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Health Policy Reports

Every two weeks we distribute the Health Policy Report, which contains the latest policy updates and news affecting community-based cancer care. Please visit LegisLink for timely and relevant information on legislative and regulatory developments on Capitol Hill.

Health Policy Report - Dec. 7, 2018

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  • Conservative Lawmakers, Groups Oppose the International Pricing Index
    (IPI) Model
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Submits Comments on Final
    OPPS Rule
  • Hospital Groups File Lawsuit to Stop Site Neutral Payments for E/M
    Services
  • New HHS Report on Health Care Competition Urges Congress to Expand
    Site Neutral Payments
  • HRSA to Implement 340B Ceiling Price Rule in January 2019
  • Supreme Court to Hear Case On CMS’ Rulemaking Authority on January 15
  • Democrats Nominate Nancy Pelosi as Candidate for House Speaker

Health Policy Report - Nov. 20, 2018

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  • House E&C Republican Pushes Back on International Price Index, Opposes Price Fixing
  • CMS Administrator Seema Verma Discusses International Price Index
  • AMA Resolutions Support Site Neutral Payments, Call for More 340B Program Transparency
  • Oncologists Concerned by HHS Plans to Launch Mandatory Radiation Demo
  • Senator Chuck Grassley to Chair Senate Finance Committee

Health Policy Report - Nov. 8, 2018

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  • 2018 Midterm Election Results
  • The Network Responds to International Pricing Index Model for Medicare Part B Drugs
  • Site Neutral Provisions Included in Final OPPS Rule
  • CMS Releases Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule; Delays Payment Changes to E/M Visits
  • HHS Announces New Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model
  • In Letter to CMS, Congressman Holding Expresses Concern about Step Therapy in MA Plans

Health Policy Report - Oct. 26, 2018

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  • CMS Announces International Pricing Index (IPI) Model for Medicare Part B Drugs
  • Lawmakers, Stakeholders Call on Administration to Rescind Step Therapy Proposal
  • The US Oncology Network Announces Highly Positive MIPS Results for 2017
  • President Trump Signs Package of Legislation to Combat Opioid Crisis
  • Trump Administration Issues New Requirements for Drug Advertising
  • Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Urges CMS to Issue Guidance on Prior Authorization
  • Mississippi and Colorado Medicaid Programs Require Hospitals to Provide More Information on 340B Drugs
  • Senate, House Party Control Up for Grabs in Looming Midterm Election

Health Policy Report - Oct. 12, 2018

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  • Senate Passes Historic Opioid Legislation Sending Final Bill to President
    Trump
  • House Passes $854B Spending Bill to Avert Shutdown
  • CMS Announces Participants in New Value-Based Bundled Payment Model
  • CMS to Strengthen Oversight of Medicare’s Accreditation Organizations
  • CMMI Chief Adam Boehler Comments on ACO Participation
  • CMS Updates Local Coverage Determination Process

Health Policy Report - Oct. 1, 2018

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  • US Oncology Network PAC Board Visits Capitol Hill
  • Members of Congress Tour Local Oncology Practices
  • The Network, Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Submit Comments on OPPS Rule
  • ASP Coalition Hosts Hill Briefing on Step Therapy Challenges
  • Congress Reaches Deal on Opioids Package
  • American Hospital Associate Unveils 340B Good Stewardship Principles
  • Rep. Delbene Circulates Letter Urging CMS to Expand MIPS Low-Volume Threshold
  • Bills Banning PBM “Gag Clauses” Headed for President’s Signature

Health Policy Report - Sept. 14, 2018

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  • The Network Submits Physician Fee Schedule Comments, Expresses
    Concern with Proposed E/M Service Cuts
  • 240 Stakeholder Groups Call on Congress to Ask CMS to Reverse Step
    Therapy Proposal
  • CMS to Allow Indication-Based Formulary Design for Part D Plans
  • Hospital Groups Refile Lawsuit to Challenge 340B Cuts, Force
    Implementation of Ceiling Pricing Rule
  • PhRMA Report Finds Hospitals Mark-up Prescription Drugs by up to 500
    Percent
  • E&C Leaders Seek More Information on Role of PBMs in Impacting Drug
    Prices
  • House E&C Committee Advances PBM Gag Clause Ban

