House Plans To Take Up 70+ Opioid Bills Next Week While Congress is in its Memorial Day recess this week, congressional staff is putting together a package of bills to tackle the opioid crisis. The package encompasses over 70 bills that were approved by the House Energy...

Major Changes Coming to Pharmaceutical Pricing and Policy HHS Secretary Alex Azar and other Administration officials are beating the drum of pharmaceutical reform, promoting the President's "Blueprint for Lower Drug Prices" since it was introduced May 11th. Azar highlighted the need for Medicare to have the...

Updated CMS Hospital Star Ratings Shows 213 with 5 Stars CMS updated its Hospital Compare website late last month, revealing new HCAHPS summary star ratings for 3,466 hospitals, with 213 hospitals earning five stars. Since its launch in 2015, the summary star ratings program has assigned hospitals a...

340B Hospitals Have Their Day in Court, Seek Immediate Relief Hospitals faced HHS in the DC Court of Federal Appeals last Friday over the 340B outpatient rule that cut Medicare  payments for certain drugs by 28.5 percent starting January 1, 2018. HHS asserted that the Secretary has the...

Latest Hospital Patient Safety Scores Released by Leapfrog The majority of urban hospitals don't perform well on patient safety measures, according to the latest Hospital Safety Grade report released last week by the Leapfrog Group. Of the 11 hospitals in New York City included in the...

New CMS Policy Puts Critical Access Hospitals in Danger of Losing Status The Trump Administration is pursuing a new policy that could jeopardize the status of dozens, if not hundreds, of Critical Access Hospital across the United States.  The issue involves the location of designated Hospital...

Congress Moving Closer to Finalizing Comprehensive Opioid Package The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held the third in a series of legislative hearings on a large number of opioid bills, these aimed at "Improving the Ability of Medicare and Medicaid to Provide Care for Patients."...

MedPAC Targets Urban Stand-Alone EDs for Payment Cuts, Wants Changes To Hospital Value Programs The Medicare Payment Advisory Committee voted last week to cut payment to some stand-alone emergency departments, saving Medicare up to $250 million annually if enacted into law.  Specifically, MedPAC called for Congress to reduce...

HRSA Seeks More Authority to Change the 340B Program In its Budget Justification to Congress, the Health Resources and Services Administration once again repeated its request that Congress to allow for a user-fee of 0.1 percent of the total 340B drug purchases paid by participating covered entities....