More Changes Expected on Drug Prices; New Report Shows Prices are Still Rising HHS Secretary Alex Azar met with House Ways and Means Committee Republicans last week to discuss the President's plan to lower drug prices. Azar is said to have given lawmakers an update on...

CMS: Medicare ACOs Saved $314 Million in 2017 CMS has released updated data on the 472 accountable care organizations that shows that ACOs netted $314 million in savings for the government. This data comes three weeks after CMS proposed stricter regulations on the Medicare Shared Savings...

Senate-Passed $857 Billion Appropriations Package Boosts Health Spending The Senate last week passed a fiscal 2019 spending package, 85-7, that includes funding for the Departments of Defense, Labor, Education and HHS.  More than 300 amendments were filed, with more than 50 adopted by unanimous consent into the...

U.S. News Releases Best Hospitals Rankings for 2018-19 U.S. News lat week released its 2018-19 Best Hospitals rankings. The 29th annual rankings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care. The rankings compared more than 4,500 medical...

CMS Moves To Overhaul Medicare ACOs CMS last week issued a proposed rule, which would make major changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). In this rule, CMS proposes to redesign the MSSP, eliminating Track 1 and 2, establishing a new BASIC track and reframing...

CMS Rules Have Medicare Payment Increases for Acute, Post-Acute Facilities, Finalizes Inpatient Rule A number of finalized payment rules were posted by CMS with very few changes to the original proposals that impact both acute and post-acute care facilities: The final hospital inpatient rule will boost...

CMS Outpatient Rule Smacks Hospitals: More 340B Cuts and Site Neutral Cuts Included Hospitals take numerous financial hits in CMS' proposed hospital outpatient and ASC rule released last week.  Among other changes, the rule would: Make more cuts to the 340B drug discount program, focusing Medicare...

Hospitals' 340B Lawsuit Fails; Congress Considers Action A federal appeals court has dismissed the hospitals' lawsuit over CMS cuts to Medicare reimbursement for 340B drugs, restating the lower courts decision that hospitals sued before they had been hurt by the policy. Specifically, the three-judge panel of...

Azar Seeks Deep Cuts to 340B Discounts; House Committee Clashes Over 340B Future HHS Secretary Alex Azar reportedly told a gathering of key lawmakers and staff late last week that the 340B drug discount to providers should be standardized to 20 percent, according to a report...

Key House Panel Releases Eight Draft Bills To Change 340B The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold the long awaited 340B legislative hearing on Wednesday. 15 bills, including eight drafts, will be discussed reviewed. While witnesses have not been announced, it is expected the list will...