Author Archives: Vince Sampson

CBO Releases AHCA Budget Score; As Costs Become Clearer, Road to Passage Gets Rockier

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the budget “score” or cost, for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The headline from the analysis is that the AHCA would cause 14 million people to lose health care coverage.  Notwithstanding passage by the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees last week, the big number of uninsured, coupled with the narrative opponents have created about  AHCA’s tax breaks, has made the road for passage longer and steeper. Continue reading

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Filed under Health Care, Health Reform, The Affordable Care Act

Off to the Races: First ACA Repeal and Replace Legislation Released

Following through on Republican campaign promises, two key Congressional committees released legislation yesterday that further the process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  After more than 60 attempts to repeal the ACA since 2010, GOP members of the  House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees released details of the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA). Reaction to the AHCA has been swift and sharp portending a long road from producing legislation that can reach the President’s desk.  Continue reading

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Filed under Health Care, Health Reform, Medicaid, Medical Devices, The Affordable Care Act

Price Confirmed for HHS Secretary, other key agency and department positions next to be filled

Around 2 a.m., the Senate voted along party lines to confirm Representative Tom Price to become Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  The vote was 52-47 with no Democrats voting in favor.  With repeated attacks on his policy record and questions about stock purchases, Price’s nomination was among the most controversial of President Trump’s cabinet selections.  With Price in place, now comes the work to fill out other key roles at HHS and develop the administrative process repeal and replace of Obamacare. Continue reading

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Filed under Medicaid, Medicare, The Affordable Care Act, Uncategorized

Medicare Part B Demo Declared Dead

On Thursday, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would not move forward with its controversial Medicare Part B Payment Model  (Part B Demo).  The Part B Demo had come under heavy fire from industry groups, some patient organizations, providers and a bipartisan collection of policymakers in Congress. Continue reading

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Filed under Coverage and Reimbursement, Government Pricing, Health Care, Medicare, Uncategorized

21st Century Cures Clears Senate, President Expected to Sign into Law but Some Issues Remain

Today, the Senate voted overwhelmingly – 94-5 – to pass sweeping medical innovation legislation clearing the way for President Obama to sign it into law when it reaches his desk later this week. The 21st Century Cures Act, (Cures), a rare bipartisan major piece of healthcare legislation, provides $6.3 billion for research, streamlined approvals for drugs and devices as well as funding to improve the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA)  ability to hire top quality scientific talent by increasing pay and improving the hiring process.  The House of Representatives recently passed Cures by a similarly wide bipartisan margin of 392-26.  The Senate vote marks a milestone victory for Cures champions including outgoing Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Continue reading

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Filed under FDA, Health Care, Health Reform, Technology, Uncategorized

FDA hits the brakes on LDT draft guidance

Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to delay finalizing draft guidance for Laboratory Developed Tests (LDT).  First issued in July of 2014, the draft guidance would give FDA regulatory oversight of LDTs.  This guidance marked a significant shift in the regulation of LDT as FDA has chosen not to exercise regulatory oversight or enforcement over LDTs.  Continue reading

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Filed under FDA Draft Guidance, Health Care, Laboratories, Uncategorized

CMS Issues Final MACRA Physician Payment Rule

On Friday, October 14th, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the long-anticipated final rule with 60-day comment period (Rule) for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP). The QPP provides incentive payments for participation in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APM).  The provisions of the 2,400 page Rule take effect January 1, 2017.  When fully implemented, the Rule will generally transition providers from the current fee-for-service payment system into new value-based payment models.  Continue reading

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Filed under Health Care, Medicare, Telehealth, Telemedicine, Uncategorized