Wynne Health In Print

100 Days of Health Care

Before November 8, no one anticipated that health care would be the predominant focus of the next president’s first 100 days. Now, let the record reflect, that is precisely what has happened. What have we learned in the process and what do we have to show for it? The latter question is easier to answer: nothing, save for considerable uncertainty and burgeoning disruption for the health care system. As for the former, Republicans have hoisted their own petard in epic fashion. ...
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What Now?: A Four Step Plan For Bipartisan Health Reform

As I concluded in my Health Affairs Blog post last Monday, it should be clearer now than ever that new steps to improve our health care system must be pursued on a bipartisan basis. In the past week, several Members of Congress and the President himself have expressed interest in finding consensus solutions to the challenges we face. Democrats, meanwhile, have responded in kind....
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With ‘Repeal, Replace’ in Ashes, Democrats Can ‘Repair’

The front-page failure of Republicans’ effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week has opened a remarkable and unexpected opportunity to get beyond the rhetoric of repeal and undertake a thoughtful repair of the shortcomings of our current health care system. As former staff to two of the Democratic Party’s most constructive, collaborative, and accomplished health care lawmakers of the last half century — Sens. Ted Kennedy and Max Baucus — we see last week’s legislative failure as an opportunity to explore a chance for real progress....
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Five Lessons From The AHCA’s Demise

While the keyhole of history has had insufficient time to bring the failed launch of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) into focus, it’s not too soon to begin learning some of the lessons it can teach us. Legislative efforts have a lifespan but our health care system does not. So whether we are still rejoicing or recriminating, let’s take a look at some timeless principles we can apply to the ongoing effort to improve health care in the United States. ...
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Five Reasons The ACA Won’t Be Repealed

Since November 8, a chill has descended among individuals nationwide who are involved with or otherwise care about health care. Like sheep herded to their fate, there has been a resignation that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be repealed, taking with it coverage for over 23 million people, strong protections for consumers, and innovations in care delivery....
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MACRA Final Rule: CMS Strikes A Balance; Will Docs Hang On?

On Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Final Rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)—aka the “SGR” repeal bill, aka Medicare physician payment 3.0. The central theme of the MACRA Final Rule is its softening of key program parameters in an effort to allay provider concerns, rally participation, and avoid adverse consequences out of the gate....
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Breaking Down The MACRA Proposed Rule

The mother ship has landed. On Wednesday, April 27, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the highly anticipated proposed rule that would establish key parameters for the new Quality Payment Program, a framework that includes the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs)....
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Brave New World: Medicare’s Advanced Payment Models

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) established a new framework for Medicare physician payment. Under the law, beginning in 2019, health care professionals participating in the program will come to a crossroads on their path to reimbursement. In one direction—the default direction—they will be subject to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), a revamp of Medicare’s fee-for-service (FFS) payment system that consolidates existing quality programs into a unified reimbursement component....
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Moops?: A Roadmap To MIPS

After a seemingly endless stream of stop-gap “doc fixes,” President Obama on April 14, 2015, signed into law a permanent repeal and replacement of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate formula. The 2015 law, known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) (P.L. 114-10), permanently reformed Medicare physician payments and (finally) put to rest what had become a dreaded perennial legislative ritual of blocking reimbursement cuts. ...
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Implementation Of The Biosimilars Provisions Of The ACA — Where Are We Now?

Despite the passage of a 2010 law addressing such medicines, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval this year of the first biosimilar has prompted a flurry of regulatory activity aimed at filling gaps left by the statute. For a helpful primer on the issue, see a recent Health Affairs Health Policy Brief. This post will address key concerns raised by recent FDA guidance, as well as other widely anticipated but yet-to-be released regulatory activity, such as the pivotal interchangeability standard....
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Review Of Proposed 340B Omnibus Guidance: How We Got Here And What It Says

In a previous post—now almost one and a half years ago—I described “the coming storm” I anticipated would develop around the 340B drug discount program. After a brief tornado hit the House Energy and Commerce Committee when they considered including 340B reforms in their 21st Century Cures initiative, a slower, hurricane-style churn over the Administration’s proposed guidance on the topic has settled in....
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May The Era Of Medicare’s Doc Fix (1997-2015) Rest In Peace. Now What?

After seventeen years (eight months, 9 days…), over a dozen acts of Congress and innumerable reams of debate and conjecture about its fate, it’s time to say goodbye to the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. As a proper wake, let’s take a moment to reflect on this enigma of health care economic theory. And then let’s not ever do it again....
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