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White House Coronavirus Task Force Discusses Vaccine Distribution, Agency Independence, and the Long-Term Impact of COVID-19

The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee convened a hearing to examine the Trump Administration’s COVID-19 response efforts. Top officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testified about the separate agencies’ efforts to develop… (Slifer, September 23, 2020) #COVID-19, #Prevention, #Program Integrity, #Public Health

Deal on Farm Assistance and Nutrition Funding Allows Continuing Resolution to Pass the House, Next to the Senate

Shortly ago, the House passed, by roll call vote (359-57), H.R. 8337, a modified continuing resolution (CR) to extend federal government funding through December 11, 2020. The CR now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had previously slammed the bill for omitting farm bailout funding. Negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi… (Llamas, September 22, 2020) #COVID-19, #Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH), #Hospitals, #Nutrition

Agency Finalizes Mandatory Kidney Care and Oncology Models; Launching Jan. 1, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized two mandatory demonstration models through its Innovation Center – the End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices (ETC) Model (fact sheet; website) and the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model (fact sheet; website). The two models – first proposed in July 2019 – serve as key components to the Trump Administration’s push to incentivize high-value… (LaRosa, September 18, 2020) #Bundling, #Demonstration Programs, #End-Stage Renal Disease, #Value-Based Purchasing

Multiple Rules Under Review Across Key Administration Priority Areas

A number of regulations have appeared at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review across key priority areas for the administration. These include: Transparency: The final rule that would require insurers to disclose price and cost-sharing information for all items and services to participants, beneficiaries, and enrollees is now under review. Details on the proposed rule are available… (LaRosa, September 16, 2020) #Drug Pricing, #Insurance Reform, #Prescription Drugs, #Tobacco, #Transparency

Operation Warp Speed Outlines Plan for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution, Administration, Monitoring, and Communications

The Trump Administration announced its plan for distributing and administering a COVID-19 vaccine once one becomes available. The release materials are two-fold, containing first a Report to Congress on its overall strategy, along with a complementary operational playbook for states. Overall, the plan discusses elements around plans for centrally distributing the vaccine; how state and local governments will be partners… (LaRosa, September 16, 2020) #COVID-19

Multi-Stakeholder Taskforce Offers Long-Term Recommendations on Telehealth

The Taskforce on Telehealth Policy (TTP) – convened by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Alliance for Connected Care, and American Telemedicine Association – convened a public briefing on its findings and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 telehealth flexibility expansions (full report). First announced in June 2020 (details), the TTP was convened to study the effects of the rapid telehealth expansion… (LaRosa, September 15, 2020) #COVID-19, #Telehealth, #Value-Based Purchasing

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