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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 nine-month program will link up to eight state Medicaid agencies with local housing systems to aid Medicaid beneficiaries.

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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.

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Hospitals and eligible professionals now can register to submit National Health Care Survey data in 2017.

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Congress passed a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9. Meanwhile, 179 House members sent a letter urging CMS to stop mandatory payment and service delivery demonstrations.

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Providers approved for a patient limit increase must report on caseload, patients referred to behavioral health care, and their diversion control plan.

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CMS will use social video platform Twitch, improve the HealthCare.gov mobile interface, and use #HealthyAdulting to encourage young adults to sign up.

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The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 requires CMS to remove Social Security numbers from beneficiaries’ Medicare cards by April 2019.

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The summaries outline efforts by 19 working groups under the "Vital Directions" initiative to improve health care in the United States.

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On Sept. 27, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, which would have allowed it to move to final passage of the continuing resolution.

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The recommendations, developed by the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, aim to optimize treatment and minimize adverse consequences.

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ONC has released a web-based resource that gives providers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about applying health information technology.

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In August, CDC sent states about $2.5 million in laboratory supplies and equipment — including two diagnostic tests — to combat the Zika virus.

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Funding will be used for randomized clinical trials comparing two or more alternative clinical pain management strategies.

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Starting in 2017, the National Quality Forum's Consensus Standards Approval Committee will make final decisions on endorsements without board approval.

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Hospitals eligible for the essential community providers list are participants in the 340B and DSH programs, critical access hospitals, and others.

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In May, CMS paused initial patient status reviews to ensure reviews are performed consistently and the two-midnight policy is properly applied.

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At stake is funding to combat the Zika virus, among several other policy issues that have kept the measure from moving forward.

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The webinar will focus on the Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Models proposed rule.

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A new policy brief by America's Essential Hospitals notes that managed care pathways might be a potential complement, or alternative, to waiver-based delivery system reform.

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The deadline for hospitals to amend their Medicare cost report Worksheet S-10 for fiscal year 2014 is Sept. 30.

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While details are still being finalized, a continuing resolution to fund the government through early December likely will include funding to combat Zika.

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A per-capita cap would allow the federal government to limit Medicaid spending by allocating a specific amount of funding based on states' enrollees.

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CMS Acting Administrator Andrew Slavitt announced the reporting options providers have to ensure they do not face a negative payment adjustment in 2019.

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CMS is seeking feedback on how to help states implement innovative payment, care delivery models consistent with MACRA's proposed Quality Payment Program.

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The Accountable Health Communities Model aims to close a gap in the health care delivery system between clinical care and community services.

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Comments on the proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018 are due by Oct. 6.

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Congress seems likely to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond Sept. 30. Lawmakers also are expected to approve funding to combat Zika.

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The grants to support marketplace navigators come as exchanges gear up for the Nov. 1 start of open enrollment for coverage beginning in 2017.

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In a FAQ document, CMS states that the required JW modifier and patient documentation policy applies to separately payable Part B drugs.

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The UI Health program aims to help the city's chronically homeless reach stability and reduce health care costs by providing them with permanent homes.

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Hospitals must complete recertification of their compliance with all requirements of the 340B program. Failure to do so results in removal from the program.

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The funding is being administered by SAMHSA and CDC as part of HHS' Opioid Initiative, which aims to combat opioid misuse, dependence, and overdose.

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ONC is requesting feedback particularly on interoperability as it relates to social determinants of health and collection of gender identity data.

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Hospitals and other providers generated more than $466 million in savings in 2015 through participation in Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs).

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The guidance outlines nine steps hospitals should take, focusing on identifying symptoms, educating patients, and reporting Zika cases to health agencies.

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The webinar will introduce AHRQ's updated hospital guide for delivering transitional care to reduce readmissions among adult Medicaid patients.

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CMS is concerned that some providers might steer Medicare- and Medicaid-eligible patients into individual market plans to get higher payments.

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In a Vital Signs report ahead of Sepsis Awareness Month, in September, CDC highlights resources and events aimed at reducing sepsis.

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Review contractors will be able to use coding specificity as the reason for an audit or a denial of a claim to the extent that they did before Oct. 1, 2015.

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Medicare Part D spending increased 17 percent, outpacing overall prescription drug spending increases, according to CMS data.

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FDA said hospitals by now should have transitioned to alternative duodenoscope cleaning methods after a recall last year.

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The paper includes a framework to achieve health equity, guidance for measuring health equity, and a self-assessment tool for health care organizations.

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CMS encourages hospitals to view overall star ratings reports with inpatient and outpatient quality reporting preview data, while both are available.

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The grants will be used to expand telehealth use, help providers make quality improvement efforts, and support policy-focused research.

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A webinar and new election toolkit from America's Essential Hospitals can help to make sure hospitals' voices are heard this congressional election season.

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The rule would codify the interpretation that the calculation be based on uncompensated care costs for Medicaid beneficiaries not covered by another source.

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HRSA is proposing that a decision-making body within the Department of Health and Human Services be responsible for reviewing claims and resolving deputes.

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The voluntary recall now applies to all of PharmaTech’s liquid products, including those labeled by Bayshore, Centurion, Major, Metron, Rugby, and Virtus.

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The community health initiative, called Health Impact in 5 Years, launches on Aug. 9 with an introductory web forum.

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The rule includes the annual payment update to inpatient payment rates and changes to the Medicare disproportionate share hospital payment methodology.

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The advanced primary care medical home model is aimed at strengthening primary care and reducing overall health care costs.

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CMS will issue future rulemaking to further restrict new or increased pass-through payments under Medicaid managed care plan contracts.

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Funding will support work related to CDC Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

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Several members of America’s Essential Hospitals are among the participants selected for the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model.

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MUSC will launch a minority men’s health center to research the most effective methods for integrating, interpreting, and applying determinants of disease risks and outcomes to precision medicine strategies.

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The release comes after America’s Essential Hospitals and other hospital groups urged CMS to delay the ratings due to serious concerns with the methodology.

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Under the models, hospitals would be financially accountable beginning July 1, 2017, for meeting quality and cost measures for the entire episode of care.

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Agency expands the Zika-specific blood testing window for pregnant women from seven days after symptoms start to up to 14 days.

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The agency analyzed how subsets of hospitals, including those defined as a safety net, performed in the overall hospital star rating system.

