Week of July 13, 2015
An overwhelming majority of states are getting poor marks from research groups for their health care transparency efforts. The Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute issued a report card on state transparency laws that gave 45 states a failing grade.
The 21st Century Cures Act was approved in the House on Friday by a 344-77 margin. The Senate is considering its own version of the bill. The White House has indicated tacit support for many of its components.
Republican leadership of the Senate has indicated its reluctance to pass a bill repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through a budget-crafting parliamentary tool known as reconciliation. The process would allow the body to send legislation rolling back parts of the ACA to the House with just a simple majority vote.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule that would allow Medicare to reimburse physicians for having advance-planning discussions with their patients. The move so far has been met with limited opposition. Pending final approval, the rule could take effect as early as January.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is paying more than $840 million to state and municipal health departments to improve emergency preparedness. About $228 million will go toward creating new regional coalitions of health care organizations, while $611 million will serve as additional funding for local health departments.
President Obama announced last week that he plans to nominate the current acting head of CMS,Andy Slavitt, to become the agency's permanent administrator. The President also announced the nomination of Mary Wakefield as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Service
From Aetna health reform weekly