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Azar defends proposed HHS budget, Medicare cuts in House committee hearing

February 16, 2018

During House and Senate committee hearings, HHS Secretary Alex Azar outlines his priorities for the department, including improving health care access and affordability, transitioning toward value-based payment models, reducing prescription drug costs, and expanding coverage for telehealth services.

Inside 'the war' between UPMC and Highmark for the Pittsburgh market

February 16, 2018

A battle between two major health care players in western Pennsylvania could be a harbinger of what is to come nationwide, as forces of consolidation bring providers and insurers into each other's domains.

The health care provisions in Trump's budget proposal

February 13, 2018

President Trump's fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget proposal requests $95.4 billion in discretionary HHS funding—with some federal health care agencies seeing budget increases and others seeing budget cuts when compared with FY 2017.

The (very brief) shutdown is over—and MACRA, Medicare, CHCs, and more just changed

February 9, 2018

Early this morning, President Trump signed a spending package that funds the federal government through March 23 and raises 2018 and 2019 budget caps for defense and domestic programs, including those to combat the opioid misuse epidemic and fund community health centers.

The latest deal to avert a shutdown could affect Medicare, MACRA, CHCs, and more

February 8, 2018

Congress today is expected to vote on a spending package that would fund the government through March 23, increase funding for community health centers and to combat the opioid misuse epidemic, repeal the Affordable Care Act's Independent Payment Advisory Board, and more.

CMS cancels payment model aimed at bolstering patient decision making

February 6, 2018

CMS says it "determined that the design and operational changes necessary to continue with the [Direct Decision Support] model would be too significant and burdensome for participants."

Reinsurance proposals gain traction among House GOP lawmakers

February 5, 2018

House and Senate GOP leaders are considering proposals intended to lower exchange premiums and fund reinsurance programs—marking a major shift among House Republicans, who last year opposed similar proposals intended to bolster the exchanges.

How CMS wants to change MA payments, Part D for 2019

February 2, 2018

CMS in an advance notice proposes payment changes that would increase Medicare Advantage plan payments by an average of 1.84% in 2019 and set opioid prescribing limits for Medicare beneficiaries.

DOJ drops corruption charges against Sen. Menendez in case tied to Medicare

February 2, 2018

The Department of Justice (DOJ) says it dropped its case against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen in light of a Jan. 24 ruling that acquitted seven of DOJ's 18 corruption charges against the men.

AHL feature: The 340B drug pricing controversy, explained

February 1, 2018

The controversy over the 340B drug discount program has escalated to a new level: CMS has proposed major reimbursement cuts, including $1.6 billion in 2018 alone, and health care organizations countered with a lawsuit claiming the agency is jeopardizing patients' health. American Health Line explains what you should know about the 340B program: how it works, who it serves, why it's controversial, and what reimbursement cuts could mean for providers.
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