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The funds are intended for epidemiological surveillance and investigation, mosquito control and monitoring, and strengthening of laboratory capacity.

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The report aims to identify social risk factors that affect beneficiaries' health outcomes and methods to account for these factors in payment programs.

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The new guidance reinforces the importance of compliance with HIPAA to prevent and recover from cyber threats.

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When Congress resumes, it will race to pass legislation to keep the government running beyond Sept. 30.

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Florida-based PharmaTech issued the voluntary recall of liquid docusate sodium that could be contaminated with B. cepacia, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria linked to an outbreak in five states.

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The rule, released July 7, updates physician payment rates for Medicare services and makes changes to physician quality programs.

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The patient has not traveled to an area with Zika or had sexual contact with a person infected with Zika, and there is no evidence of Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Utah.

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The no-cost, updated quality indicator software is designed to aid quality improvement in acute-care hospital settings. AHRQ will host a July 19 webinar to detail changes to the software.

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This week, the Senate votes on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Last week, the House passed a mental health bill in a bipartisan vote.

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The actions build on the National Pain Strategy, a federally coordinated plan for reducing and better treating chronic pain.

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The testimony was submitted for a House Committee on Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on strengthening the national trauma system.

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The agency said patients who receive communication, counseling, or monitoring remotely for cardiovascular and respiratory disease experienced improved outcomes.

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Agency will use measure to calculate the proportion of adult patients with active, concurrent prescriptions for opioids or for an opioid and benzodiazepine at discharge.

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To avoid a government shutdown, Congress might have to pass an omnibus appropriations measure if lawmakers fail to reach spending agreements by Sept. 30.

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The agency says the proposed changes are intended to reduce a backlog of Medicare payment and coverage determination appeals.

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The event, from 1 - 2 pm ET, will include important information on the annual recertification process and best practices.

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The new CMS rate development guide outlines various provisions of the recent Medicaid managed care final rule that affect the rate-setting process.

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New officers and at-large member directors take positions on boards for association and its quality and research institute.

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Several health care organizations have been affected by ransomware, a cybersecurity threat in which an attacker holds a network hostage for payment.

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This year’s release includes some changes in both the information released and its classification.

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Failure to follow the public notice and process for Medicaid payment changes can result in delay or disapproval of state plan amendments.

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The Senate rejected a $1.1 billion Zika funding package, and Patrick Conway, with CMS, testified about the proposed Medicare Part B demonstration project.

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The overall star rating hospital-specific reports will be available to hospitals for 30 days, starting from the June 22 reload date.

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The funding was distributed as part of the Prevention Epicenters Program, which aims to develop and test new approaches to patient safety and infection prevention.

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CDC has received multiple reports of Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia) infection clusters in pediatric intensive care units.

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The new BMC study underscores “the importance of continued support for safety-net and minority-serving hospitals as national reform unfolds."

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By forming strategic partnerships and using social media, CMS aims to “reach young adults where they are” to facilitate engagement during open enrollment.

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The plan would convert Medicaid to a program managed entirely by states through block grants or per-capita allotments from the federal government.

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House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the National Trauma System. Opioid legislation cleared both chambers.

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CDC has released a draft interim response plan for the first locally acquired Zika virus cases in the continental United States and Hawaii.

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America's Essential Hospitals gave feedback on Medicare DSH payments, payments associated with the two-midnight policy, and quality reporting programs.

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A review of 61 studies found that expansion under the ACA has improved health coverage, access to care, and economic outcomes.

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Individuals must prove they are eligible to sign up for coverage outside of open enrollment. HHS also proposes amending risk adjustment for insurers.

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The no-cost continuing education/continuing medical education video on how health IT systems can enable patient-centered care is available until June 30.

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America’s Essential Hospitals, whose members care for the nation’s vulnerable patients, today recognized five member hospitals and health systems with the 2016 Gage Award for outstanding work to improve quality and population health.

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Senate appropriators pass HHS spending bill that includes 340B Drug Pricing Program user fee and instructions to HRSA to consider stakeholder input in final mega-guidance.

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The HAC reports might have contained the incorrect hospital name in one table. CMS will distribute new reports to affected hospitals.

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Providers have until July 1 to apply for a hardship exception to avoid a penalty for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.

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The guidance recommends that hospitals prepare for increased demand for certain types of providers and inform patients about sexual transmission of Zika.

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CMS has delayed the effective date of a new claims coding and patient documentation policy for unused Medicare Part B drugs from July 1 to Jan. 1, 2017.

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The legislation would incorporate risk adjustment for socioeconomic status into Medicare's Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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The new rule aims to help more accountable care organizations successfully participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

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A CMS bulletin reminds states that Medicaid funds can be used for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the Zika virus.

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CDC's June Vital Signs finds that the number of U.S. residents with Legionnaires' disease and Pontiac fever increased 286 percent from 2000 to 2014.

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Lawmakers are expected to have a busy June that also could include agreement among House and Senate leaders on funding to combat Zika.

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New hospital resource offers examples of ways to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria and outlines CDC's core elements of stewardship programs.

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CMS has released a no-cost resource to help patients access care after signing up for coverage on the health insurance marketplaces.

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CDC will host two webinars this month to discuss a program to educate health care professionals about the social factors that affect overall health.

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The complimentary webinar series will focus on key provisions of the April 25 final rule for selected topics.

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Panel approves bill that would add socioeconomic risk adjustment to Medicare's readmissions reduction program and avert some cuts to hospital outpatient departments.

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The rule, effective Dec. 1, more than doubles the salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standards Act white collar exemption. The Department of Labor will automatically update the salary level threshold every three years.

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Hospitals have until June 4 to preview reports on overall Medicare star ratings, which will be publicly posted to Hospital Compare in July.

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The CDC has launched a registry — in collaboration with state, local, tribal, and territorial health agencies — to track pregnancy and infant outcomes of women who were possibly infected with Zika.

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Delay of patient status reviews will continue until further notice. The agency will work with Quality Improvement Organizations to ensure the two-midnight policy is enforced consistently for all hospitals.

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The House and Senate are expected to vote on Zika spending. In other activity, opioid measure are set to go to conference and committees review Part B payment model and tax-related health proposals.

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The rule carries out Affordable Care Act protections for individuals in federally funded health programs and sets new requirements for supporting people with limited English proficiency.

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The proposed rule includes key provisions for carrying out a new physician payment system to replace Medicare's sustainable growth rate updates.

