Thought Leadership

Our wide array of published insights drive the debate in Washington.

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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The Lame Duck Device Tax?

In a recent Health Affairs Blog post, I explored the types of changes that might be made to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if and when Congress decides to revisit the law in a bipartisan manner. While that day is likely still some years away, Republican control of the Senate this year does raise the probability we’ll see action on some more central elements of President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement....
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Washington Wakes Up To Socioeconomic Status

John Mathewson, executive vice president of Health Care Services for Children with Special Needs (HSC) – a Medicaid managed care plan in D.C. for children on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – recently spoke at the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) CEO Summit before the July 4 Recess. Mathewson described what he has dubbed The Kitten Paradox: When HSC examined environmental factors for children with asthma, it found that the presence of pets in the house was a common thread, not too far behind having a smoker around....
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The Coming Storm Over The 340B Rx Drug Discount Program

Beneath the glare of the wind-down of the ACA open enrollment period and wind-up of the 2015 Medicare regulation cycle, another Administration document is sitting at a few top officials’ desks for final review. It’s targeted for release in June but could come any day....
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Travels In Hyperreality: What If Bipartisan ACA Fixes Were Possible?

Since enactment of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, a strange, relatively unnoticed phenomenon has occurred: Congress has passed bipartisan changes to it. These amendments were generally to such esoteric components of the law that they dodged the political block-aid that otherwise surrounds it. But what would happen if things were different?...
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Medicare Advantage Rolls On

Monday afternoon, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rates and other reimbursement policies for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, referred to as the Final Call Letter. Once again, the Administration took pains to ameliorate planned cuts to MA, demonstrating the program’s increasing popularity with seniors and, by extension, its robust political strength....
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Unpacking the Doc Fix

If you blinked on Thursday, you might’ve missed the House passing the latest Medicare’doc fix’ After posting the bill in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, House leaders faced opposition over its stop-gap approach and some of the cuts employed to offset the cost of the bill. With some arm-twisting, they managed to suppress objections for the handful of seconds necessary to hammer the gavel and call it done....
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Unpacking the Wyden Chronic Care Bill

As he ascends to the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden’s recent proposal to reform Medicare by improving care for the chronically ill has garnered significant attention and support. Its topline goal of incentivizing integration of care for high-risk patients is resonating with stakeholders across the health care continuum....
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The Month of Anti-Deadlines

As we shake off the carb-coma and make our pre-resolutions, Congress and the Administration head into a sprint to the holiday recess fraught with health policy implications. Unlike every December in recent memory, there isn’t very much Congress actually has to do. Here are the top five things you need to know to follow the fun and prepare your organization for the changes afoot. ...
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