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ACA Supreme Court Decision | Coverage and Delivery Reform

Medicaid is a joint federal and state safety net program that assists over 60 million low-income individuals in receiving access to clinician offices, acute and long term care services. Teaching hospitals treat a disproportionate share of Medicaid patients, with approximately 28% of all Medicaid discharges coming from COTH hospitals.

Medicaid also plays a critical role in funding graduate medical education. State and local governments, through their Medicaid programs, appropriate approximately $5 billion for medical school training annually. Most states choose to allocate a portion of their Medicaid budget to fund direct graduate medical education (DGME), indirect medical education (IME), and other special services related to teaching hospitals. Due to state budget shortfalls and the prevalence of Medicaid managed care organizations, there are serious concerns that fewer Medicaid funds will be available to train future physicians.

News and Updates

HHS Seeks Public Comment to Develop Workgroup to Increase Innovation and Investment in Healthcare Sector

June 8, 2018

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) June 6 released a request for information (RFI) seeking public comment on a planned initiative to develop a workgroup to focus on promoting innovation and investment to provide for significant impact on the health and wellbeing of Americans.  The Department envisions the workgroup as a forum to hear the individual perspectives of attendees and foster new and innovative approaches to tackle the complicated challenges facing the healthcare industry.

CMS Releases Medicaid and CHIP Scorecard

June 8, 2018

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) June 4 launched the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Scorecard.  According to CMS, the Scorecard will be used to track and display progress being made across Medicaid and CHIP Programs in an effort to increase public transparency about the programs’ administration and outcomes. 

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Rural Health

May 24, 2018

The Senate Finance Committee May 24 held a hearing titled “Rural Health Care in America: Challenges and Opportunities.” The hearing largely focused on issues of access, how to incent healthcare providers to remain and practice in rural areas, and rural hospital closures.

Two House Committees Advance Opioid Legislation

May 18, 2018

Two separate committees in the House of Representatives – the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee – advanced separate opioid packages. The action by the House Energy and Commerce Committee follows a May 9 markup of 26 pieces of legislation, and an April 24 markup of 57 pieces of legislation [see, Washington Highlights, April 27, May 11]. The House Ways and Means Committee had not previously considered any related opioids bills.

White House Releases Drug Pricing Plan and RFI

May 18, 2018

President Trump May 11 released the outline of his Administration’s plan to lower prescription drug prices, titled “American Patients First: The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.”  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) May 14 issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the blueprint seeking suggestions to improve the affordability and accessibility of prescription drugs. Responses are due by July 16, 2018.

On Patient Care

Testimony and Correspondence