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

  • Legislative Developments. President Obama has signed a government funding bill with health spending/policy provisions. Congress has approved bills to incentivize Ebola treatments and vaccines, extend an enforcement moratorium on rural hospital supervision requirements, and use certain Medicare offsets to pay for a bill to allow individuals with disabilities to establish tax free savings accounts. Congressional panels are seeking input on legislation impacting Medicare fraud and abuse authorities, lab-developed tests, and graduate medical education. Congressional hearings have focused on various health policy issues.
  • Regulatory Developments. CMS has published rules/notices regarding: the Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACOs; Medicare provider enrollment requirements; revisions to certain Medicare/Medicaid policies to recognize same-sex marriages; 2016 ACA Marketplace plan benefit and payment parameters; disproportionate share hospital payment limits; provider enrollment application fees; a hyperbaric oxygen prior authorization pilot program, and federal financial participation matching amounts, among other issues. HHS has posted its latest regulatory agenda, and it is seeking comments on ethical implications of the public health response to the Ebola outbreak.
  • Other HHS Developments. Recent CMS policies have addressed DMEPOS competitive bidding, Medicare coverage with evidence development, Medicare Part D drug prescriber enrollment requirements, the status of Medicaid federal upper limits, Medicare Part B pricing, and Medicare DMEPOS fees.  The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is seeking comments on its strategic plan.
  • Fraud & Abuse Developments. The OIG has issued a semiannual report to Congress, along with reports on Medicaid managed care, Medicare mail order diabetes test strips, and various Medicare drug policies. GAO reports have addressed Medicare DMEPOS competitive bidding, health care cost and quality transparency, group purchasing organizations, and Medicare Part D policies. The Department of Justice has released FY 2014 fraud recovery statistics.
  • Health Industry Events. MedPAC is meeting to discuss Medicare payment policy, the FDA is holding a workshop on laboratory-developed tests, and CMS is holding a meeting on hospital outpatient payment policy.
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