POLICY BRIEFINGS


Final ACO Rules


CMS released a final rule, setting forth standards potential accountable care organizations (ACOs) must meet, which scales back some of the proposed rules, such as one that would require a majority of primary care doctors in an ACO to be defined as meaningful users of electronic health records and another that would require all ACO marketing materials to be approved by CMS prior to distribution.


CMS Announces Part B Premiums for 2012


CMS announced that the “standard” Medicare Part B premium will be $99.90 in 2012, lower than previously projected.  However, most will see increases in their premiums because of the freeze on the level of premiums over the last two years because of the lack of CPI increases under Social Security.  The Medicare Part B deductible was set at $140, a decrease of $22 from 2011.  Medicare Part A monthly premiums will be $451 for 2012, an increase of $1 from 2011.  The Part A deductible paid by beneficiaries when admitted as a hospital inpatient will be $1,156 in 2011, an increase of $24 from 2011.


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


S. 1750 (HOME HEALTH), to amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to establish the Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights, to establish state home care ombudsman programs, and for other purposes; FRANKEN; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Oct. 20.

S. 1752 (PHARMACEUTICALS), to nullify certain regulations regarding the removal of essential-use designation for epinephrine used in oral pressurized metered-dose inhalers; ROBERTS; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Oct. 20.

H.R. 3239 (MEDICARE/MEDICAID), to provide certain legal safe harbors to Medicare and Medicaid providers who participate in the EHR Meaningful Use Program or otherwise demonstrate use of certified health information technology; MARINO; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Oct. 21.

H.R. 3243 (FEDERAL HEALTH PROGRAMS), to amend titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act, titles I and II of the PPACA and other acts for the purpose of eliminating certain health entitlement programs and reducing the deficit; REHBERG; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Oct. 24.

H.R. 3258 (MEDICARE), to extend for a two-year certain geographic practice cost index (GPCI) adjustments under Medicare, and for other purposes; BRALEY of Iowa; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Oct. 25.H.R. 3266 (PUBLIC HEALTH), to amend Title XXIX of the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the program under such title relating to lifespan respite care; LANGEVIN; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Oct. 26.

H.R. 3269 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure the continued access of Medicare beneficiaries to diagnostic imaging services; OLSON; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, Oct. 27.



October 31, 2011: | Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

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