House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released a proposal to replace the PPACA which expands on his earlier Budget Committee blueprint to convert Medicaid into a state block grant and Medicare from a fee-for-service system to a government assisted program to buy private health insurance (similar to Medicare Part D).  He now proposes to also provide lower-income individuals with a capped defined contribution towards the purchase of private health insurance coverage.

Pay for Coordinated Care

HHS announced a Medicare/Medicaid “Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative” under which insurers, states and primary care doctors can participate in a 4-year coordinated care model that would pay medical practices a monthly reimbursement of $20 per beneficiary in fee-for-service Medicare for care management to achieve “better health, better health care, and lower per-capita costs.”  The money can be used for activities of their choice, including helping those with chronic diseases to follow personalized care plans, giving patients 24-hour access to care and health information, engaging patients and their families in their care and using electronic health records to coordinate care with other specialists.  States selected would receive a monthly stipend on behalf of their Medicaid beneficiaries, although they would not be part of the savings program.  Letters of intent to participate in the program are due by November 15th.

Grants to Improve Maternal and Child Health

HHS announced it has awarded $224 million in PPACA grants to states and other government agencies to improve low-income maternal and child health through home visits from nurses and social workers.

Grants to Develop ARS Medications

HHS announced it has awarded $56.3 million to five organizations for the development of new medications to treat acute radiation syndrome injuries.

Grants to Lower Obesity

The CDC announced a four-year, $25 million Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project to three university institutions for research that could help prevent obesity among low-income children.

Grants to Improve Community Health Centers

HHS announced it has awarded $32 (HRSA) and $15 million (SAMRSA) in PPACA grants to more than 900 community health centers to help them promote patient-centered medical services and improving care for patients with mental and substance use disorders.

Grants to SHIPS

CMS announced the release of $1.5 million in performance awards to State Health Insurance Assistance Programs that assist Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers for their outstanding counseling services and outreach efforts.

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