Tag Archives: Health Spending

CMS finalizes rule to expand and modify Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model

On May 3, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published an 81-page final rule to both extend and change the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model. We previously reported on the proposed rule here. The CJR model was initially implemented by way of notice-and-comment rulemaking in April 2016; the recent final … Continue Reading

House and Senate Hearings Focus on Health Costs and Policy Issues

Congressional panels continue to focus on federal health care policy topics, including cost, quality, and program integrity issues. Recent hearings have included the following: The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held hearings entitled “Reducing Health Care Costs: Examining How Transparency Can Lower Spending and Empower Patients”; “Prioritizing Cures: Science and Stewardship at … Continue Reading

Congress Continues Focus on Health Policy; More Hearings on the Congressional Agenda

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled three hearings this week on health topics: A July 24 hearing on advertising and marketing practices within the substance use treatment industry; A July 25 hearing on FDA and NIH implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act; and A July 26 hearing on the Medicare Merit-based Incentive … Continue Reading

MedPAC Issues 2015 Medicare Data Book

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its 2015 Data Book on Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program. The publication provides information on national health care and Medicare spending, Medicare and dual-eligible beneficiary demographics, Medicare quality, and Medicare beneficiary liability, along with Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D drug program data. The report … Continue Reading

GAO Examines Geographic Variation in Private Payer Spending on High-Cost Procedures

On January 28, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled “Private Health Insurance: Geographic Variation in Spending for Certain High-Cost Procedures Driven by Inpatient Prices.” In the report, the GAO examines: (1) how spending per episode of care for certain high-cost procedures varies across geographic areas for private payers, and (2) how … Continue Reading

President Signs Government Funding Bill with Health Spending/Policy Provisions

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds most government agencies through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2015 (funding for the Department of Homeland Security is funded through February 27, 2015). With regard to HHS funding, the bill, among other things: holds CMS funding at FY … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Recent Congressional health policy hearings have addressed the following issues: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on generic drug pricing; The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee focused on its concerns associated with transparency in passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act in a hearing featuring CMS Administrator Marilyn … Continue Reading

MedPAC Issues 2014 Medicare/Health Spending Data Book

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its 2014 Data Book on Health Care Spending and the Medicare Program. The volume provides detailed information regarding national health care and Medicare spending and utilization, sector profit margins, Medicare and dual-eligible beneficiary demographics, Medicare quality, Medicare beneficiary and other payer liability, and related issues.… Continue Reading

Omnibus Government Spending Signed to Fund HHS, Other Departments

President Obama has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, which provides $1.012 trillion in discretionary funding for the operations of the federal government through September 30, 2014. In addition to setting overall funding levels for HHS agencies, the law specifies funding for numerous HHS policies and initiatives, such as additional funding for … Continue Reading

CBO Offers Deficit Reduction Options

On November 13, 2013, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report entitled “Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023,” which includes more than 100 policy options that would decrease federal spending or increase federal revenues over the next decade. The following is a listing of the CBO’s health policy options, many of which … Continue Reading

CMS Actuary Determines No IPAB Cuts Needed in 2015

The ACA’s controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is charged with submitting detailed proposals to Congress and the President to reduce Medicare per-capita spending if projected spending growth exceeds a specified target based initially on inflation and then growth in the economy. IPAB’s proposals will go into effect automatically unless Congress enacts alternative legislation to … Continue Reading

National Health Care Spending Slowing, CMS Finds

According to new CMS national health spending statistics, U.S. health care spending grew 3.9% in 2010 — the lowest rate of increase in 51 years. The relatively low rate of growth is attributed to lower utilization of health care services. Notably, retail prescription drug spending grew only 1.2%, the slowest rate of growth for prescription … Continue Reading

Energy & Commerce Hearings on ACA Policy Issues

The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee has held a hearing entitled “CLASS Cancelled: An Unsustainable Program and Its Consequences for the Nation’s Deficit.” The panel also has scheduled a November 2, 2011 hearing entitled “Do New Health Law Mandates Threaten Conscience Rights and Access to Care?”… Continue Reading

GAO Highlights Lack of Meaningful Health Care Pricing Information for Consumers

The GAO has issued a report entitled, “Health Care Price Transparency: Meaningful Price Information is Difficult for Consumers to Obtain Prior to Receiving Care.” According to the GAO, consumer difficulties in obtaining meaningful medical pricing information stem from both health care factors (such as the difficulty of predicting health care services in advance, billing from multiple … Continue Reading

Agreement Reached on FY 2011 Spending Bill

On April 8, 2011, President Obama and Congressional leaders announced an agreement on the outline of a spending bill to fund the government through the rest of FY 2011 (until September 30, 2011). The final FY 2011 continuing resolution cuts an additional $38.5 billion in federal spending over the remainder of the year, including new cuts … Continue Reading

Another Short-Term FY 2011 Spending Bill Enacted

The President has signed another short-term government spending bill (H.J.Res. 48), funding government operations through April 8, 2011 as Congress attempts to craft a spending bill for the remainder for FY 2011. The latest bill would cut federal spending by $6 billion, including reductions in funding for HHS state health access grants and certain “no-year” pandemic … Continue Reading

Short-Term Spending Bill Signed Into Law

President Obama has signed into law a short-term spending bill (H.J.Res. 44) that keeps the government funded through March 18, 2011 while Congressional leaders try to reach agreement on a spending package for the rest of fiscal year 2011 (through September 30, 2011). The latest stop-gap bill includes $4 billion in spending cuts, including reductions in … Continue Reading

Congressional Hearings on the ACA, Health Care Fraud

The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing entitled “The Consequences of Obamacare: Impact on Medicaid and State Health Care Reform.” In addition, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held hearings on the FY 2012 HHS budget and implementation of the ACA. On March 2, three Congressional panels held hearings on health care fraud: the Senate Finance … Continue Reading

Lawmakers, President Call for Spending Reductions

On January 25, 2011, the House of Representatives voted 256-165 to approve H.Res. 38, which directs Congress to cut FY 2011 non-security discretionary spending to no more than fiscal year 2008 levels. While H.Res. 38 does not specify planned spending cuts, the Republican Study Committee has offered a plan for achieving such reductions, including cutting funding … Continue Reading

Congressional Hearings

The new 112th Congress has already held a number of hearings on health policy issues and other policy areas that also can impact the health industry. For instance, with regard to health reform, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the “Health Care Law’s Impact on Jobs, Employers, and the Economy.” In addition, the … Continue Reading

CMS Releases New National Health Spending Data

CMS reports that national health care spending grew at 4.0% in 2009, to a total of $2.5 trillion. While this is the slowest rate of growth in decades (attributable to the recession), health care spending growth continued to exceed overall economic growth, which declined 1.7%. While private health insurance spending increased only 1.3% in 2009, Medicaid enrollment … Continue Reading

Upcoming Hearing on Health Care Pricing Transparency (May 6)

On May 6, 2010, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing on health care pricing transparency legislation, focusing on H.R. 4700, the "Transparency In All Health Care Pricing Act of 2010"; H.R. 2249, the "Health Care Price Transparency Promotion Act Of 2009"; and H.R. 4803, the "Patient’s Right To Know Act." … Continue Reading