Health Policy Report - Aug. 30, 2018

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  • The Network Responds to Health Care Innovation Caucus RFI on Value- Based Provider Payment Reform
  • Congressman Erik Paulsen Visits Minnesota Oncology
  • House Energy & Commerce and Senate HELP Committee Leaders Urge Effective Administration of 340B Drug Pricing Program
  • HHS Issues Report on Administration’s Drug Pricing Actions to Date
  • Senate Passes HHS Spending Bill
  • HHS OIG issues Request for Information on Changes to Anti-Kickback Statute Safe Harbors
  • Senate Plans to Act on Opioid Legislation Post-Labor Day

Health Policy Report - Aug. 13, 2018

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  • Brookings Institution Calls for Expansion of Medicare Site Neutral Payment Policies
  • CMS to Require ACOs to Take on More Risk
  • CMS Releases New Step Therapy Guidance for Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Bipartisan House Lawmakers Urge HHS to Address Retroactive DIR Fees
  • Senator Hatch, Rep. Walden Urge OMB to Fully Consider Safe Harbor Proposed Rule
  • E&C Leaders Request Additional Info From 340B Contract Pharmacies
  • Bipartisan House Committee Leaders Send Letters to Opioid Manufacturers

Health Policy Report - Aug. 3, 2018

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  • Site Neutral Payments, Further Cuts to 340B Included in OPPS Proposed Rule
  • HHS Calls for Input on a Competitive Acquisition Program for Medicare Drug Procurement
  • House Committees Hold Hearings on MACRA, Stark Law Reform
  • HELP Committee Passes Bill to Ban PBM ‘Gag Clauses’
  • House E&C Committee Requests FTC Review of PBM Mergers
  • FDA Proposes Changes to Clinical Trial Review

Health Policy Report - Jul. 18, 2018

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  • CMS Releases Proposed Medicare Payment Rules for 2019
  • Dr. Debra Patt Testifies Before House Panel on 340B Reform
  • The Network Offers Comments to CMS on CAR-T Therapies MSDRG Assignment
  • Groups Submit Comments to Trump Administration Drug Pricing Plan
  • President Trump Nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
  • Alex Azar Delivers Remarks at 340B Conference
  • Appeals Court Denies Hospital Groups’ Challenge to 340B Cuts
  • CMS Announces Demonstration Program that Would Exempt Doctors in At-Risk Medicare Advantage Programs from MIPS Participation
  • FDA Administrator Gottlieb Delivers Remarks at National Comprehensive Cancer Network Policy Summit

Health Policy Report - Jun. 21, 2018

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  • Secretary Azar Discusses Administration’s Drug Pricing Blueprint Before Senate HELP Committee
  • Congresswoman Matsui Introduces Bill to Reverse 340B Cuts
  • Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on 340B Drug Discount Program
  • Administration Declines to Defend ACA’s Pre-existing Condition Ban in Federal Court
  • Administration Issues Association Health Plan Final Rule
  • House Passes Dozens of Bills to Address Opioid Crisis
  • SNIH Leaders Outline Plan to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Health Policy Report - Jun. 7, 2018

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  • A Message from The Network About “Right to Try”
  • COA Sues HHS For Applying Sequestration to Part B Drugs
  • HRSA Officially Delays 340B Penalties Rule
  • Senate HELP Committee to Hold Hearing on 340B Drug Discount Program
  • Bipartisan Bill to Lower Part D Drug Prices Introduced in the House
  • CBO Report Finds President’s FY 2019 Budget Would Reduce Federal Health Care Spending by $1.3 Trillion
  • Senator Bill Cassidy Presents Health Care Reform Ideas in White Paper
  • Report Finds Drug Spending Doubled in the Past Five Years, Expected to Double Again in the Next Five Years