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The House is expected to vote on several opioid-related measures, and 19 House Democrats sent CMS a letter of support for the Medicare Part B demonstration to reduce drug costs.

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The decision follows the pharmaceutical company's recent recalculation of 340B ceiling prices for 25 products for the third quarter of 2012 through the second quarter of 2013.

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Two association members are among six sites nationally that will test or implement winning solutions in the HHS “A Bill You Can Understand" challenge.

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In new Modern Healthcare commentary, America's Essential Hospitals president and CEO says proposed guidance conflicts with HHS goals for readmissions, access, and care coordination.

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Lawmakers are in recess this week following failure of the House to pass a bipartisan budget resolution. Last week, House and Senate committees tackled opioids, disparities, and mental health.

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The new provisions include updated sprinkler requirements and increased flexibility to allow for facility modernization. Hospitals and other health care facilities must comply with the regulations by July 3.

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Lawmakers continue negotiations to respond to the president’s request for $1.9 billion in emergency funding. Also this week, an expert from association member The University of Chicago Medicine will participate in a Capitol Hill forum on minority health disparities.

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To prevent transmission of the virus, workers should use proper infection control and biosafety practices to avoid direct contact with blood-borne pathogens.

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Hospitals and other providers now have until May 20 to submit a letter of intent for the Next Generation ACO model, which carries greater risk but also offers greater rewards; applications are due May 25.

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The rule maintains a prohibition against direct payments by states to providers for services delivered under managed care contracts and explicitly prohibits states from directing plan expenditures.

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The Comprehensive Primary Care Plus model will encourage primary care practices to transform care delivery, including by increasing care management and coordination.

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The release marks the first time CMS has provided MA beneficiary experience data stratified by race and ethnicity.

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The proposal would reverse the cut starting in FY 2017, in addition to a temporary adjustment to retroactively pay for reduced payments from fiscal years 2014 to 2016.

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Responding to hospital and other stakeholder concerns, CMS says the delay will allow a greater opportunity to fully understand the impact of the final star ratings methodology.

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In a letter, two Senate leaders ask CMS to reduce hospital opioid use. The House Energy and Commerce Committee examines MACRA and marks up 12 health bills.

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The database could help determine a rural hospital's classification as a teaching hospital and, in turn, its eligibility for Medicare funding of a new residency program.

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The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities program aims to improve disparities in surgical care and outcomes among disadvantaged populations.

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Hospitals that perform well in quality programs—despite serving high levels of vulnerable patients—invest in health equity, data, collaborative partnerships, patient engagement, and more.

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Changes will more accurately reflect cost of care for dual eligibles and adjust Medicare Advantage star ratings for enrollees' socioeconomic and disability statuses.

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Lawmakers say star ratings fail to consider patients' socioeconomic status and could mislead consumers. House, Senate also work on appropriations legislation, Zika, Flint water crisis, and health tax.

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A 2015 budget law that creates site-neutral payment for off-campus hospital outpatient departments does not directly affect 340B Drug Pricing Program eligibility, but changes to how hospitals report Medicare costs does raise concerns.

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States now have until Oct. 1 to submit plans. Agency continues to omit hospital services from the list of core services subject to review.

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Special Innovation Project grants will be awarded to 28 partnerships with QIN-QIOs to support and scale quality improvement projects. Projects should aim to provide Medicare beneficiaries with better care, better health, and greater value.

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HELP Committee finishes work on package of 19 bills, designed to complement the House-passed 21st Century Cures measure. The House is in recess this week.

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In letter to CMS, association raises issues of payment, definition of off-campus outpatient department of a provider, and 340B eligibility.

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Regulation provides more robust mental health, substance use care options for those in Medicaid alternative benefit plans, CHIP, and Medicaid managed care.

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As part of LGBT Awareness Week, March 28 to April 1, department seeks a public conversation on health issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

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To prevent spread, agency recommends personal protective equipment (PPE) for labor and delivery personnel and delays in conception, sexual activity for those with symptoms.

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Updated guidance clarifies that covered entities may use and disclose protected health information for treatment or for quality and other health care operations.

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Tool, developed by association member University of Chicago, shows geographic disparities in health outcomes, health care use, and health care spending.

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House Republicans might not have the votes to pass their budget resolution before a two-week congressional recess. House committees take up opioids and medical liability and the Senate HELP committee continues work on its 21st Century Cures companion legislation.

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The new recommendations are based on principles that promote alternative therapies and minimum effective opioid dosage. CDC also released fact sheets and other resources.

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Hospitals and other providers now have until May 2 to submit a letter of intent to participate in the second and final round of the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model.

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Select laboratories nationally will have access to new diagnostic tool that enables providers to determine with one test, rather than three, whether a patient is infected with chikungunya, dengue, or Zika.

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Department calls for interagency approach that employs alternative payment models and better communication between patients and providers.

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Latest Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) patient safety data show gaps in care for racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups have become less pronounced over time.

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Just added: CDC interim guidance for management of survivors of Ebola Virus disease in U.S. health care settings

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Guide gives providers best practices in fight against central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), one of the most deadly health care-associated infections annually in the United States.

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House Committee on Energy and Commerce approves legislation that would cut provider taxes, repeal enhanced FMAP for prisoners and CHIP, and end ACA Prevention and Public Health Fund.

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Under new model, providers will screen Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries for unmet social needs and connect patients to community services. Applications are due May 18.

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Fact sheet and updated frequently asked questions document detail responsibilities of covered entities and the rights of individuals under HIPAA.

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Conservative Freedom Caucus opposes GOP budget plan; Senate-passed bill would combat opioid abuse; health committees work on mental health, Medicare improvement.

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American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pediatricians ask patients or their caregivers about access to basic needs and refer them to nutrition and housing resources when necessary.

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FDA official notes "urgent need” to accelerate development of medical products to combat the virus and says the agency will “leverage its authorities" to aid that process.

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The CDC has organized two events for Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 13-19, and is releasing new patient safety–focused materials on its website.

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Nonpartisan PAC would support congressional candidates who champion policies that improve access to the high-quality health care essential hospitals provide.

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HHS finalizes 2017 Notice of Payment and Benefit Parameters rule and letter to issuers offering qualified health plans on the federally facilitated marketplace.

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Hospitals, providers can claim exclusions for public health meaningful use measures to avoid inadvertent penalties from the 2015 EHR Incentive Program final rule.

