Thought Leadership

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

What Might Happen in Federal Health Policy Before the Midterm Elections

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An in-depth guide to the key health policy issues that will dominate DC through the midterm elections....
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Here’s What the House Passed to Tackle the Opioid Crisis

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A breakdown of all of the key provisions in the House-passed opioid package. From the intro: "After months of debate, the US House of Representatives passed a package of bills on June 22 addressing the opioid epidemic by a vote of 396 to 14. H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT), incorporates dozens of House bills. ...
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Medicare’s Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule: Big Changes For 2019

CEO Billy Wynne's breakdown of the key policy changes described in the CY19 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule....
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Creating Medicare Advantage Premium Support For All, Part 4: Financing

In this fourth installment of his Medicare Advantage Premium Support for All series, CEO Billy Wynne demonstrate that this universal coverage approach can be fully funded with current spending (i.e., no new taxes would be necessary). ...
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“Public Charge” Rule Would Disrupt Safety-Net Access for Some Immigrants

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The Trump administration has signaled its plans to significantly alter the rule on eligibility of applicants for permanent residency and applicants intending to immigrate to the US by redefining “public charge” determinations related to the use of public benefits. This would make it harder to enter the country and reduce access to a broad range of health and human service safety-net programs for immigrants already living here, including US citizen children. ...
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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Medicare Advantage’s Newfound Supplemental Benefit Flexibility

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently made a series of interrelated policy changes to give Medicare Advantage (MA) plans more flexibility than ever to offer additional services outside of traditional Medicare. Known as supplemental benefits, these services have historically included items like dental, vision, and hearing. By allowing plans to offer an even wider and more tailored array of services, CMS expects that plans will be better positioned to attract members and meet beneficiary needs. ...
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The Consumerization Of Health Care To Improve Value: Secretary Alex Azar’s “Radical” Vision

HHS Secretary Alex Azar recently laid out a four-part strategy to achieve a "radical" vision of reforming health care: giving consumers greater control over health information, encouraging price transparency, using experimental models in Medicare and Medicaid to drive value, and removing government burdens. While certain elements of the secretary’s strategy reflect important reforms, his recommendations raise questions about the desirability of a shift toward consumerization of health care and whether these changes are actually in the best interest of consumers....
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Creating Medicare Advantage Premium Support For All, Part 3: Provider Considerations

"In the first post of this series, I hypothesized that a Medicare-for-all approach that puts market-based principles at its core will have the most success not only in winning sturdy, bipartisan support but in actualizing high-quality universal coverage at lower cost. In Part 2, I explored modest benefit enhancements that would be needed to maintain the quality of coverage various populations have under existing programs, some of which were reiterated in the CAP proposal. "In this post, I will examine what a Medicare Advantage (MA)-based universal coverage regime would mean for providers, who will continue to be the heart of our system and whose decisions affect the cost and quality of our care more than anyone else’s."...
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What Does Alex Azar’s Plan for Value-Based Care Really Mean?

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New HHS Secretary Azar has articulated a four-point plan for value-based transformation of our health care system, but so far concrete details regarding the initiatives he will pursue are scarce. In this post, we break down the components of his plan and their potential implications for various health care stakeholders....
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The CHRONIC Care Act Passes Senate, Obstacles Remain

his post outlines the key components of the now adopted Chronic Care Act, assessed its outlook in the House, and considered what its progress may tell us about the prospect for more bipartisan action on health care in the future. ...
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Creating Medicare Advantage Premium Support for All, Part 2: Benefit Design

This is the second installment in my series examining the potential for a bipartisan Medicare-for-all approach that leverages competition among private payers and consumer choice via an advanceable tax credit....
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Breaking Down The MACRA Final Rule

On November 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule making changes to the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The QPP includes both the Merit-Based Incentive Program (MIPS) and Advanced Payment Models (APMs). This post explains the key policies implemented in the final rule....
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