POLICY BRIEFINGS


PPACA Regulations on Mandated Women's Health Services


The IRS, HHS and DOL issued an interim final rule which adopts the guidelines on women’s preventive health services recommended by the Institute of Medicine.  The rules, effective August 1st, would require health plans, other than “grandfathered” plans, to cover certain women’s preventive health services without charging copayments, coinsurance or deductibles.  The covered services include contraception, well-woman visits, breastfeeding supplies and support, domestic violence screening, screening for gestational diabetes, human papillomavirus DNA testing for women 30 years and older, sexually transmitted infection counseling and human immunodeficiency virus screening and counseling.


Some States Fail PPACA External Review Requirements


HHS issued a preliminary determination that 17 states, DC and five territories do not have external health insurance claims review processes that meet the standards set by HHS under the PPACA for non-grandfathered plans.  As a result HHS said that health insurers in those cases will have to use an external review process set up by HHS or contract with an independent review organization to carry out the external reviews.


Part D Premiums May Decrease for Some


CMS announced that, based on bids for Medicare Part D drug plan for 2012, average premiums will be about $30 per month compared to $30.76 this year.  CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, whose temporary appointment expires when Congress adjourns at year-end, said that competitive markets and the intelligent behavior of beneficiaries to look for the best deals are the main reasons why premiums continue to be stable and affordable.


Inpatient Hospital Payments to Increase


CMS announced that operating payments to inpatient acute-care hospitals will increase $1.13 billion for FY 2012 under the final inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) rule which applies to about 3,400 acute-care hospitals and about 420 long-term care hospitals.  The rule is effective for discharges on or after October 1st.


CMS Web-based Initiatives to Improve Health Care


CMS announced a new web-based “Quality Care Finder” and an updated “Hospital Compare” website to help Medicare beneficiaries to make more informed choices about their health care.  The first also allows Medicare beneficiaries to obtain detailed, personalized information about the cost and benefits of available Medicare health and drug plans.


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


S. 1454 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for extended months of Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant patients and other renal dialysis provisions; DURBIN; to the Committee on Finance, July 29.

H.R. 2694 (MEDICARE), to firewall the Medicare Trusts Funds by restoring to those Trust Funds funds transferred by the PPACA; CULBERSON; jointly, to the committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Rules, July 29.

H.R. 2695 (DISEASE RESEARCH), to amend the Public Health Service Act to expand and intensify programs of the National Institutes of Health with respect to translational research and related activities concerning Down syndrome, and for other purposes; MCMORRIS RODGERS; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, July 29.

H.R. 2696 (DISEASE RESEARCH), to amend the Public Health Service Act to expand and intensify programs of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with respect to translational research and related activities concerning Down syndrome, and for other purposes; MCMORRIS RODGERS; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, July 29.

H.R. 2700 (AUTISM), to establish a health and education grant program related to autism spectrum disorders, and for other purposes; SMITH of New Jersey; to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, July 29.

S. 1467 (PATIENT RIGHTS), to amend the PPACA to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services; BLUNT; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 2.

S. 1468 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to diabetes self-management training by authorizing certified diabetes educators to provide diabetes self-management training services, including as part of telehealth services, under Part B of Medicare; SHAHEEN; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 2.

S. 1474 (TAXATION), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a deduction for travel expenses to medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs in connection with examinations or treatments relating to service-connected disabilities; HELLER; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 2.

S. 1479 (MEDICARE), to preserve Medicare beneficiary choice by restoring and expanding Medicare open enrollment and disenrollment opportunities; CASEY; to the Committee on Finance Aug. 2.

S. 1481 (PHYSICIANS), to authorize the secretary of health and human services to establish a program of grants to newly accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools for the purpose of increasing the supply of physicians; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 2.

S. 1484 (ABORTION), to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions and to provide for conscience protections, and for other purposes; NELSON of Nebraska; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 2.

S. 1486 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to clarify and expand on criteria applicable to patient admission to and care furnished in long-term care hospitals participating in Medicare, and for other purposes; ROBERTS; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 2.

