National Provider Identifier Rule

CMS issued a final rule under which all providers and suppliers who qualify for a National Provider Identifier (NPI) will be required to include the NPI on any enrollment applications and claims made under Medicare and Medicaid.  The rule also requires physicians and other professionals who are allowed to order and certify covered items and services for Medicare beneficiaries to be enrolled in Medicare and retain certain documents.

Medicare Hospital Payment Increase

CMS issued a rule stating that Medicare hospital reimbursements would increase 0.9% in FY 2013 and that Long Term Care Hospital Medicare reimbursements would rise 1.9%.  The proposed rule would also implement the PPACA value-based purchasing program and the hospital readmissions reduction program.

Medicaid and SCHIP Demo Guidance

CMS issued guidance on the process the agency will use to evaluate Public Health Service Act Section 1115 state demonstration projects under Medicaid and the SCHIP programs.  The final rule was effective April 27th.

FDA Issues

The Senate HELP Committee released and voted to approve legislation to reauthorize FDA user fees for drugs, biosimilars and medical devices from FY 2013-2017.  The FDA also would be able to collect generic drug user fees of $299 million each year over the period.  Biosimilar user fees would be based on inflation-adjusted prescription drug user fee amounts for each fiscal year.  The House Energy and Commerce Committee postponed a vote on their similar bill until May 8 when the House returns from a week-long recess.

Recently Introduced Health Legislation

S. 2301 (PUBLIC HEALTH), to help prevent the occurrence of cancer resulting from the use of ultraviolet tanning lamps by providing sufficient information to consumers regarding the health risks associated with the use of such devices; REED; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, April 19.
S. 2304 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to allow chiropractors to provide items and services through private contracts under Medicare; MIKULSKI; to the Committee on Finance, April 19.

S. 2321 (TOURETTE SYNDROME), to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the expansion, intensification, and coordination of the programs and activities of the National Institutes of Health with respect to Tourette syndrome; MENENDEZ; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, April 19.

S. 2323 (APPROPRIATIONS), making appropriations for Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013, and for other purposes; MIKULSKI; from the Committee on Appropriations; placed on the calendar, April 19.
H.R. 4404 (INSPECTORS GENERAL), to create a centralized website on reports issued by the Inspectors General, and for other purposes; CRAWFORD; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, April 19.

H.R. 4470 (HEALTH CARE COVERAGE), to amend the Public Health Service Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and title 5, United States Code, to require individual and group health insurance coverage and group health plans and federal employees health benefit plans to provide coverage for routine HIV screening; WATERS; jointly, to the committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Education and the Workforce, and Oversight and Government Reform, April 19.

H. CON. RES. 120 (ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE), supporting the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025, as articulated in the draft National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease from the Department of Health and Human Services; MARKEY; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, April 24.

S. 2347 (MEDICARE), to amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure the continued access of Medicare beneficiaries to diagnostic imaging services; CARDIN; to the Committee on Finance, April 25.
S. 2367. A bill to strike the word ``lunatic’’ from Federal law, and for other purposes; CONRAD; to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, April 25.

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