WynneSights Blog

Commentary, news, and updates from the Wynne Health Group.

COVID-19: CMS to Allow Temporary Premium Reductions for 2020

By Josh LaRosa | August 6, 2020

On August 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new guidance (here) stating it will temporarily be exercising enforcement discretion to allow health plan issuers in the individual and small group markets to offer premium reductions for one or more months for 2020 coverage. Details follow. Generally, CMS states, health plan…

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Advisory

Office of Minority Health Announces Funding Opportunity to Test Disparity-Reducing Interventions in Public Health Programs

By Lauren Testa | July 31, 2020

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a funding opportunity (MP-CPI-20-001) titled, “State/Tribal/Territorial Partnership Initiative to Document and Sustain Disparity-Reducing Interventions.” This initiative is intended to help build the capacity of state, tribal, and territorial governmental…

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Advocacy

Secretary Azar Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration through October 23

By Taylor Cowey | July 24, 2020

On July 23, 2020,, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar signed a renewal of his determination that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic constitutes a nationwide public health emergency (PHE). Secretary Azar first declared COVID-19 a nationwide PHE on January 31, 2020, utilizing his authority under Sec. 319 of the Public Health Service…

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In Health Affairs Blog, Administrator Verma Speaks to the Impact & Future of the COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities

By Josh LaRosa | July 22, 2020

On July 15, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma published a blog post in Health Affairs outlining the impact telehealth has had during the COVID-19 pandemic. The post also provides a glimpse at how the agency is thinking about whether to make certain telehealth flexibilities permanent once the public…

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Public Health Emergency Declaration, National Emergency Declaration, and the Prospects for Extension

By Taylor Cowey | July 15, 2020

Secretary Azar declared the COVID-19 pandemic a nationwide public health emergency (PHE) on Jan. 31, 2020, utilizing his authority under Sec. 319 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS law; PHE FAQs). That law says that a PHE declaration lasts until the Secretary declares that it no longer exists or upon the expiration of the…

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Advocacy

COVID-19: House W&M Committee Discusses the Disproportionate Impact of Pandemic on Communities of Color

By Josh LaRosa | June 1, 2020

On May 27, 2020, the House Ways and Means Committee convened its first ever virtual hearing to discuss the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Overall, members vocalized support for the need to address the underlying reasons behind why minority communities have experienced higher rates of infection and mortality linked to COVID-19. Specifically,…

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CMS Finalizes a Subset of Policies in MA and Part D Final Rule, Including ESRD MA Enrollment and MA and Part D Star Rating Changes; Subsequent Final Rule to Address Remaining Policies

By Erin Slifer | May 22, 2020

On May 22, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Contract Year (CY) 2021 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Final Rule (press release; fact sheet).  Of note, CMS is finalizing only a subset of the proposed policies, and will address the remaining proposed policies in subsequent rulemaking in 2020. What…

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Framing the Week

By Alyssa Llamas | May 19, 2020

Senate Republicans have no immediate plans to consider the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) – the $3 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by House Democrats last Friday (May 15) – or present a counter offer to begin negotiations. Instead, the Senate will consider a slew of judicial nominees before adjourning for the Memorial Day recess. In…

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In Follow up to First Set, CMS Announces Additional Wide-Reaching Flexibilities for Providers to Aid the COVID-19 Response

By Josh LaRosa | May 1, 2020

In follow-up to its March 31st interim final rule with comment period (IFC),  the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a second set of wide-reaching changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. What it is. CMS is effectuating these changes through a combination of its IFC rulemaking authority and its application of 1135…

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Health Policy Fellow: Federal Government Relations & Policy (Part-time; Stipend)

By Billy Wynne | April 29, 2020

Wynne Health Group – a mission-driven, public interest health policy consulting and advocacy firm – seeks applicants with a strong interest in federal health policy and politics to join our DC team as a Fellow. This opportunity is ripe for students looking to gain first-hand experience working with lobbyists and consultants on key legislative and…

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