The Reed Smith Health Industry Washington Watch blog has been updated to report on recent health policy developments, including the following:

  • HHS Regulatory Developments. CMS has published regulations on Medicare prior authorization process for certain durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies; the electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use timeline; Medicare Advantage/Part D drug policies; and ACA Exchange and insurance market standards. Reed Smith has released client alerts on recent OIG exclusion and civil monetary penalty rules.
  • Other HHS Developments. CMS has extended the partial ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 code freeze. CMS just announced it is abandoning plans to finalize ACA Medicaid federal upper payment limits (FUL) for multiple source drugs in July 2014, as previously intended.  CMS also has announced a new public comment process on certain requests to discontinue HCPCS codes, and a second round of funding under the State Innovation Models Initiative. FDA has released guidance on expedited drug development and review.
  • OIG Developments. The OIG has issued an advisory bulletin on Independent Charity Patient Assistance Programs, along with its spring semiannual report to Congress and a report summarizing state requirements for home health agency employee background checks.
  • Legislative Developments. The Senate Finance Committee has voted to approve the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to be HHS Secretary. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health has approved three bipartisan public health bills. Congressional hearings have addressed various health policy issues.
  • Health Industry Events. Upcoming CMS events will focus on the Physician Payment Sunshine Act “Open Payments Program,” clinical laboratory payments, a new Suggested Electronic Clinical Template for Home Health, and Medicare hospital outpatient payments and policies. An FDA workshop will address 3-D printing of medical devices.
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