S. 1488 (ABORTION), to prohibit the expenditure of federal funds for abortion, and for other purposes; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 2.

S. 1489 (ABORTION), to prohibit the discrimination and retaliation against individuals and health care entities that refuse to recommend, refer for, provide coverage for, pay for, provide, perform, assist, or participate in abortions; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 2.

S. 1490 (REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH), to amend the PPACA to authorize additional funding for the pregnancy assistance fund; CASEY; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 2.

S. 1497 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to extend for three years reasonable cost contracts under Medicare; KLOBUCHAR; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 2.

S. 1500 (HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE), to give Americans access to affordable child-only health insurance coverage; MURKOWSKI; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 2.

S. 1504 (MEDICAID), to restore Medicaid eligibility for citizens of the Freely Associated States; AKAKA; to the Committee on Finance, Aug. 2.

S. 1505 (PUBLIC HEALTH), to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the participation of particular specialists, determined by the secretary of health and human services to be directly related to the health needs stemming from environmental health hazards that have led to its declaration as a public health emergency, to be eligible under the National Health Service Corps in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, and for other purposes; TESTER; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Aug. 2.

H.R. 2724 (MEDICAID), to amend Title IV of the Budget Control Act of 2011 to protect the Medicaid program from budget cuts under such act; WILSON of Florida; to the Committee on Rules, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2725 (MEDICARE), to amend the Budget Control Act of 2011 to protect the Medicare program from budget cuts under such act; WILSON of Florida; jointly, to the committees on Rules and the Budget, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2727 (MEDICARE/MEDICAID), to amend Title IV of the Budget Control Act of 2011 to protect the Social Security, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, and education programs from budget cuts under such act; WILSON of Florida; jointly, to the committees on Rules and the Budget, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2729 (MEDICAID), to amend Title XIX of the Social Security Act to extend to physician assistants eligibility for Medicaid incentive payments for the adoption and use of certified electronic health records, whether or not such physician assistants practice at a rural health center or federally qualified health center; BASS of California; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2736 (PATIENT RIGHTS), to permit an individual to be treated by a health care practitioner with any method of medical treatment such individual requests, and for other purposes; BURTON of Indiana; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2741 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to reduce the occurrence of diabetes in Medicare beneficiaries by extending coverage under Medicare for medical nutrition therapy services to such beneficiaries with pre-diabetes or with risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes; DEGETTE; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2746 (HEALTH CARE COVERAGE), to amend ERISA, the Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require group and individual health insurance coverage and group health plans to provide for coverage of oral anticancer drugs on terms no less favorable than the coverage provided for intravenously administered anticancer medications; HIGGINS; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and the Workforce, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2747 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to establish a cancer center construction loan program; HIGGINS; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2749 (NANOTECHNOLOGY), to ensure the development and responsible stewardship of nanotechnology; HONDA; jointly, to the committees on Science, Space, and Technology, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Homeland Security, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2769 (MENTAL HEALTH), to prohibit the use of federal funds for any universal or mandatory mental health screening program; PAUL; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and the Workforce, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2770 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to extend for three years reasonable cost contracts under Medicare; PAULSEN; jointly, to the committees on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2783 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to eliminate the 190-day lifetime limit on inpatient psychiatric hospital services under Medicare; TONKO; to the Committee on Ways and Means, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2785 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide improved access to physical medicine and rehabilitation services under Part B of Medicare, and for other purposes; TOWNS; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Aug. 1.

H.R. 2787 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to improve access to diabetes self-management training by authorizing certified diabetes educators to provide diabetes self-management training services, including as part of telehealth services, under Part B of Medicare; WHITFIELD; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Aug. 1.

H. CON. RES. 72 (MEDICARE/MEDICAID), expressing the sense of Congress that any legislative language approved by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should not reduce benefits for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients; CONYERS; jointly, to the committees on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce, Aug. 1.



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SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


 -  2018


 +  2017


 +  2016


 +  2015


 +  2014


 +  2013


 +  2012


 +  2011