States Transfer PCIP Oversight to HHS

Seventeen states have reacted to the HHS ruling that sets a cap on the cost of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) program by electing to transfer the oversight of their high-risk pools to HHS. Without assurance of continued federal funding, the electing states decided to forego the possibility that state revenues would be needed to continue PCIP operations through year-end.

ONC Actions to Reduce Medical Errors

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology released a final “Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan” which was developed with the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in an effort to promote the reporting of health IT-related patient safety incidents and hazards through the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems. Included among the plan’s recommendations are: using the meaningful use program and the National Quality Strategy to establish and advance health IT patient safety priorities; and providing investigations and the taking of corrective actions as necessary. The ONC also has given a one-year, $523,000 contract to The Joint Commission to investigate the role of health IT as a contributing cause of adverse events.

ESRD Payments to Decrease

CMS proposed that payments in 2014 to dialysis facilities under the end-stage renal disease prospective payment system (ESRD PPS) would decrease by 9.4% or about $970 million and also proposed new incentives to improve quality under the ESRD Quality Incentive Program for Payment Year 2016.

Medicare Coverage for Certain PET Scans

In a proposed decision memorandum, CMS concluded that there is enough evidence to support the use of amyloid-beta positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agents through coverage with evidence development (CED) in two instances: to exclude Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in narrowly defined and clinically difficult differential diagnoses and to enrich clinical trials seeking better treatments or prevention strategies for AD by allowing for selection of patients on the basis of biological as well as clinical and epidemiological factors.

Health-Related Hearings and Markups

House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee: will hold a hearing titled “Making Medicaid Work for the Most Vulnerable.” 4 p.m., 2123 Rayburn; July 8.

House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health: markup of H.R. 1443, the Long-term Care Veterans’ Choice Act; H.R. 1612, the Tinnitus Research and Treatment Act of 2013; and other legislation; 10 a.m., 334 Cannon; July 9.

Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee: will hold a markup on draft legislation that would make fiscal 2014 appropriations for programs under its jurisdiction. 11 a.m., 138 Dirksen; July 9.

House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee: will hold a hearing on the delay of the employer mandate and employer information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act. 10 a.m., 1100 Longworth; July 10.

Senate Finance Committee: will hold a hearing titled “Repealing the SGR [Sustainable Growth Rate] and the Path Forward: A View from CMS.” 10 a.m., 215 Dirksen; July 10.

Senate Special Aging Committee: will hold a hearing on diabetes research; 2:00 p.m., G-50 Dirksen Bldg; July 10.

Senate Appropriations Committee: will hold a markup on draft legislation that would make fiscal 2014 appropriations for programs under its jurisdiction (Labor/HHS/Education). 10 a.m., 106 Dirksen; July 11.

Health Legislation Recently Introduced

H.R. 2575 (REFORM), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the 30-hour threshold for classification as a full-time employee for purposes of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act and replace it with 40 hours; YOUNG of Indiana; to the Committee on Ways and Means, June 28.

H.R. 2578 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to extend for one year the hold-harmless provision for small rural hospitals and sole community hospitals under the Medicare prospective payment system for hospital outpatient department services, and for other purposes; BRALEY of Iowa; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, June 28.

H.R. 2590 (VETERANS’ HEALTH), to amend the Wounded Warrior Act to establish a specific timeline for the secretary of defense and the secretary of veterans affairs to achieve integrated electronic health records, and for other purposes; GIBSON; jointly, to the committees on Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs, June 28.

December 31, 1969: | Page 1 Page 2



 -  2019

 +  2018