new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guide highlights technical resources for clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program under MACRA.

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A white paper calls for a stop to impending cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments and recommends modernizing existing DSH policy.

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This year, 77 U.S. cases of Candida auris have been reported; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is assisting health agencies in affected areas.

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The updates include guidance on reporting ransomware and note how Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance can protect from an attack.

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The final rule on drug ceiling prices and manufacturer civil monetary penalties under the 340B Drug Pricing Program now will go into effect on Oct. 1.

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The first performance year for new cardiac episode payment models and the effective date of joint replacement regulation amendments now starts Jan. 1, 2018.

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Magellan Diagnostics' LeadCare Analyzers could produce inaccurate blood lead test results when used with venous blood samples.

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The new checklist tool helps states compile the necessary documents to apply to waive ACA provisions and pursue alternative reforms.

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Ransomware, a type of malware that infects computers and restricts access to files until a ransom is paid, has hit health care organizations in the United Kingdom.

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The webinar will focus on managing resources, setting priorities, engaging stakeholders, and anticipating needs during crises, such as disease outbreaks.

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Several leadership posts — including FDA commissioner, National Coordinator for Health IT, AHRQ director, and HRSA administrator — have been filled.

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Clinicians enter their national provider identifier into the tool to determine whether they must submit data to the merit-based incentive payment system.

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The agency's Evidence-based Practice Centers Program wants to hear how health systems use evidence reports in decision-making.

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Three new amendments garnered enough Republican support to pass the bill in a 217-213 vote; CBO has not scored the bill since the amendments were added.

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The update for the 2018 performance year aligns electronic clinical quality measure specifications with current clinical guidelines and code systems.

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The new guidance updates recommendations issued in 1999; recommendations are categorized based on the quality of available supporting evidence.

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The study found an outbreak affecting 10 percent of the populations of the most vulnerable states would cost $10.3B in lost productivity and medical expenses.

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Penny Thompson, principal at Penny Thompson Consulting and former deputy director of CMS' Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, was named MACPAC chair.

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The study found that the penalty burden was greater in hospitals treating a high share of patients with socioeconomic disadvantages.

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Barriers to communication can be especially harmful for Medicare beneficiaries, who are more likely to have comorbidities and complex health needs.

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Rep. MacArthur (R-NJ) proposed an amendment to the AHCA that would have allowed states to opt out of several important insurance regulations.

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CDC has found an increase in Shigella bacteria resistant to flouroquinone antibiotics, which could indicate resistance to other drugs.

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A vote on the bipartisan bill could come Wednesday in the House, followed by Senate consideration before continuing resolution appropriations expire Friday.

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CMS updated the Hospital Compare website with new data, including health care–associated infections and HCAHPS survey data.

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A lethal, drug-resistant fungus called Candida auris could pose the country's leading health risk.

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In awarding the funds, HHS Secretary Tom Price committed to collaborating with states and seeking their “assistance to identify best practices, lessons learned, and key strategies that produce measurable results.”

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America’s Essential Hospitals expressed support of the delay of episode payment models to allow selected hospitals more time to prepare for participation.

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The training resource is the first in a series of eight learning modules to be released this year on the CDC opioid prescribing guidelines.

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The rule contains provisions on the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, Medicare DSH, the Inpatient Quality Reporting program, and more.

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The test detects antibodies produced as part of the body's immune response to the Zika virus and is expected to produce initial results within 58 minutes.

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Hospital participation in Medicare value-based programs in 2015, including ACOs and bundled payments, was associated with 2,377 fewer readmissions and $32.7 million in savings.

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It requires Medicare payments for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicaid, and other third-party payments be included in uncompensated care calculations.

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When lawmakers return, they could attempt to make additional changes to pass the American Health Care Act, legislation to repeal and replace the ACA.

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The challenge aims to promote innovation using the National Health Security Preparedness Index; submissions are due July 31.

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Over a five-year period, CMS will test the three-track AHC model, which aims to support health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

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Hospitals have until May 5 to review overall Hospital Compare star rating and until May 10 to review value-based purchasing hospital-specific reports.

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Your members of Congress are back in their home districts through April 24, giving you an ideal opportunity to make your views known.

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The rankings provide a county-level “snapshot” of health and can help essential hospitals identify the needs of the communities they serve.

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The agency estimates that MA organization payment rates will increase by 0.45 percent on average in 2018, with an expected average revenue increase of 2.95 percent when accounting for coding changes.

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CMS finalizes the agency's interpretation that, in determining hospital-specific DSH payment limits, the total costs of care for Medicaid inpatient and outpatient services must account for all third-party payments.

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The Phillips HeartStart MRx Monitor/Defibrillator might not power up, charge, or deliver electrical shock therapy, and could unexpectedly stop pacing.