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Final rule and implementation as described in the guidance could significantly reduce Medicaid payments for 340B-covered outpatient drugs in some states.

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Changes allow IHS and tribal facilities to enter into care coordination agreements with non-IHS/tribal providers to furnish certain services for AI/AN Medicaid beneficiaries.

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The House will consider a bill to prevent payments to providers ineligible for Medicaid and CHIP. The Senate will consider measures to fund opioid abuse and respond to the Flint water crisis.

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Agency's decision to extend deadline to July 1 gives eligible hospitals an additional three months to file for an exception.

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Telehealth Network Grant Program will award up to 20 grants for a maximum of $300,000 annually to expand services; applications are due April 8.

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New instructions are validated by the FDA to ensure they meet proper guidelines to avoid transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

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Children who have been to infected areas within past two weeks or show two or more symptoms of Zika virus should be screened for the virus.

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Guidance on the new sepsis measure (SEP-1) is now available on QualityNet, including what documentation can be used for data elements in the chart-abstracted measure.

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Hospitals should stratify data and reduce language barriers to improve equity, thought leaders say in new report.

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Association responds to House lawmakers' request for comment on Medicare's new payment policy for off-campus hospital outpatient departments. Congress works on FY 2017 budget, holds hearings on Zika virus and opiod abuse.

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The National Safety Net Advancement Center at Arizona State University has announced virtual learning collaboratives and grant funding of up to $80,000 for hospitals working to overcome payment and care delivery reform challenges.

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New group for members who want to take an active role in defending against Medicare disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment cuts.

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Agency says blood donors should self-defer if they show symptoms, have traveled to Zika-infected regions, or have had sexual contact with someone from an infected region.

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Eligible hospitals now have until March 11 to show meaningful use of EHR technology or face a Medicare payment adjustment in 2017.

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New clinical quality measure sets for physicians were created in collaboration with stakeholders to increase multipayer alignment, while reducing cost and administrative burden. The core measure sets will inform the implementation of MACRA.

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Providers now must report and return a Medicare Part A or B overpayment to CMS by the later date of 60 days since identification or the corresponding cost report due date. The final rule also establishes a six-year lookback period.

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Partisan politics follow Scalia death; House speaker to table entitlement reform until next year; congressional panels to hold hearings on HHS budget, opiod abuse, Zika virus.

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Budget plan would improve Medicaid access and coverage and tackle drug pricing, but make damaging Medicare cuts; lawmakers examine Medicaid housing coverage, FMAP, 21st Century Cures, mental health.

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State hospital association says risk adjusting CMS readmissions methodology results in significantly less variation in measured quality differences among hospitals.

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Webcasts, co-hosted by HRSA OPA and pharmacist association, will focus on helping covered entities identify steps needed to develop and maintain comprehensive 340B policies and procedures in an auditable manner.

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House, Senate panels to examine rising cost of drugs, lack of transparency in the drug price negotiation process, and barriers to generic drug applications.

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The new FAQ clarify that site neutral law won't impact PO modifier requirements. PO modifiers must be included on claims as of Jan. 1 for all services and items furnished in off-campus, provider-based departments.

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Now-voluntary OAS CAHPS will measure patient experience of care in Medicare-certified hospital outpatient departments and ASCs. The first public reporting of data is not expected until 2018.

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CDC recommends screening pregnant women returning from high-infection areas if they show symptoms of virus or have related fetal complications. The virus was first identified in Brazil in May 2015 and has spread to 23 countries throughout the Americas.

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The guide focuses on reducing readmissions for racial and ethnic minority groups and is part of the CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.

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New, streamlined process requires less information from hospitals for application; deadline to apply is April 1.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health advisory for the growing number of hemodialysis patients who are acquiring hepatitis C virus (HCV).

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Senate Judiciary examines heroin and prescription drug abuse; Winter Storm Jonas delays scheduled House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on Medicaid FMAP

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Previews of reports, to be published online in April, available now through QualityNet Secure Portal; final methodology includes 60 measures from inpatient and outpatient quality reporting programs.

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World Health Organization declares end of epidemic in West Africa, but says to expect small flare-ups due to persistence of virus after patient recovery.

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America's Essential Hospitals and two members systems host congressional staff for round-table discussions about how proposed 340B Drug Pricing Program guidance threatens vulnerable patients and essential hospitals.

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Agency collaborates with CMS to offer technical assistance to hospitals working on quality improvement projects for children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

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Covered entities are no longer required to post a public letter to the HRSA website if 340B audit findings result in potential repayment. Instead, HRSA will publish notices with covered entity contact information.

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Comments urge CCIIO to require that ACA marketplace plans include willing essential community provider (ECP) hospitals and ensure payment rates support access to care.

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First of five consensus reports from National Academy of Medicine (NAM) ad hoc committee identifies social risk factors for Medicare payment and quality programs, and the measures they can impact.

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March 8 to 9 event, in Washington, DC, offers opportunities to meet with your congressional delegation and network with other hospital leaders; book a room by Feb. 12 for special conference rate.

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New ACOs are eligible for risk-bearing tracks with increased savings for positive patient outcomes and penalties for negative outcomes. A total of 477 ACOs will care for almost 8.9 million beneficiaries in 2016.

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Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute initiatives support comparative effectiveness research, enlist advocates to raise awareness of research opportunities.

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Obama touts ACA successes in final address, calls for ongoing support of Medicare, Social Security. House Speaker Ryan prepares ACA replacement plan as GOP continues repeal efforts; Califf wins Senate HELP vote.

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No-fee course, Feb. 29 to March 4 in Atlanta, to focus on January 2016 updates to the NHSN patient safety component manual.

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Educational surveys to help CMS determine best ways to assess infection control regulations for hospitals, nursing homes, and care transitions. Surveys to begin in FY 2016 for nursing homes and in FY 2017 for hospitals.

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Agencies seek information on quality reporting to help reduce the burden on eligible hospitals and providers; comments are due Feb. 1.

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Dec. 23 letter provides operational, technical guidance to qualified health plans (QHPs) and outlines network adequacy standards for plans offered through the federally facilitated health insurance marketplace.

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Accountable Health Communities to test whether clinical and community-based services alignment can improve care quality and affordability. CMS offers webinars on grant application process; letters of intent are due Feb. 8.

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House returns from recess for largely symbolic vote on Senate-passed reconciliation bill that would repeal many ACA provisions, including Medicaid expansion; Senate remains out.