Health Policy Report - May 23, 2018

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  • Administration Releases Drug Pricing Proposal
  • CMS Releases Updated Drug Spending Dashboard
  • CMS Urges Medicare Part D Plans to Stop Using Pharmacy Gag Orders
  • COA Survey Highlights Physician Concerns with Part B Reform Proposals
  • House Passes Right to Try Bill, Sending it to President Trump’s Desk
  • House Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means Committees Advance Additional Bills to Combat Opioid Abuse
  • Senate HELP Committee Hearing Examines Oversight of the 340B Drug Discount Program

Health Policy Report - May 10, 2018

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  • Representative Scott Taylor Visits Virginia Oncology Associates
  • President Trump to Deliver Speech on Drug Pricing This Friday
  • HHS Secretary Azar, CMS Administrator Verma Deliver Remarks Before the American Hospital Association
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Applauds Republican Study Committee Budget
  • HRSA Delays 340B Rule for a Second Time
  • Federal Appeals Court Hears Oral Arguments in 340B Cuts Lawsuit
  • Survey Reveals ACOs Have Significant Concerns About Risk, Would Prefer to Stay in Track 1
  • McKesson Chairman Testifies at House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing

Health Policy Report - Apr. 26, 2018

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  • Congressman Peter Roskam Visits Illinois Cancer Specialists
  • The US Oncology Network Attends 2018 Community Oncology Alliance Annual Conference
  • ASCO Analysis Demonstrates How Payment Bundles that Include Drug Costs May Destabilize Cancer Care Delivery
  • CMS Releases FY2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule
  • House Ways and Means Committee Holds Hearing on Innovation in Healthcare
  • FDA Finalizes Guidance on Genetic Sequencing Development
  • Poll Finds More Than Half of Americans Support Single Payer Healthcare

Health Policy Report - Apr. 12, 2018

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  • House Speaker Paul Ryan Announces Retirement at End of Term
  • HHS Announces Adam Boehler as Director of CMMI
  • MedPAC Recommends Update to Physician Fee-for-Service
    Payment Rates
  • 340B Update: CMS to Allow Medicare Advantage Plans That Contract with Hospitals to Negotiate 340B Rates, Delays Rule to Set New Drug Ceiling Prices
  • Key Congressional Committees Hold Hearings on Opioid Legislation
  • Nearly 12 Million People Signed up for Health Insurance on the Federal Exchange

Health Policy Report - Mar. 29, 2018

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  • President Trump Signs $1.3 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill
  • CMS Finalizes Medicare Coverage for Gene Sequencing for Patients with Advanced Cancer
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Issues Letter to Transparency Working Group
  • Dr. Randolph Broun: The Biggest Threat to Local Cancer Care
  • ASP Coalition Sends Letter to HHS Secretary Azar
  • House Passes Right to Try Legislation, Senate Action Remains Unclear

Health Policy Report - Mar. 15, 2018

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  • House Fails to Pass Right to Try Legislation
  • Senate HELP Committee Hearing Examines 340B Program
  • House, Senate Committees to Hold Hearings on Opioid Crisis
  • FDA Administrator Criticizes PBMs in Recent Remarks
  • HHS Secretary Azar Discusses Value-Based Care, Drug Pricing Transparency
  • CMS Rejects Idaho’s Plan to Sell Non-ACA Compliant Insurance Plans

Health Policy Report - Mar. 1, 2018

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  • HHS Releases Short-Term, Limited Duration Health Plans Proposed Rule
  • CMS to Study Impact of MIPS on Clinicians
  • Bipartisan Group of Governors Unveil Health Reform Blueprint
  • Congress Holds Hearings on the Opioid Crisis, Bipartisan Treatment Bill Introduced in the Senate
  • New Study Examines Hospital Impact on Chemotherapy Spending

Health Policy Report - Feb. 16, 2018

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  • Congress Passes, President Signs Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018; Key Provisions Support Community Oncology
  • Administration Unveils FY 2019 Budget Request, Drug Price Proposals
  • Azar Testifies on HHS’ FY 2019 Budget Request
  • Hospital Group 340B Suit Granted Expedited Appeal

Health Policy Report - Jan. 19, 2018

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  • Senate Finance Committee Advances Alex Azar’s Nomination
  • The Network Urges Congress to Exclude Part B Drugs from MIPS Payment Adjustments
  • Hospitals Groups to Appeal 340B Lawsuit Dismissal
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee Releases Recommendations to Reform 340B Drug Discount Program
  • CMS Introduces New Bundled Payment Model