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The delay, which applies to certain hospital outreach labs, comes after stakeholders expressed concerns about the March 31, 2017, deadline.

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Talks of a deal to resurrect the American Health Care Act — legislation to repeal and replace the ACA that was pulled in March — are underway.

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The webinar and listening session, on April 4 and 5, will focus on MIPS' advancing care information performance category and cost measure development.

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President Trump established the commission and ordered it to make final recommendations by Oct. 1; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will serve as chair.

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The deadline for meeting all applicable requirements of the rule is Nov. 15; CMS will host a provider conference call on April 27 to review the rule.

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House GOP leadership pulled the bill due to inadequate support; the association now resumes its focus on other hospital-related issues, including DSH cuts.

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Of particular note, NQF's Measure Applications Partnership acknowledged the need for more research to understand the role of socioeconomic status in health.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants total $110 million, with up to 11 awardees receiving up to $2 million annually for up to five years.

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The American Health Care Act's Medicaid cuts would fall heavily on low-income states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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The rule affects the Advancing Care Through Episode Payment Models, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Payment model, and changes to the CJR model.

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Samuel Ross, CEO of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, testified at an event held by House Democrats on the Republican-proposed bill to repeal the ACA.

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The replacement plan would make steep cuts to Medicaid and leave an estimated 24 million more people uninsured, compared with current law under the ACA.

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This legislation is moving with unusual speed and could reach the Senate floor as early as next week if it wins House approval Thursday.

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Electronic health record information management is the top patient safety concern of 2017, according to a report released by the ECRI Institute on March 13.

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In addition to the merger, the organizations announced the release of a public health framework to guide patient safety efforts.

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Health care professionals who provide chronic care management services often are not aware they are eligible for separate payments under Medicare Part B.

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The letter affirms their desire to improve the Medicaid program and the vulnerable people it serves and to ensure the program provides value to taxpayers.

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The blueprint also shifts CDC funding to a $500 million block grant and creates a Federal Emergency Response Fund for public health outbreaks, like Zika.

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MACPAC's March report includes analysis on Medicaid DSH and impacts of the ACA on hospitals, as well as recommendations for the future of CHIP.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) encourages infection preventionists and other interested staff to participate in its National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) training course, which runs March 20-24 at CDC's Global Communications Center in Atlanta.

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The American Health Care Act moves next to the House Committee on the Budget, which is scheduled to mark up the legislation on Thursday.

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America’s Essential Hospitals has launched a new "Action" section with improved navigation, easy access to key resources, and other features.

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The letter encourages states to pursue Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers, especially those including high-risk pool/state-operated reinsurance programs.

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The FAQs outline how hospitals should complete the form's free-text field and clarify that the form must be issued to Medicare Advantage enrollees.

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America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concerns about proposed changes that could harm the integrity of qualified health plan networks.

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HRSA has delayed until March 21 the effective date of a final rule on drug ceiling prices and manufacturer civil monetary penalties in the 340B program.

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A series of forums will provide information on the Next Generation ACO Model; a separate CMS webinar will outline the Medicare ACO Track 1+ Model.

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The March 22 webinar will outline the agencies' roles in the expansion of the program model, next steps for organization considering offering it & more.

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The list of 12 antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens" is aimed at guiding and promoting the research and development of new antibiotics.

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Draft GOP text for legislation to repeal and replace the ACA leaks; a Senate committee is poised to vote on the administration's CMS administrator nominee.

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In a request for information, CMS seeks input on how to improve the quality and reduce the cost of care for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.

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The vaccine triggers an immune response to mosquito saliva; the study is expected to enroll up to 60 healthy adults and finish by summer 2018.

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Hospitals will be required to provide the form and accompanying instructions to applicable Medicare patients starting March 8.

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A leaked House GOP plan to repeal & replace the ACA raises concerns for essential hospitals. A Senate committee considered nominee Seema Verma to lead CMS.

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CDC recommends hospitals clean rooms of patients with Candida auris daily and post-discharge with a disinfectant that is effective against C. diff.

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CMS has pushed back by seven weeks, to June 21, the deadline for qualified health plans to apply to participate in the ACA health insurance marketplaces in 2018.

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The delay is in accordance with a “regulatory freeze” set forth in a recent White House memorandum.

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CMS has extended the deadline for submitting certain hospital quality data after receiving reports of system issues and inaccessibility with QualityNet.

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Former Rep. Tom Price was confirmed as secretary of HHS; the Senate Committee on Finance will consider the nomination of Seema Verma as CMS administrator.

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CMS projects that Medicare Advantage organization payment rates will increase by 0.25 percent in 2018.

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A House subcommittee marked up two bills focused on income eligibility for Medicaid. The association weighed in on a hearing about the individual mandate.