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CMS now able to grant categorical exceptions to essential providers and hospitals that did not meet 2015 requirements; hospital applications due April 1.

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Budget deal includes a $3 billion funding increase for the NIH and $300 million for the CDC.

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Agency seeks comment on its proposal to collect information on the burden associated with guidelines for manufacturer audits of covered entities; comments are due to HRSA by Feb. 22.

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Association generally supports move toward patient-centered care, but urges CMS to ensure provisions do not place an administrative burden on hospitals.

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America's Essential Hospitals urges CMS to include hospital services among those subject to triennial state reviews to determine whether payments ensure adequate access.

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New members include six who will serve three-year terms and one who will serve the remaining two years of a vacant seat; GW health policy expert Sara Rosenbaum was named chair.

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House and Senate lawmakers negotiate omnibus appropriations bill and two-year extension of tax cuts, but fail to provide relief on new Medicare site-neutral payment policy for hospital outpatient departments.

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The guidance, open for a 30-day public comment period, will give providers more clarity on the appropriate use of opioid prescriptions outside of cancer and palliative care; comments are due Jan. 13.

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Agency to give hospitals opportunity to comment on law's requirements for notifying Medicare beneficiaries when outpatient observation services last longer than 24 hours.

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Hospital performance data for FY 2016 available on Hospital Compare; hospitals in bottom quartile face 1 percent Medicare payment cut.

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Congress debates omnibus appropriations measure, considers another stop-gap funding bill, as deadline for government shutdown looms.

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CDC report outlines the need for monitoring of CRE and related antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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National HIV/AIDS Strategy Federal Action Plan directs HHS to issue best practices for hospitals to ensure access to services for patients with HIV. CMS also will provide states with information on program flexibility to ensure access to testing, coordinated care.

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Out-of-pocket expenses higher in ACA marketplaces and coverage worse for children, especially those with special needs, HHS reports.

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CMS website includes information on changes to Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs in recent final rule.

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Site for hospitals and other health care facilities reflects violent incident rate four times higher than other sectors

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Eligible hospitals have until Dec. 31 to submit data through QualityNet for the Inpatient Quality Reporting and Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive programs.

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Hospitals must establish and implement policies and procedures for managing alarms starting Jan. 1, 2016.

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Court-ordered justification provides additional insight for 0.2 percent inpatient payment rates cut agency linked to policy

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Benefits of coated, intravascular devices outweigh risks, but hospitals and other providers should remain vigilant and report adverse events, agency says

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Congress returns from Thanksgiving recess to must-pass bills on highway funding and appropriations; Senate leaders work on reconciliation package ahead of Dec. 11 appropriations vote.

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Congressional staff continue negotiating omnibus appropriations package, which is expected to go to a vote by Dec. 11; Sen. Wyden asks HHS for update on progress of state 1332 waivers.

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Obama administration proposal would add drug utilization review and restriction program to Medicare to fight opioid overuse.

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Resource helps hospitals apply concepts from the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections and create a culture of safety at the unit level.

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Agency to host Nov. 30 webinar to provide information and answer questions about the bundled payment model for hip and knee replacement.

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Letter from Senate Finance Committee leaders asks America's Essential Hospitals, other stakeholders, for comment on Medicaid transparency, quality, accountability

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In the Loop, a joint project of Community Catalyst and the National Health Law Program, helps enrollment assisters share experiences and answer questions.

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Model law would update requirements for insurance carriers in the health insurance marketplaces, particularly regarding provider directories, mental health services, telehealth, and nondiscrimination.

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Week-long annual event will engage stakeholders in discussion and education about antibiotic stewardship in inpatient, outpatient, and animal health settings.

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Fourth cycle of grants through the Connecting Kids to Coverage program supports work to link eligible children with Medicaid, CHIP coverage; proposals due Jan. 20, 2016.

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Change follows Nov. 7 declaration by World Health Organization that Sierra Leone is free of Ebola. Some checks remain, including for temperature and possible exposure.

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FDA cites violations of federal law that could result in an increased risk of infection transmission by company's equipment.

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New report from ECRI Institute also lists failure to respond to clinical alarms, unsafe injection practices, and insufficient training among top hazards.

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In three FAQs, agency provides guidance on how to attest to health information exchange and patient electronic access measures, as well as objectives that require patient action.

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Senate plans to expand House reconciliation bill with full ACA repeal; Rep. Brady named Ways and Means chair; Republicans establish Medicaid task force.

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Member leaders attend more than 100 meetings with lawmakers and congressional staff as part of fall Policy Assembly. Event also included insights from policymakers and a Capitol Hill reception honoring 2015 Gage Award recipients.

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Report on National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care details progress made toward better care, lower costs, and improved health.

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New AHRQ report finds patients experienced 1.3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from 2010 through 2013, saving a projected 50,000 lives.

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Tool gives physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals access to geographic comparisons of opioid prescribing habits and use.

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Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow campaign targets health promotion for young adults, including access to high-quality, teen-friendly health care.

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President signs budget deal that reduces payment to new hospital outpatient facilities; Ryan becomes House speaker; Energy and Commerce Committee considers Medicaid supplemental payment oversight bills

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Open enrollment for ACA marketplaces will last from Nov. 1, 2015, to Jan. 31, 2016, with coverage taking effect as soon as Jan. 1. Previously announced HHS enrollment goals include improving consumer experience, retaining and adding customers.

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The House proposes a budget deal with potentially damaging changes for essential hospitals - the association is fighting these. Paul Ryan expected to be the next speaker of the House. The Senate HELP committee examines mental health.

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In comments to HRSA, the association says the proposal would harm care for the vulnerable by restricting the definition of a patient, adding requirements for hospital outpatient facility eligibility, and narrowing which drugs qualify for discounts.

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In an FAQ, CMS offers alternate exclusions for newly finalized measures in the public health reporting objective that were not previously required or are unfeasible to implement in 2015.

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The Basic Health Plan methodology would begin Jan. 1, 2017, and is largely unchanged from current methodology. CMS plans to finalize the rule in Feb. 2016. The BHP is an affordable alternative to marketplace coverage.

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Hospitals should assess units to ensure they are safe and properly maintained and not contaminated with non-tuberculosis mycobacterium. Patients who may have been exposed to NTM should monitor signs of potential infection for several years.

