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....

March 26, 2018 HHS Defends 340B Regulation that Cuts Payments  In court filings last week, HHS argued that its 28.5 percent  340B drug payment reductions in the outpatient payment rule “were justified by developments in the market” due to the program's over-expansion. Additionally, HHS stated that it already...

March 19, 2018 (NOTE: The federal government shuts down Friday, March 23, unless Congress reaches a final 2018 spending deal.  House legislation for an Omnibus spending bill is expected to be released for public review on Monday, March 19.  Click here for a news summary explaining...

March 5, 2018 Healthgrades Awards Best 50 and 100 Hospitals for 2018 Hospitals from 28 states made Healthgrades Top Hospitals list this year.  Healthgrades last week released America’s 50 and 100 Best Hospitals™ for 2018. The recipients, which represent the top 1% and 2% of hospitals in the...

February 26, 2018   Hospitals Inflate Outpatient Oncology Treatment Costs: New Report A new report published in the American Journal of Managed Care shows that large-scale medical centers inflated outpatient oncology treatment costs substantially above what Medicare typically pays, and their markups vary anywhere from three to six...

February 19, 2018 HHS Secretary Says MIPS Could Be Eliminated The new HHS Secretary, Alex Azar, said last week the agency is looking into whether the MIPS reporting requirements can be eliminated altogether.  Click here. Just a few weeks ago, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted to...

February 12, 2018 White House Targets 340B in FY19 Budget The Trump administration on Monday is officially moving ahead to fiscal 2019. Expected to be included in the the FY19 budget proposal are changes to the 340B pharmaceutical discount program, as well as other changes designed to...