Archive for: Medicaid

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CARES Act Offers Relief, Support for US Healthcare Sector During COVID-19 Response – Updated

As the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) affects every sector of the US economy, the US Congress and the White House came together to provide funding, supplies and regulatory relief to address the crisis. The US Senate unanimously passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 25, 2020. The US House…

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: March 20, 2020

The response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to dominate lawmakers’ attention. The Senate passed the second emergency funding bill and began work on a third. The Administration released new guidance expanding telehealth services in traditional Medicare.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: March 13, 2020

Lawmakers are considering additional emergency funding to address the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as US cases top 1,000. The Administration released long-awaited information blocking and interoperability rules.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: February 28, 2020

The Administration requested emergency funding to fight the coronavirus epidemic, and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar defended the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget on Capitol Hill.

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Analyzing the President’s FY 2021 Budget: Key HHS Proposals

On February 10, 2020, the White House released its $4.8 trillion FY 2021 budget proposal. In the area of healthcare, the president requested $94.5 billion in discretionary budget authority for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which represents a 10% decrease from the 2020 enacted level.

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Medicare Advantage Advance Notice and Policy and Technical Changes Proposed Rule

On February 5, 2020, CMS issued two documents impacting the Medicare Advantage program: (1) the Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Proposed Rule; and (2) the…

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: February 07, 2020

The House Ways and Means and Education and Labor committees released information on their surprise billing proposals, and President Trump delivered the State of the Union on the eve of the Senate’s vote to acquit him in the impeachment trial.

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Healthy Adult Opportunity – Full Summary

CMS released a SMD letter and fact sheet encouraging states to pursue block grant or per capita cap funding mechanisms through their Medicaid programs as part of the new HAO.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: January 31, 2020

The House of Representatives returned from recess to continue work on legislation to address surprise medical bills and high drug costs, while the Administration unveiled a proposal to let states opt for Medicaid block grants. The Senate remained busy with impeachment proceedings.

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Health Policy Breakroom Ep. 09: 2020 Forecast, Medicaid Reform

Katie Waldo joins Rodney Whitlock to break down what 2020 has in store for Medicaid reform.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: January 17, 2020

The House of Representatives voted to formally present the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, kicking off the trial phase of the impeachment process. The Senate trial is expected to tie-up and stall legislation in the upper chamber for several weeks, and perhaps longer. House lawmakers, meanwhile, continued to grapple with surprise…

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: December 06, 2019

Congress is back in town with just two weeks to address government funding and many healthcare issues. More proposals are emerging on drug pricing and surprise billing, and the House Judiciary Committee took up impeachment.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: November 22, 2019

Impeachment continued to dominate the news, Congress averted a government shutdown, and federal vaping regulation stalled.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: November 15, 2019

Government funding negotiations continued against the backdrop of impeachment, and the CMS issued new rules on provider price transparency and Medicaid supplemental payments.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: November 8, 2019

There was little activity in Congress with the House in recess, but we saw several developments in the Medicaid space including new guidance from the CMS.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: October 25, 2019

The House Ways and Means Committee completed its markup of H.R. 3, but floor consideration was pushed until mid-November. Seema Verma appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

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Healthcare Extenders: What’s on the Table for 2019

There are 20 scheduled joint legislative days left until the current continuing resolution funding the government ends on November 21, 2019, followed by an additional eight scheduled joint legislative days until the end of the year. These are significant dates for several important healthcare programs and their funding.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: October 4, 2019

This Week’s Dose: The impeachment inquiry proceedings are still moving forward, despite the Congressional recess. Surprise billing activity continued, and the Trump Administration issued an Executive Order on Medicare.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: September 20, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Speaker Pelosi released her long-awaited drug pricing bill, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee questioned drug companies’ financial motivations during a hearing this week.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: August 2, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Things have quieted down in Congress with the House out of session and the Senate wrapping up its last week before the August recess. But the agencies are still at work, so don’t totally check out just yet.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: July 26, 2019

This Week’s Dose: The Senate Finance Committee finally released its drug pricing package and moved quickly to a markup. The bill passed out of committee, but work will continue before the full Senate votes. We’ll be watching closely as things develop.

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What’s Next for the House Surprise Billing Package?