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Federal grants to 24 states will promote better integration of behavioral health and primary care services and improve quality and data reporting systems. The grants are the first phase of a Section 223 Demonstration Program for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.

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Letter to congressional leaders, signed by more than 100 hospital executives, calls for passage of bills to adjust Medicare readmissions program for socioeconomic status

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Feedback due Nov. 17 on provisions to implement MIPS and APM participation incentives; MIPS quality measures of particular interest to hospitals

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U.S. District Court says 2014 HRSA interpretive rule is contrary to plain language of ACA provision that excludes certain hospitals from 340B discounts on orphan drugs.

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Oct. 20 call to discuss dry run quality report for inpatient rehabilitation facilities based on the all-cause unplanned readmission measure

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Just added: CMS contacts for provider questions. Explore fact sheets, videos, other information available to help ease Oct. 1 transition to new coding system

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House Budget Committee clears reconciliation bill that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year and make substantial changes to the Affordable Care Act. Outlook remains unclear for choice of next House speaker.

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CMS released a new resource clarifying when ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes are required. Claims submitted on Oct. 1 or later but with dates of service prior to Oct. 1 require ICD-9 codes, not ICD-10.

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Webinars help identify roles, responsibilities, and other elements of 340B risk management. OPA and APhA also accepting leading practice site applications.

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Agencies say anecdotal reports of intentional nonreporting of infection data have prompted them to emphasize the importance of accurate reporting through strict adherence to NHSN definitions.

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The House Republican vote for speaker will be held on Thursday, other leadership races postponed until later this month. Full House vote for speaker expected in Nov. Budget reconciliation efforts continue.

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In its Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, ONC presents an action plan that will move the health care system toward the free exchange of health information to improve the provision of health care.

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Zydus Pharmaceuticals Inc., charged incorrect rates on 340B drugs between January 2012 and December 2014. Refunds will be distributed via Apexus.

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The prevention epicenters will identify innovative ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in health care facilities. University of Utah and the University of Illinois - Chicago join Cook County Health & Hospital System as essential hospital participants.

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The rule finalizes proposals from the stage 3 proposed rule and the proposed rule modifying the programs from 2015 to 2017. Changes include a 90-day reporting period, fewer hospital objectives, and a lower threshold for patient electronic access.

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Updates cover exclusions for submitting electronic immunization data and applicability of submitting summary of care documents for transferring patients.

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CDC and FDA remove language from guidelines that requires health care facilities to verify that vendors involved in maintaining, cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing reusable medical devices are certified by the manufacturer.

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These findings come from GAO, which also found that essential hospitals narrowed this gap over the study, overall performance during VBP's initial years didn't change, and bonuses and penalties were less than 0.5 percent of Medicare payments per year.

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Congress will vote to pass legislation to avoid a government shutdown. Meanwhile, House committees are also working to pass budget reconciliation measures that would defund Planned Parenthood and make major changes to the Affordable Care Act.

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GAO report identifies these challenges and reviews nonfederal initiatives to overcome them. Some of the initiatives suggest that criteria for EHR certification in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs isn't sufficient for interoperability.

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Recent narrowing of provider networks in Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations, which privately offer one or more health benefit plans to Medicare beneficiaries, has caused concerns over whether MA enrollees can adequately access care.

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CMS requests feedback on a range of provisions relating to MIPS and incentives for participation in APMs, including whether to stratify quality measure data by demographic factors.

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The briefing included a panel of four experts serving different Medicaid populations who spoke about continuing to strengthen the program and the role of Medicaid expansion in increasing access to care.

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CMS has tested its systems and is prepared to assist providers as problems arise. Providers should first contact their MAC for Medicare claims questions or subsequently email the ICD-10 Coordination Center or the ICD-10 ombudsman.

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Providers may be exempt from a payment adjustment for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs if they switch certified EHR technology vendors or their vendor is decertified during the program year.

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Medicaid managed care payment rates must be certified by an actuary, appropriate for the covered population and services, and developed in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practices and principles.

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Reports previously excluded the first six months of 2014 data on SSIs, which may have impacted payment adjustment and quality measure results. CMS has opened a second review and correction period.

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The dry run reports are for a new claims-based outcomes measure that will be included in the IQR Program starting in fiscal year 2018. Hospitals have until Oct. 7 to access this report through QualityNet.

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In a legal victory for hospitals, a district court said CMS did not meet legal requirements for rulemaking when it cut hospital inpatient payments by 0.2 percent in FY 2014. The court ordered CMS to reissue the FY 2014 IPPS rule.

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This week congressional action is slow as lawmakers prepare for the papal visit. With a government shutdown only days away, lawmakers work to reach funding negotiations amid Planned Parenthood debate.

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The webinars will feature representatives from CMS answering questions about the model. Instructions on how to submit questions will be included in the registration confirmation email.

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The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2015–2020, aims to improve health IT infrastructure, transform health care delivery, and improve individual and community health.

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Travelers from Liberia will no longer be screened upon entry. CDC recommends providers continue screening patients who have traveled from Liberia for symptoms of Ebola and other infectious diseases.

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Planned Parenthood controversy continues to influence federal funding negotiations. Health insurer and hospital mergers are reviewed. Plus, committees consider abortion, Medicaid, HIT, and biosimilar drugs.

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New materials from CMS and the association's list of resources will help providers as they transition to ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes on Oct. 1.

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CMS has extended the deadline for the Million Hearts: CVD Risk Reduction Model due to high interest. The model will incentivize providers to target Medicare beneficiaries with the highest risk of CVD for patient-centered care.

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Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc., charged 340B covered entities incorrect rates between April 18, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2014. Refunds are available for products purchased directly from Heritage or through a wholesale distributor.

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Association calls on CMS to consider the readiness of essential hospitals and challenges of caring for the vulnerable, and risk-adjust for SDS, in finalizing its proposed rule for new CCJR payment model.

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The proposed rule extends nondiscrimination provisions to individuals based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The proposed rule also includes requirements for access for people with disabilities and limited English proficiency.

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Planned Parenthood remains an issue in government funding. Congress considers hospital bills, Medicare Part B premiums, medical innovation, health care competition, and Medicaid fraud and abuse, vows to focus on mental health.

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This conference call will cover major policies included in the IPPS and LTCH PPS final rule, including quality initiatives. Question and answer period to follow presentation.

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The CMS Equity Plan aims to reduce disparities in health care over the next four years for populations including racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people with disabilities, and people living in rural areas.