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The Feb. 7 letter offers recommendations on proposed executive orders, regulations, and legislation that could affect essential hospitals, patients.

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NQF's Measure Applications Partnership submitted recommendations to HHS on 74 performance measures under consideration for 16 federal health care programs.

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CDC will host two free workshops with the National Ebola Training & Education Center to train health care workers on delivering patient care during an infectious disease epidemic.

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Eligible hospitals and professionals now have until March 13 to attest to the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.

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America’s Essential Hospitals and 57 other groups say restricting admission of certain foreign nationals and refugees will disrupt care, health education, and research.

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) seeks information about how health care delivery organizations work to become “learning healthcare systems.”

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No agreements have been reached about a repeal/replacement plan for the ACA and it appears Republicans in both chambers are far from making final decisions.

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The new guidance outlines how and when hospitals must deliver the notice, retention requirements, and how the notices intersect with state laws.

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The 90-minute webinar will focus on training hospital epidemiologists in the interpersonal skills necessary to handle an infectious disease outbreak.

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The second confirmation hearing was held for Rep. Price as HHS secretary and a House subcommittee held a hearing on the individual mandate's effectiveness.

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The 60-minute webinar on new episode payment models for cardiac care and surgical treatment for hip and femur fractures will begin at noon ET on Feb. 9.

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Hospitals now have until March 13 — instead of Feb. 28 — to submit electronic clinical quality measure data from 2016 to CMS.

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Along with renewing ACOs, the 99 new organizations bring the total number of ACOs nationally to 480 in 2017.

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The course runs March 20–24 in Atlanta and includes expert content on different infection or event types, as well as antibiotic stewardship.

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With House and Senate passage of budget resolutions, efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act now move to committees and toward a Jan. 27 deadline for repeal legislation.

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The report is the last in a series of five by an ad hoc committee focused on social risk factors that affect the health outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries.

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Debate and amendment votes in the Senate are expected though the weekend. The Senate measure then will go to the House for consideration.

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The new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation model aims to boost participation from small rural hospitals and other smaller health care practices.

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The regulation makes "penny pricing" final and sets fines of up to $5,000 per instance of a manufacturer overcharging providers for covered medications in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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OIG found that the federal portion of spending on catastrophic coverage reached $33.2 billion in 2015, compared with $10.8 billion in 2010.

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Hawaii is the first state to receive approval for a Section 1332 waiver, and will be allowed to close its Small Business Health Options Program for five years.

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Essential hospitals can expect the new Congress' Republican leaders to follow through quickly with their pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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The changes, which reflect stakeholder feedback and the large volume of changes to ICD-10 in FY 2017, will be available on the National Library of Medicine’s Value Set Authority Center this month.

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New guidance describes how off-campus hospital provider-based departments can maintain their grandfathered status when relocating due to extraordinary circumstances.

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The new resources — including a mobile app, series of short videos, posters and more — are meant to help providers follow guidelines issued in March 2016.

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Up to $485 million annually will be awarded to up to 59 entities, with allocations based on a formula of unmet need and the number of drug-poisoning deaths.

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The report finds that dual enrollment status was “the most powerful predictor of poor outcomes” on many quality measures.

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These new EPMs and the updated CJR model will give clinicians more opportunities to earn incentive payments through advanced alternative payment models.

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Of particular interest to essential hospitals, CMS revised the Worksheet S-10, which hospitals use to report uncompensated care data.

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A CMS spokesperson said the project was pulled after the agency reviewed public comments — there were more than 1,300 comments submitted, mostly negative.

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CMS finalized a proposal to continue the current methodology, which qualified health plans use to satisfy the minimum essential community provider standard.

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MACPAC's recommendation is part of a larger package of suggestions meant to improve coverage for children in low- and moderate-income families.

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CMS will partner with up to six states on the new Medicare-Medicaid ACO Model, which was designed by the CMS Innovation Center.

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The data show about 125,000 fewer patients died because of hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2015, resulting in a savings of $28 billion.

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CMS on Dec. 19 refreshed its Hospital Compare site, including data on the Ambulatory Surgical Center Program, Hospital Readmission Reduction Program & more.

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President Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes the historic risk adjustment provision and also provides partial relief to hospitals from cuts to off-campus outpatient department payments.

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Lawmakers approve funding for the federal government through April 28, 2017, and pass legislation that includes two key advocacy wins for essential hospitals: socioeconomic risk adjustment and partial relief from outpatient department payment cuts.

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Under the rule, OIG provides safe harbor protections for hospital agreements that provide no-cost or discounted local transportation to established patients

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America's Essential Hospitals is taking part in the Provider and Hospital Week of Action to promote open enrollment for insurance marketplaces under the ACA.

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The two new Beneficiary Engagement and Incentives models test different shared decision-making approaches designed to increase patient engagement.