Health Policy Report - Jan. 5, 2018

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  • Federal Court Rejects Hospital Groups’ 340B Lawsuit
  • Bipartisan Bill to Increase 340B Program Transparency Introduced in the House
  • HHS Seeks Input from Stakeholders on How to Increase
    Competition, Expand Patient Choice in the Healthcare Marketplace
  • President Trump Signs Tax Reform Legislation
  • Congress Passes Short-Term Funding Package to Avert an End-of-Year Government Shutdown
  • Senate Finance Committee Schedules Alex Azar’s Confirmation
    Hearing
  • Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch Announces Retirement

Health Policy Report - Dec. 14, 2017

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  • Study Shows 340B Program Drives Patients into Hospital Settings, Increases Costs/li>
  • MedPAC Recommends Replacing MIPS with Alternative Program
  • CMS Cancels Mandatory Bundled Payments for Cardiac Care While Rolling Back the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Program
  • Fourteen Medical Societies Urge Congress to Protect Part B Therapy Access
  • Senate HELP Committee Hearing Reviews Report on Drug Prices, House Energy & Commerce Committee Examines Drug Supply
    Chain
  • CMS Releases 2016 National Health Expenditures Report

Health Policy Report - Nov. 30, 2017

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  • The US Oncology Network, Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Submit Comments on CMMI Reform
  • HHS Secretary Nominee Alex Azar Testifies Before Senate HELP Committee
  • CBO Analysis Says Tax Bill Will Trigger $25 Billion in Medicare Cuts
  • Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Block 340B Cuts

Health Policy Report - Nov. 16, 2017

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  • Alex Azar Nominated to be Next HHS Secretary
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on
    Alternative Payment Methods
  • New CBO Analysis Finds Repealing the ACA Individual Mandate Would Save $338 Billion
  • Physicians Advocacy Institute Study Examines Hospital
    Employment of Physicians
  • CMMI Report Outlines Episode-Based Payment Model for
    Radiation Therapy
  • Hospital Groups File Lawsuit over 340B Program Cuts
  • 113 Healthcare Stakeholders Send Letter Urging Seema Verma to Implement CMMI Guardrails

Health Policy Report - Oct. 18, 2017

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  • The US Oncology Network PAC Board Meets with Healthcare Policymakers in DC
  • House Energy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Examines 340B Drug Discount Program
  • President Trump Issues Healthcare Executive Order
  • Trump Administration Terminates CSR Payments
  • Trump Names Hargan as Acting HHS Secretary
  • NIH Partners with Pharmaceutical Companies on $215M Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Health Policy Report - Oct. 5, 2017

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  • HHS Secretary Tom Price Resigns
  • CMS Officially Withdraws Part B Drug Payment Demonstration
  • Lawmakers Push for Delay of 340B Drug Cuts
  • Graham-Cassidy Amendment Halts in the Senate, Repeals Future Now Uncertain
  • House, Senate Unveil Competing Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolutions

Health Policy Report - Sept. 21, 2017

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  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Submits Comments to CMS Payment Rules
  • Lawmakers Thank HHS Secretary Price for Terminating the Medicare Part B Payment Model
  • Senate Republicans Move Forward with Latest ACA Repeal Attempt
  • CMS Announces “New Direction” for Innovation Center, Launches an Informal Request for Information
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee Advances Healthcare Bills to Mirror CHRONIC Care Act
  • House Ways & Means Committee Advances Stark Administrative Simplification Act
  • AACR Releases 2017 Cancer Progress Report

Health Policy Report - Sept. 7, 2017

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  • The Network Submits Comments on CMS CY 2018 Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule
  • The Network Responds to House Ways & Means Committee “Medicare Red Tape Relief Project” Request for Feedback
  • Senate HELP Committee to Hold Hearings on Bipartisan ACA Fix
  • Anthem Suspends Payment for In-Hospital MRI and CT Scans Performed on an Outpatient Basis
  • New Studies Show Adverse Effects of Hospital-Physician Practice Consolidation
  • CMS Advisory Panel Recommends Against Cuts to Hospital 340B Reimbursement
  • HHS Office of the Inspector General Releases Two Medicare Part B Payment Reports