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The Million Hearts: CVD Risk Reduction Model will incentivize providers to calculate CVD risk for Medicare beneficiaries and target those with the highest risk for patient-centered care.

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In comments on the CY 2016 OPPS proposed rule, the association calls on CMS to consider the unique challenges of caring for the most vulnerable, including in relation to the two-midnight policy and ambulatory payment classification.

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CMS is proposing to risk adjust stroke mortality measures for stroke severity, which is a positive step. But measures should also account for sociodemographic factors that complicate care for vulnerable patients.

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Pioneer and MSSP ACOs showed improvement in at least 27 of 33 quality measures in last reporting period. More than 420 Medicare ACOs have been established, coordinating care for more than 7.8 million patients.

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According to a study, 10 states had a high prevalence of networks that were considered narrow in their health insurance marketplaces, while 12 states did not offer any plans with narrow networks.

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The program will be re-evaluated, as changes to quality measures, including the transition to eCQMs and movement away from chart-based measures, has made it difficult to compare hospitals and identify top performers.

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Comments call on CMS to ensure ratings are meaningful and accurate, avoid consumer confusion, and reflect vulnerable patients' socioeconomic and demographic circumstances.

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Event, open to all providers, will focus on coordinating efforts in the fight against the increasing number of potentially life-threatening germs that resist drugs created to treat them.

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Failure to recertify will result in removal from the 340B program. Authorizing officials from all hospitals should have already received an email with information needed to recertify from the Office of Pharmacy Affairs.

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RACs will not conduct postpayment reviews of patient status for Medicare claims with an inpatient admission between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015.

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Extension to Aug. 28 applies only to quality reporting on health care-associated infections (HAIs), not clinical data submissions through QualityNet.

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America's Essential Hospitals joins other associations in calling for final action on a 90-day reporting period for 2015, but warns that the delay in a final rule has made other requirements impossible to achieve.

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Agency resource, in preparation for Oct. 1 transition to ICD-10, can help providers determine how to accurately report codes.

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NOTICE Act seeks to educate patients about impact of observation status, including on cost-sharing and skilled nursing facility eligibility.

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The hospital-related NOTICE Act was sent to the president last week. An ACA repeal vote remains likely for fall along with the potential for a government shutdown.

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Updated guidance clarifies what codes will be accepted by CMS during one-year grace period, including examples of a code family.

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Vital Signs report recommends collaboration between public health departments and health care facilities to stop antibiotic resistance, promote infection control.

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Nearly 200, including America's Essential Hospitals, sign Partnership for Medicaid letter to the president and Congress praising Medicaid on the program's 50th anniversary.

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Hospitals in the overall quality rating system dry run can provide feedback until Aug. 17 and weigh in during the Aug. 13 call.

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Plans must be budget-neutral and cover as many people as traditional ACA reforms. With these waivers, states may forgo certain ACA provisions including the marketplaces and individual mandate.

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Panelists from across the membership asked Congress to ensure the sustainability of telehealth through payment parity for telehealth services.

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The Senate fails to repeal the ACA but will keep trying. Committees discuss HHS priorities and health care bills, including a bundle of hospital-related bills.

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Comments urge CMS for flexibility, the allowance of certain direct payments, and regulations that reflect states' ability to achieve broader policy goals through the Medicaid Program.

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States may apply for a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver to support innovative care delivery for substance abuse disorder. SAMHSA, HRSA to also offer funding opportunities.

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Proposed renewals must be for demonstrations that are working effectively and have no major or complex policy changes. Certain waivers that use the enhanced FMAP are ineligible.

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This decision newly focuses on the corporate structure and operations of nonprofit hospitals, rather than the benefits that hospitals provide to the community. The applicability of the ruling is limited and can be overruled on appeal.

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Sen. Grassley requested a hearing on recent 340B GAO report. House calls and clinical trials for Medicare patients each pass one chamber. Committees review Medicare hospital payments, HIT, and marketplaces.

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Hospitals participating in CMS' dry run of its new overall quality rating system are encouraged to provide feedback and ask questions via email and during the Aug. 13 call.

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The video clarifies common myths and misperceptions about changes that will occur with the Oct. 1 implementation of ICD-10. America’s Essential Hospitals also compiled a list of resources to help members prepare for a seamless transition to ICD-10.

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Last week the House passed 21st Century Cures legislation with strong bipartisan support. Congressional committees are reviewing Medicare Part D, deadly diseases and HealthCare.gov.

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Proposed rule would update physician payment rates for Medicare services, change physician quality programs, and solicit comment on MACRA requirements.

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Member panel will exchange information, advise association on recent CMS proposal to restrict states' ability to direct supplemental payments; please express interest by July 17.

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GOP will weigh procedural tactics to repeal the ACA or propose tax reform; House vote on Cures bill expected.

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Research shows how Medicaid coverage improves health and health care outcomes, and saves money.

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Report suggests financial incentive for hospitals to prescribe 340B drugs, a claim America's Essential Hospitals calls unfounded and troubling.

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New York's Bellevue Hospital Center to join Emory University and University of Nebraska Medical Center in collaboration with federal agencies.

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Agency says that for one year it will not deny inaccurate claims as long as the code listed is from the correct code family.

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Republicans will also continue to develop a strategy for undoing the ACA in light of the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the law last week.

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This survey remains especially important in light of recent media coverage that has suggested the need for essential hospitals and the funding to support them may no longer be necessary. Responses due July 24.

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As more and more states turn to Medicaid managed care, these types of data can help us fully understand how beneficiaries are being managed in this delivery system.

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Previously, hospitals reporting for the first time had to wait until Jan. 1, 2016 to attest. Hospitals will report for a 90-day period using 2014 stage 1 requirements.

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Upfront and ongoing savings aim to encourage providers to form ACOs in rural and underserved areas and promote participation in models with greater financial risk. Applications accepted July 1 to July 31.

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The guide outlines the critical activities needed for a successful ICD-10 launch on October 1. Also included are instructions for accessing ICD-10 codes and links to training and testing resources.

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Interactive map tracks real-time weather along with locations of Medicare patients who rely on electrically powered medical equipment.

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CBO also found that if a full ACA repeal took effect on Jan. 1, 2016, the federal deficit would increase by $137 billion between 2016 and 2025.

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The 2015 recertification period will be from Aug. 5 to Sept. 9. Failure to recertify will result in removal from the program.

