Trump Executive Order Seeks To Make Medicare Payment Rates More Competitive with Commercial Rates President Trump signed an Executive Order last week aimed at strengthening Medicare and Medicare Advantage, supporting telehealth services and supplemental benefits offered by insurers, and ensuring that traditional Medicare is not promoted over...

New CMS Mandate To Collect 340B Drug Cost Data, Signals New Payment Reduction Efforts CMS quietly issued a notice last week that it will begin collecting data on 340B drug acquisition costs.  This likely signals that the agency is preparing for a new payment reduction scheme...

Assault on Hospital Prices Intensifies Make no mistake, spending for hospital services is under increasing assault by the government and private payors and big pharma.  In a series of regulatory proposals from CMS this year, the agency has targeted various hospital funding streams for reductions.  From...

Director, Post-Acute Contracting and Alternative Payment Initiatives As Director of Post-Acute Contracting and Alternative Payment Initiatives at Strategic Health Care, Grant brings over 20 years of comprehensive post-acute care knowledge across multiple service domains including skilled nursing, assisted living, home health, hospice, outpatient rehabilitation, and adult day care. His...

Physician Groups Continue to Lobby Against Provisions in Surprise Billing Legislation Various congressional committees will turn their attention this week to surprise billing legislation as physician groups have stepped up lobbying efforts against the current surprise billing bills that passed out of Senate and House committees...

Congress Returns and Renews Efforts To Pass Surprise Billing Legislation Key House and Senate Committees will continue their efforts this week at weaving together surprise billing legislation that can pass both chambers.  Advocacy groups are keeping up the pressure on policymakers. In one major campaign favoring...

CMS Decides To Revise Hospital Star Rating System  CMS has announced it will update its hospital star ratings in early 2020 using the current methodology as the agency works on refining a new one. With the last update to the ratings system implemented in February 2019, CMS...

Public Charge Rule: Fewer Health Care Benefits for Legal Immigrants; Lawsuits Filed The Trump Administration has moved to reframe green card requirements through the public charge rule, stressing English language skills and wealth in order to attract immigrants who will be more self-sufficient. This rule will...

Hot and Heavy Discussions Around Surprise Billing During Congress' August Recess Even though the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed surprise billing legislation in July, with the promise of floor action in late September, two other House Committees are busy working on their own versions of...