Grants for Medicaid/SCHIP Enrollment

HHS announced that $40 million in grants to 39 state agencies, health centers, schools and non-profit entities in 23 states will be made available to help ensure that children who are eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP will be enrolled.  The grants targeted five areas: using technology to encourage enrollment and renewal; ensuring eligible children remain covered; engaging schools in outreach, enrollment and retention; facilitating outreach to children who are most likely to be uninsured; and making sure adolescents have coverage.

CMS Reduces GME Slots

CMS announced that 267 teaching hospitals will have their full-time equivalent resident slots reduced pursuant to the PPACA.  CMS said an affected hospital’s FTE resident caps for DGME and IME will be reduced by 65% of the excess resident slots effective for portions of cost-reporting periods occurring on or after July 1, 2011.

PPACA Provider Risk-Based Screening Revalidation

CMS announced that Medicare providers who were enrolled in the risk-based screening program before March 25 will be required to revalidate their enrollment between now and March 2013.

IRS Rules on Drug Manufacturer Fees

The IRS issued temporary and proposed regulations providing for the assessment of annual fees mandated under the PPACA as applicable to the manufacturers or importers of brand name prescription drugs.  Aggregate fees for all entities would range from $2.5 billion for 2011 to $2.8 billion in 2019 and thereafter.

Round Two of DME Bidding Details Released

CMS released eight product categories and other details for the second round of the durable medical equipment competitive bidding program which will be expanded from nine geographic areas to 91 areas.  Bidding suppliers must meet all DME state licensure requirements and other applicable state licensure requirements for all areas with regard to each product bid.

FDA Issues

The FDA released a “Strategic Plan for Regulatory Science” to be used in evaluating the safety of FDA regulated products.  As to the modernization of the technology area, the FDA said that improved IT infrastructure would allow the FDA to: better monitor adverse trends and disease outbreaks; combine data from multiple clinical trials, preclinical work and post-market studies; conduct large scale data-mining for research purposes; evaluate and compare the safety and effectiveness of products; and host genomics data.

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