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The ASPR TRACIE features emergency preparedness resources, one-on-one technical support, and an online forum to share user-developed templates, plans, and other materials.

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Proposed rule also calls for increased transparency in ceiling price calculation. Separate guidance to replace mega reg.

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The House will vote to repeal two major ACA provisions this week - medical device tax and the IPAB - and consider four Medicare Advantage bills. Health committees are reviewing mental health and HIT.

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A total of $3.3 billion is marked for CMS, which is about $344 million below current funding. The subcommittee will consider the bill tomorrow.

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Comments caution CMS about Medicare DSH payment cuts and urge CMS to ensure measures and methodologies used in quality reporting programs are adjusted for sociodemographic factors.

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In comments to CMS, America's Essential Hospitals also urged the agency to finalize a 90-day reporting period for all providers in 2015 and lower the threshold of the patient electronic access measure.

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MACPAC's report to Congress touts potential of DSRIP programs to transform Medicaid reimbursement and improve health outcomes, also addresses the challenge and calls for clear and consistent federal guidance.

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Nominations are due June 19. The work group will define terms related to alternative payment models and a strategy to track progress of APM implementation.

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Staff from Ebola assessment hospitals will learn how to prepare facilities and staff to receive, isolate, and care for patients being evaluated for Ebola.

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Three association members were among nine groups of grantees that will receive funding to sustain preparedness for treating patients with Ebola and other highly infectious diseases.

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CDC guidance covers evaluation criteria, infection control information for MERS-CoV. Criteria include fever, pneumonia, recent travel to the Arabian Peninsula or South Korea.

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Interactive case studies include clinical scenarios and tips for providers and billing staff to learn the basics of documentation and coding using ICD-10. Transition is scheduled for Oct. 1.

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The agency also finalized a new risk/reward model that offers a greater share of savings for providers who take on more financial risk.

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The association submitted comments to CMS supporting expansion of coverage parity to Medicaid alternative benefit plans, CHIP, and Medicare MCOs for dual eligibles. Association urged CMS to ensure equity of service across states, actuarially sound payment rates.

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The House could vote on 21st Century Cures legislation as early as next week, health committees focus on 9/11 compensation and health information exchange.

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The June 24 call will discuss methodology for the overall star rating, hospital-specific reports, and lessons learned from testing.

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Topics include Medicare Advantage, the ACA's medical device tax, Medicaid fraud and abuse, and the Medicare appeals process.

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Annual release includes 2013 data related to the 100 most common diagnoses for Medicare patients requiring inpatient stays and 30 selected outpatient procedures.

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The Million Hearts: CVD Risk Reduction Model will incentivize providers to calculate cardiovascular risk for eligible Medicare beneficiaries and target those with the highest risk for patient-centered care. Applications are due Sept. 4.

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In comments on the agency’s proposals for stage 3 of the EHR Incentive Programs, the association called on CMS to delay finalizing the proposed rule and to provide much-needed flexibility for providers in the program.

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The call will discuss updates to electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) used in quality reporting programs and the impact of their implementation for providers and quality leaders.

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Roughly 48 percent of participating ACOs produced $121 million in total shared savings in 2013, with a net shared savings of $99 million

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Parts of the Cures package will now likely go to other House committees for review. The Senate will discuss NSA surveillance after recess.

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These leaders from Henry Ford Health System and UCSF Medical Center are among five reappointed commissioners, one new commissioner, and new Chair Francis “Jay” Crosson, announced by GAO.

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The Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote on 21st Century Cures Wednesday, possibly including an amendment that would make changes to the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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Calls for HHS to establish specific criteria for approval, document how programs will address the health of low-income populations, and ensure federal funding is not duplicated.

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May 29 webinar will focus on quality reporting program proposals, impact of changes to HAC Reduction Program and Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

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The call will provide an overview of the materials required for applying to the Medicare Shared Savings Program and lessons learned from previous program year application periods. Notices of intent due May 29, applications due July 31.

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Deadline for July end-to-end testing extended to May 22, acknowledgement testing June 1 to June 4, and a call for billing staff, coders, and clinicians June 18. Videos have also been published to the CMS website.

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GAO found that CMS lacks adequate data to conduct provider-level oversight of Medicaid payments to ensure payments are used for Medicaid patients in an economical and efficient manner.

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House votes on defense and late-term abortions, while the Senate votes on the trade bill, faces pharma pressure on biologics. Health committees review 21st Century Cures and Medicare patients' chronic conditions.

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The study found that 5 percent of Medicaid-only enrollees consistently accounted for almost half of the total expenditures.

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The model saved $384 million over a two-year time period and is the first alternative payment pilot to meet criteria for expansion to additional sites.

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The Senate takes up the House-passed budget resolution. Both the House and Senate are focused on medical innovation as the next major health push.

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The updates are for 2016 pay-for-performance programs to improve alignment with the latest clinical guidelines.

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The national provider call will cover alignment and goals for a number of Medicare pay-for-performance programs, including the Inpatient Quality Reporting Program and the Value-Based Purchasing Program.

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The meeting is open to the public and will cover GME structure, reform, and financing.

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IOM recommended a set of 15 core measures to be used across federal quality reporting programs to reduce the administrative reporting burden, allow for nationwide comparisons, and more.

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In an April 28 letter, the association urged CMS to adopt a holistic view of how payment mechanisms impact essential hospitals, including sustainable base payment rates, Medicaid waivers to address uncompensated care, and DSRIP waivers.

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Congress plans for a final vote on a FY 2016 budget resolution, and House and Senate committees will review medical innovation initiatives.

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Inpatient rehabilitation and long-term acute care facilities must submit data to the NHSN on select infections and influenza vaccinations.

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Federally chartered, 11-member Special Medical Advisory Group will advise the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on care for 9 million veterans

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Medicaid and Medicare reform remain a part of budget discussions as Congress continues work toward bicameral budget resolution. Committees review opioid abuse and medical device tax.

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Letter emphasizes value of program to vulnerable patients and hospitals, and risk of harming care by limiting program access

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The funding opportunity will support navigators for up to three years in federally facilitated and state partnership health insurance marketplaces.

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The agency will grant funding to 10 community organizations, government agencies, or community groups to spread health information to community partners.

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CMS added five-star quality ratings based on the HCAHPS patient satisfaction survey to its Hospital Compare website.

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