• CMS does about-face on Medicare Advantage payment cuts

    By Jonathan Block Posted: April 1, 2013 – 7:30 pm ET Tags   Apparently swayed by insurers and lawmakers, the CMS backtracked on an earlier plan to cut Medicare Advantage payments to insurers by 2.2% in 2014 and instead decided to give them a 3.3% increase.The CMS ultimately agreed, according to a final payment policy issued today… Read more »

  • AHRQ releases revised discharge toolkit aimed at curbing readmissions

    By Maureen McKinney Posted: March 27, 2013 – 10:00 pm ET   The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a revised toolkit hospitals can use to lower their rates of preventable readmissions, particularly among patients with limited English proficiency and patients from diverse backgrounds. The Re-Engineered Discharge Toolkit is based on Project RED, or Re-Engineered Discharge, a… Read more »

  • Talk of Medicare Changes Could Open Way to Budget Pact

    By JACKIE CALMES and ROBERT PEAR Published: March 28, 2013 NYTimes WASHINGTON — As they explore possible fiscal deals, President Obama and Congressional Republicans have quietly raised the idea of broad systemic changes to Medicare that could produce significant savings and end the polarizing debate over Republican plans to privatize the insurance program for older Americans. Read More

  • Feds OK California Plans for Dual Eligibles

    By Jonathan Block Posted: March 28, 2013 – 6:15 pm ET Tags: California, Costs, Illinois, Income, Massachusetts, Medicaid, Medicare, Ohio, Washington   California on Wednesday became the fifth state—and by far the largest—to win approval of a CMS demonstration project that will put beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid into managed-care plans.The agreement between the California Department of Health Care Services and the CMS (PDF) will… Read more »

  • Senate OKs budget plan that includes $275B in healthcare cuts

    By Associated Press and Rich Daly Posted: March 23, 2013 – 11:15 am ET Tags: Associated Press (AP), Barack Obama, Legislation, Max Baucus, Medicaid, Medicare, Paul Ryan, Reimbursement, Revenue, Suppliers, Supply Chain   An exhausted Senate gave pre-dawn approval Saturday to a Democratic $3.7 trillion budget for next year that embraces nearly $1 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade but shelters domestic programs targeted for… Read more »

  • States Urged to Expand Medicaid With Private Insurance

    WASHINGTON — The White House is encouraging skeptical state officials to expand Medicaid by subsidizing the purchase of private insurance for low-income people, even though that approach might be somewhat more expensive, federal and state officials say.  Read more

  • HRSA 340B Registration opens

    Open registration for the 340B program begins on April 1 and runs through the 15th.  Eligible entities who want to participate in the 340B discounted drug pricing program must register with HRSA in order to access the program.  Activation of the registration takes place on July 1.  Additional open registrations for 2013 will take place… Read more »

  • Final Notice Regarding the 340B Drug Pricing Program; Children’s Hospitals has been published.

    SUMMARY: Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act (section 340B) and section 1927(a) of the Social Security Act (section 1927(a)) implement a drug pricing program in which manufacturers who sell covered outpatient drugs to covered entities must agree to charge a price that will not exceed an amount determined under a statutory formula. Section… Read more »

  • Notice Regarding Section 602 of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992 Definition of “Patient”

    SUMMARY: Section 602 of Public Law 102-585, the “Veterans Health Care Act of 1992,” enacted Section 340B of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act “Limitation on Prices of Drugs Purchased by Covered Entities.” Section 340B provides that in order to obtain Medicaid reimbursement for its covered outpatient drugs, a manufacturer must sign a pharmaceutical pricing… Read more »