POLICY BRIEFINGS


CMS Seeks Comments on Disclosure of Physician Payments


CMS released a “Request for Public Comments on the Potential Release of Medicare Physician Data”. The agency seeks answers to the following: whether physicians have a privacy interest in their Medicare payment information and how to weigh their privacy interest with the public interest in disclosure; what payment disclosure policies CMS should pursue to increase transparency, further the goals of improving the quality and value of care, enhancing access and availability of CMS data and reducing waste, fraud and abuse; and the form in which such data should be released. Comments are due by September 5th.


CMS/NCHIT Plans for Health Data Sharing


The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and CMS announced a proposed plan of action based on recent comments regarding the exchange of health data among providers and health care organizations. Among the possible elements, subject to support for the privacy, security and integrity of patient data, would be: programs to encourage Health Information Exchange (HIE) activities among providers by offering incentives that evolve into payment adjustments; the development of means to ultimately make HIE a condition of participation in Medicare and Medicaid; the establishment of voluntary technical standards for health information technologies and HIE products and services rather than require the certification standards under the “meaningful use” program; and to use Stage 3 of the Medicare EHR incentive program as a means to require meaningful use participants to electronically share summary of care records to avoid payment adjustments.


Update to National Coverage Determination (NCD) Process


CMS gave notice of its intent to update the process it uses for opening, deciding and reconsidering national coverage determinations (NCDs). Included will be an administrative procedure to periodically review the inventory of NCDs that are older than 10 years since their most recent review and to evaluate the continued need for such policies to remain active on a national scale. CMS said that an interested party may request an NCD for certain described drugs or devices even while they are being reviewed by the FDA.


Health Legislation Recently Introduced


S. 1417 (PUBLIC HEALTH), to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize programs under Part A of Title XI of such act; HAGAN; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Aug. 1.

S. 1422 (HEALTH SAVINGS), to amend the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 respecting the scoring of preventive health savings; CARDIN; to the Committee on the Budget, Aug. 1.

S. 1425 (DIETARY SUPPLEMENT LABELING), to improve the safety of dietary supplements by amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require manufacturers of dietary supplements to register them with the Food and Drug Administration and to amend labeling requirements with respect to dietary supplements; DURBIN; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Aug. 1.

S. 1439 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for advanced illness care coordination services for Medicare beneficiaries, and for other purposes; WARNER; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 1.

S. 1444 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide payment under Part A of Medicare on a reasonable cost basis for anesthesia services furnished by an anesthesiologist in certain rural hospitals in the same manner as payments are provided for anesthesia services furnished by anesthesiologist assistants and certified anesthetists in such hospitals; WYDEN; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 1.

S. 1445 (OPTOMETRISTS), to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the participation of optometrists in the National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs, and for other purposes; PRYOR; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Aug. 1.

S. 1446 (TAXATION), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve the affordability of the health care tax credit, and for other purposes; ROCKEFELLER; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 1.

S. 1453 (DISEASE RESEARCH AND AWARENESS), to direct the secretary of health and human services to establish an interagency coordinating committee on pulmonary hypertension to develop recommendations to advance research, increase awareness and education, and improve health and health care, and for other purposes; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Aug. 1.

S. 1455 (REFORM), to condition the provision of premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, upon a certification that a program to verify household income is operational; COBURN; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 1.

S. 1469 (HEALTH CARE COSTS), to provide higher-quality, lower-cost health care to seniors; PAUL; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 1.

S. 1473 (LONG-TERM CARE), to develop a model disclosure form to assist consumers in purchasing long-term care insurance; KLOBUCHAR; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Aug. 1.

S. 1475 (NURSING), to establish the position of national nurse for public health, to be filled by the same individual serving as the chief nurse officer of the Public Health Service; MERKLEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 1.

S. 1481 (LONG-TERM CARE), to require issuers of long-term care insurance to establish third-party review processes for disputed claims; KLOBUCHAR; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Aug. 1.

S. 1485 (TAXATION), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an income tax credit for elder-care expenses; KLOBUCHAR; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2980 (REFORM), to require certain certifications before funds may be awarded for the operation of a navigator program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and for other purposes; MCMORRIS RODGERS; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Aug. 2.

H.R. 2985 (DRUGS), to amend Section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to provide incentives for the development of new combination drugs; CHAFFETZ; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Aug. 2.



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SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


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