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All hospitals and critical access hospitals will be required to provide the MOON to applicable patients beginning March 8, 2017.

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Hospitals can request an exemption from the electronic clinical quality measure reporting requirement in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program.

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The CMS FAQ answers questions about new regulatory requirements to ensure health care facilities are ready for disasters and public health emergencies.

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Congress plans to vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government running past Dec. 9. The Senate is expected to pass 21st Century Cures legislation.

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The bill is a step toward expanding Project ECHO, an innovative “hub and spoke” education model created at association member University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

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America's Essential Hospitals expressed continued concerns about qualified health plan network adequacy in federally facilitated marketplaces.

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Rep. Tom Price has been nominated to head HHS and Seema Verma, who graduated from the association's Fellows Program in 2001, has been nominated to lead CMS.

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Congress is poised to pass legislation that would include socioeconomic risk adjustment for the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program and some relief from payment cuts for new hospital outpatient departments.

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Lawmakers are closing in on negotiations for 21st Century Cures legislation and also working to complete a short-term continuing resolution to fund the federal government through March 2017.

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The notice contains state-specific FMAPs, used to determine the amount of federal matching funds for state Medicaid programs; and enhanced FMAPs, used to calculate federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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The agency released software that will help developers build applications for clinicians and their practices and make it easier for organizations to retrieve and maintain QPP measures using the Explore Measures section of the QPP website.

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Starting in 2017, nurse practitioners and physician assistants can train to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

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The impending full control of government by Republicans is expected to kick start discussions about repealing the Affordable Care Act and passing entitlement reform.

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The letter provides operational and technical guidance to issuers of qualified health plans through the federal health insurance marketplace for 2018.

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The FAQ provides clarification on managed care contracts, rating periods, and external quality reviews, among other things.

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The campaign of online and print advertisements and media outreach calls on Congress to pass legislation to risk adjust the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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The annual event encourages relevant stakeholders and the general public to engage in antibiotic stewardship in outpatient and inpatient settings.

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The proposed revisions would update requirements on patient safety and quality improvement, physician well-being, team-based care & resident work hours.

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These long-term HCBS services and supports are critical to ensure people can remain in their homes and communities as they receive treatment.

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The letter was signed by America's Essential Hospital and 20 other national organizations.

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Of particular interest to members of America’s Essential Hospitals are changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program and provisions related to telehealth.

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It outlines factors stakeholders should focus on when designing alternative payment models, including type to propose, how to measure improvements, and more.

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CMS has awarded $347 million to the 16 organizations — including Premier Inc. — to support the next phase of a patient safety initiative.

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In the rule, CMS revised its earlier position not to direct any physician fee schedule payments to non-grandfathered, off-campus hospital clinics in 2017 and, instead, established a 50 percent interim rate.

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The open enrollment period runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2017. Consumers must enroll by Dec. 15 for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2017.

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The guide gives states information they need to develop actuarial rate certifications, such as benefit cost projections, pass-through payments, and risk mitigation strategies.

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The study found that treatment with high-risk antibiotics made sepsis 80 percent more likely compared with patients who were not treated with antibiotics.

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The Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity aims to educate providers on Zika screening protocols, clinical interventions, reporting processes and more.

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The notice contains state-specific, final FY 2014 disproportionate share hospital allotments, without reductions that would have been imposed under the ACA.

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Hospitals will have the opportunity to discuss the potential contamination of heater-cooler devices used during cardiopulmonary bypass procedures.

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With the opportunities, clinicians potentially could earn a 5 percent incentive payment for a growing list of alternative payment models in 2017 and 2018.

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The FDA says the recalled electrodes might not connect properly to certain AEDs, delaying electrical therapy and potentially resulting in serious patient harm.

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The targets aim to significantly reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections, MRSA, Clostridium difficile cases, and other infections by 2020.

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The Cambridge Safety Net Collaborative — a unique partnership between the Cambridge Health Alliance, public schools, and the police — serves at-risk youth.

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Association president and CEO argues that hospitals serving disadvantaged communities are penalized by federal quality initiatives that do not account for socioeconomic obstacles.

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Under the rule, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology now can conduct direct surveillance of certified health information technology.

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The rule establishes a "transition year," as well as flexibility for providers to choose their participation pace.

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Each year, APIC sponsors International Infection Prevention Week to highlight the importance of infection prevention in improving patient safety.

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Stӧckert 3T heater-cooler devices used during cardiopulmonary bypass procedures might have been contaminated with M. Chimaera in the manufacturing process.

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This is the fourth of five reports from an ad hoc committee to identify social risk factors affecting health outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries.

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The National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center received the funding to educate health care sector stakeholders, partners on cybersecurity.

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CMS says it miscalculated some hospitals' uncompensated care share and provided the incorrect wage index reclassification status of four hospitals.