There has been a surge of congressional activity relating to the various surprise billing proposals. What started out as an issue for a small Senate working group last year has turned into a major health priority for both parties in both chambers.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: July 12, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Congress is back for the final legislative session before the August recess, and it’s all about what can get done ahead of the break. House and Senate committees have already advanced a cost containment legislation that includes surprise billing and prescription drug cost provisions, among many other things. We still await any…

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: June 28, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Lots of movement in Congress ahead of the Fourth of July recess with the House and Senate both advancing a number of health care bills. President Trump also signed an executive order this week, continuing the Administration’s focus on health care transparency.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: June 21, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Three weeks down, one week to go in this work period. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is moving forward with its cost containment legislation, and the House passed the first batch of health care extenders.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: June 14, 2019

This Week’s Dose: The focus was back on surprise billing this week with the third hearing of the year. We also saw hearings on Medicare for All and vertical consolidation in the health care industry, and the House advanced an appropriations package.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: June 7, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Congress is back, and this week marked the start of another busy legislative session. Work continues on drug pricing, surprise billing and cost containment, and negotiations have begun on an extenders package as well.

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McDermottPlus Health Care Preview: June 3, 2019

And they’re back. Today, Congress starts a four-week legislative session, and it’s going to be a busy one.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: May 10, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Another busy week for prescription drug pricing. Two more hearings took place on the subject, and a handful of bills passed out of the House. Now we watch the Senate to see how it packages and advances prescription drug bills that have moved through the House.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: May 3, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Lots of activity surrounding single-payer this week with a hearing, the introduction of two Medicare expansion bills and a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Hearings and markups of drug pricing bills continue as well. This legislative session is off to a busy start.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: April 26, 2019

This Week’s Dose: When Congress is away, the agencies will play. The Administration made some major announcements and dropped several new important rules this week, giving stakeholders plenty to talk about (and work on) while Congress is in recess.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: April 5, 2019

This Week’s Dose: Health care continues to dominate much of the attention on Capitol Hill. Lots of hearings. New coverage expansion legislation. And more state action on Medicaid.

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Analyzing the President’s FY 2020 Budget: Key HHS Proposals

On March 11, 2019, the White House released its FY 2020 budget proposal. In the area of health care, the president has requested $87.1 billion in discretionary budget authority for HHS, which represents a 12 percent decrease from the 2019 estimated level. Read on for key HHS proposal highlights.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: February 22, 2019

This Week’s Diagnosis: It’s all quiet on the Hill. Members return Monday after the first full week of district work time in the 116th Congress.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: February 15, 2019

This Week’s Diagnosis: Congress passed a $328 billion spending package to avert another government shutdown.  President Trump is expected to sign it.  Congressional hearings continue to focus on coverage and drug pricing.  

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: February 1, 2019

This Week’s Diagnosis: Government reopens…for at least three weeks. Congress is full steam ahead, kicking off the 116th with health care hearings on drug pricing and pre-existing conditions. The US Department of Health and Human Services focuses on 2019 priorities.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: January 18, 2019

This Week’s Diagnoses: Shutdown enters historic territory. Prescription drug costs emerge as a priority issue for the 116th Congress. Committee assignments are almost complete.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: December 14, 2018

This Week’s Diagnosis: President Trump clashed with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in a meeting this week about how to keep the government’s lights on. The President threatened to shut down the government on December 21, when the current short-term funding agreement expires, if his request for…

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: December 7, 2018

This Week’s Diagnosis: Memorial services for President George H.W. Bush were held this week in Washington, DC and Texas. No agreement has been reached on border wall funding, which means Members may be here through at least December 21.

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Election Results Bring Change in Health Priorities

Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives in January 2019. Republicans will retain control of the Senate, widening their margin slightly. Split control of Congress will have important consequences for healthcare policy.  This article takes a closer look at how the election is likely to impact the health policy agenda.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: November 2, 2018

This Week’s Diagnosis: While members of Congress are touting the passage of the opioid package on the campaign trail, the Administration continued releasing a series of significant health policy regulations.

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: October 26, 2018

This Week’s Diagnosis: The Administration remains active with the issuance of several new guidance documents, the drug pricing announcement and the President (finally) signing the bipartisan opioid legislation (HR 6).

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McDermottPlus Check-Up: September 28, 2018

This Week’s Diagnosis: Consideration of the Kavanaugh nomination dominated airtime in the Senate this week, but the House stayed on-task, pushing through a number of health-related bills.

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McDermottPlus Check-up: September 14, 2018

McDermott+Consulting is pleased to introduce the McDermottPlus Check-up, your regular update on healthcare policy from Washington, D.C.

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