Health Policy Report - August 3, 2017

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  • Senate Efforts to Repeal and Replace Affordable Care Act Fall Short
  • The Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Endorses Site Neutral Provision in FY2018 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule
  • House Ways & Means Committee Announces Red Tape Relief Projects to Reduce Medicare Barriers
  • Medicare Part B Bill Passes in the U.S. House
  • CMS Unveils Latest Update to Its Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool

Health Policy Report - July 21, 2017

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  • CMS Releases Proposed Medicare Payment Rules, HOPPS Rule Includes Proposal to Significantly Reduce 340B Drug Reimbursement
  • House Energy & Commerce Hearing Holds 340B Drug Pricing Program Hearing
  • Future of Senate Healthcare Bill Remains Unclear
  • The US Oncology Network Joins Patient Advocates, Provider Groups in Support of Bipartisan Senate Prompt Pay Bill
  • House Budget Committee Unveils FY2018 Budget Resolution
  • Medicare Trustees Release Annual Report, Delay IPAB Trigger Until at Least 2019

Health Policy Report - July 5, 2017

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  • Network Physician and Clinicians Pen Column on Cancer Care Transitions
  • Senate GOP Releases Health Care Bill, Vote Postponed
  • CMS Releases Proposed MACRA Rule
  • MedPAC Issues Its June 2017 Report to Congress

Health Policy Report - June 15, 2017

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  • The Network Joins 268 Groups Calling on Secretary Price to Protect Medicare Part B
  • CMS Releases Estimated Financial Effects of the American Health Care Act
  • HHS Secretary Price Testifies Before Congress on FY18 HHS Budget
  • Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on Drug Pricing Reform
  • American Medical Association Names Community Oncologist as President-Elect
  • American Medical Association Study: Fewer Than Half of Physicians Owned their Own Practices in 2016
  • New NCI Director Selected, NIH Director Stays in Place

Health Policy Report - March 22, 2017

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  • House Advances AHCA
  • President Trump Releases Budget Blueprint
  • Seema Verma Confirmed as CMS Administrator
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Delays 340B Rule
  • MedPAC Releases Report to Congress; Reiterates Site Neutral Recommendations

Health Policy Report - March 8, 2017

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  • House Republicans Introduce ACA Repeal and Replace Bill
  • Seema Verma Approved by Senate Finance Committee
  • MedPAC Discusses Part B Drug Reimbursement

Health Policy Report - Feb. 24, 2017

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  • McKesson Specialty Health Leaders Author AJMC Column on the Emerging Role of Immuno-Oncology Agents
  • Bipartisan Legislation Aims to Tackle DIR Fees
  • Tom Price, MD Confirmed as HHS Secretary
  • CMS Nominee Testifies Before Senate Finance Committee
  • House Republicans Release ACA Replacement Plan

Health Policy Report - Jan. 25, 2017

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  • President Trump Signs Executive Order Facilitating ACA Repeal
  • Congress Passes Budget Resolution with ACA Repeal Instructions
  • Senate Holds Confirmation Hearings on Congressman Tom Price as HHS Secretary
  • January MedPAC Meeting Focuses on Physician Payment

Health Policy Report - Nov. 16, 2016

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  • The US Oncology Network Meets with Cancer Moonshot Leaders
  • Congress Kicks Off Lame Duck Session
  • President-Elect Trump Taps Former Officials for HHS Transition
  • MedPAC Holds Meeting on Provider Consolidation

Health Policy Report - Nov. 3, 2016

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  • CMS Releases Final Medicare Payment Rules for 2017
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Commends CMS for Finalizing Site Neutral Policy in HOPPS
  • CMS Re-opens Applications for Certain APMS, Extends Oncology Care Model’s Availability to Cover 2017 Performance Year
  • Senate Finance Members Released Bipartisan Proposal on Chronic Care Improvement
  • CBO Submits Answers on Budgetary Effects of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation