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Revamped Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings Implemented in 2021

CMS announced it will update the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings (“Overall Star Ratings”) on Hospital Compare in early 2021 to incorporate enhancements to the existing methodology that hospital stakeholders and others have long-deemed flawed.   In the meantime, CMS intends to use the current methodology to next update the Overall Star Ratings in early 2020. CMS last updated the… (Pahner, 8/19/19) #Hospitals, #Quality, #Transparency

Information Bulletin Outlines Requirements for Exchange Health Plans to Display Star Ratings

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Quality Rating Information Bulletin regarding new requirements for the public display of 2019 quality ratings (or star ratings) of health plans on all Exchanges, beginning plan year (PY) 2020, which starts on November 1, 2019 (fact sheet). As a follow-up to the 2019 Quality Rating System (QRS) and Qualified Health… (Llamas, 8/15/19) #Health Insurance Exchanges, #Qualified Health Plans, #Quality

Agency Seeks Nominations for the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee; Nominations Due Sept. 23

The National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a notice for committee membership nominations for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee. The Committee will be responsible for the following: Developing a summary of advances in pain care research supported by the federal agencies relevant to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of pain and diseases… (Slifer, 8/15/19) #Prevention, #National Institutes of Health, #Opioids

Democrats Press Drug Manufacturers on Generic Drug Pricing and Obstruction of Congressional Investigation

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reopened a congressional probe into three drug manufacturers alleged to have engaged in anti-competitive practices and obstructed a congressional investigation in 2014. The Democrats sent letters to Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Mylan N.V., and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries LTD., requesting information by August 28, 2019… (Llamas, 8/14/19) #Costs, #Generic Drugs, #Prescription Drugs

Department of Homeland Security Finalizes Public Charge Rule on Inadmissibility; Rule Takes Effect Oct. 15, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule (press release) on determining inadmissibility on public charge grounds. What it is:  Public charge is the determination that evaluates whether an immigrant is likely to become reliant on public benefits, and consequently whether he or she is allowed to enter the country or to alter his or her immigration status. Why… (Cowey, 8/12/19) #Social Determinants of Health, #Nutrition

Joint Informational Bulletin: Opportunities for State Medicaid Programs in the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) issued a joint informational bulletin on ways in which state Medicaid agencies can support the implementation of the recently announced Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model, a voluntary payment model designed to reduce unnecessary transport to the Emergency Department (ED). Please see… (Cowey, 8/9/19) #Costs, #Ambulance, #Demonstration Programs, #Delivery Reform

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