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Biden-Sanders Task Force Publishes Broad Set of Policy Recommendations; Includes Racial Inequities, Public Option, & Medicare Drug Negotiation

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, a task force led by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, and in partnership with Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), outlined the actions a Democratic Administration would take if put in power after the November election. In its 110-page document, the group speaks to an expansive set of cross-cutting issues, focusing substantially on health care, racial… (LaRosa, July 9, 2020) #Costs, #COVID-19, #Drug Pricing, #Health Equity, #Public Option, #Transparency

In 7-2 Decision, SCOTUS Upholds Trump Administration Rule Allowing Religious Exemptions to Birth Control Coverage

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Trump Administration’s rule that would allow employers to opt out of requirements to provide contraceptive coverage to employees due to religious or moral objections. In a 7-2 decision, the Court sided with religious employers, saying that compelling them to cover contraception would “substantially burden a person’s… (LaRosa, July 8, 2020) #Affordable Care Act, #Insurance Coverage, #Social Determinants of Health, #Women’s Health

Appropriations Committee Discusses Operation Warp Speed, Discusses Safety, Distribution, and Pricing Concerns

The Senate Committee on Appropriations convened a hearing to discuss Operation Warp Speed and the research, manufacturing, and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. Witnesses represented multiple federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and testified to the current strategies and phases in place in hopes to have a vaccine… (Marimon, July 7, 2020) #Cost-Sharing, #COVID-19, #Public Health

Bipartisan Letter Urges Action and Clarity from CMS on COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities

Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) have joined the ongoing discussions around making the COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent, having submitted a bipartisan letter urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) to be more transparent with its plans for the future of telehealth. Specifically, the senators – joined by several others on both sides of the… (LaRosa, July 7, 2020) #COVID-19, #Rural Health, #Telehealth, #Value-Based Purchasing

Agency Anticipates 1.6 Percent Increase for ESRD Facilities in CY 2021; Includes Provisions to Increase Use of Home Dialysis

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed calendar year (CY) 2021 prospective payment system (PPS) for end stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities (proposed rule; fact sheet). What it is. The proposed rule outlines ESRD PPS payment policies applying to dialysis facilities beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2020. The rule also includes proposed changes to the… (LaRosa, July 6, 2020) #COVID-19, #End-Stage Renal Disease, #Hospitals

Senate Republicans Announce New Legislation to Codify Administration’s Latest Transparency Regulations

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and other Republican colleagues announced new legislation (the Healthcare PRICE Transparency Act) which would codify in statute the Trump Administration’s recent regulatory action to make hospital and health insurer prices more transparent. As a reminder, the administration’s finalized hospital transparency rule requires all U.S. hospitals to meet two separate but related requirements to publicly post their… (LaRosa, July 1, 2020) #Costs, #Hospitals, #Insurance Reform, #Transparency

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