Republicans Again Target MA Demonstration

Reps. Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns have written to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to request additional information on the agency’s development and implementation of the Medicare Advantage (MA) quality bonus demonstration program. They said the agency’s response to a previous request was inadequate and question the agency’s authority to set up the program which they say “masks” the effect of the PPACA’s 10-year $200 billion cut to the Medicare Advantage program

SAMHSA Grants for HIT

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that it will grant more than $4 million to under served community providers for health information technology related service to assist them in improving substance above treatment in such communities

Home Care Demo Expands

CMS announced that three additional health provider groups in Florida, Illinois and Virginia will participate in the Independence at Home demonstration project which is designed to test the effectiveness of various models in delivering care at home to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.

Medicare Part D Premiums to Remain Level

CMS announced that on average the basic premiums for the drug plans offered under Medicare Part D in 2013 will remain at about $30, as in 2012. The CMS Office of the Actuary’s analysis, based on the bids submitted by stand-alone drug and Medicare Advantage plans, estimates that the rate stability is due to continued competition, generic drug usage and the reduced cost of branded drugs going off patent

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