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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.

Health Policy Report - September 22, 2020

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  • White House Unveils Most Favored Nation Drug Pricing Executive Order, Expands
    Scope to Include Part D Drugs
  • Partisan Divide Casts Bleak Outlook on Coronavirus Relief Deal Before November
    Elections
  • Taskforce on Telehealth Policy (TTP) Releases Recommendations
  • 340B Providers Plan Their Next Move As Congress Weighs In
  • CMS Releases New Value Based Care Guidance for Medicaid
  • Study Shows Substantial Increase in Healthcare Provider Consolidation
  • Public Health Agencies Face Allegations of Political Interference

Health Policy Report - September 9, 2020

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  • The Network Shares Experience with Oncology Care Model Following Release of Latest Evaluation Report
  • Senate Tees Up Vote on “Skinny” COVID-19 Relief Package
  • Status of Administration’s Most Favored Nation Plan Remains in Limbo
  • New Analysis Estimates Costs and Fiscal Impact of Biden Campaign’s Healthcare Plan
  • CMS Proposes Pathway for Coverage of “Breakthrough” Devices and Technologies
  • Tensions Continue Among 340B Program Stakeholders
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee to Hold Public Hearing on FDA Independence, Pharma Companies Pledge to “Stand with Science” on COVID-19 Vaccines

Health Policy Report - August 25, 2020

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  • Biden Chooses Kamala Harris as Vice Presidential Running Mate
  • No Agreement in Sight on Next Phase of COVID-19 Relief
  • Federal Appeals Court Overturns North Dakota Law Regulating PBMs
  • Drug Companies Seek Information on 340B Provider Discounts
  • House Lawmakers Urge Leadership to Stop CMS’ Scheduled Reimbursement Cuts
    to Specialists
  • CMS Announces New Alternative Payment Model for Rural Health

Health Policy Report - August 11, 2020

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  • Federal Circuit Court Rules CMS Has Authority to Implement 340B Payment Cuts
  • President Signs “Buy American” Executive Order for Essential Medicines
  • COVID-19 Relief Package Stalls in Congress; Trump Takes Executive Action
  • The Network Responds to National Cancer Institute RFI on Cancer Care
    Telehealth
  • Telehealth Update: President Signs Executive Order Expanding Telehealth
    Access, Legislation Gains Traction in Congress

Health Policy Report - July 28, 2020

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  • The Network Submits Comments on Medicaid Value-Based Purchasing
    Proposed Rule
  • Congress Begins Discussions on Latest COVID-19 Relief Package
  • CMS Administrator Verma Discusses Impact of Expanding Medicare
    Telehealth as Congress Weighs Legislative Action
  • HHS Secretary Signs 90-Day Public Health Emergency Extension
  • The Network Joins Coalition in Urging Top HHS Officials to Lift Prior
    Authorization Restrictions for Part B Drugs in Medicare Advantage Plans
  • New Research Estimates Impact of Delayed Cancer Screenings

Health Policy Report - July 14, 2020

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  • The Network, McKesson Corporation Participate in Ad Campaign Encouraging
    Patients to Stop “Medical Distancing”
  • The Network’s Dr. Amy McNally Discusses Negative Impacts of Delaying Cancer
    Care in AJMC Op-ed
  • HHS Will Renew COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
  • AMA-led Provider Letter Urges CMS to Waive Budget Neutrality Requirements in
    Physician Fee Schedule Rule to Prevent 2021 Provider Payment Cuts
  • Paycheck Protection Program Deadlines Extended as Loan Data is Released
  • Congress Update: Lawmakers Debate Next Pandemic Relief Package as Grassley
    Revives Drug Pricing Bill
  • Providers, Lawmakers, HHS Support Making Telehealth Changes Permanent
  • The Network Submits Comments to IPPS Proposed Rule

Health Policy Report - June 30, 2020

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  • The Network Urges Support for Bipartisan Bill to Improve CMMI
  • Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on Telehealth
  • CMS Proposal Encourages ‘Value-Based’ Drug Payments in Medicaid
  • Congress Update: House Passes ACA Expansion Bill, Revives Drug Pricing
    Proposal
  • Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Hospital Price Transparency Rule
  • Appeals Court Strikes Down Rule Requiring Drug List Prices in Ads
  • NCI Director Sharpless Warns Recent Decline in Cancer Screenings Could Lead
    to Excess Cancer Death

Health Policy Report - June 16, 2020

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  • The Network Petitions Congress to Consider Additional Measures to Respond to
    COVID-19, Ease Burden on Community Cancer Care
  • US Oncology Research Study Finds Cancer Drug May Benefit Advanced COVID-19 Patients
  • CMS Announces Changes to OCM, Other CMMI Models
  • HHS Reviewing Options to Expand Telehealth Flexibility Permanently
  • Latest Jobs Report Shows Marked Healthcare Sector Improvements, Dentists
    Leading the Way
  • Analysis Shows Slower Growth in Drug Prices
  • Study Finds High Economic Cost Due to Racial Disparities in Cancer Deaths

Health Policy Report - June 2, 2020

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  • Study Finds Oncology Care Model Associated with Lower Healthcare Utilization
  • COVID-19 Update: HHS Establishes June 3 Deadline for Providers to Request
    Additional Relief Payments & House Passes Revisions to Paycheck Protection
    Program
  • CMS Finalizes MA and Part D Final Rule, Delays Changes to Drug Programs
  • CMS Announces Plan to Lower Medicare Out-of-Pocket Costs for Insulin
  • Report Finds Insurers Rarely Favor Biosimilars over Reference Biologics

Health Policy Report - May 19, 2020

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  • COVID-19 Legislative Update: Congress Back in Session, House Passes Sweeping Fifth Coronavirus Response Package
  • CMS Releases FY 2021 IPPS & LTCH Proposed Rule, Hospital Groups Urge Court
    to Reject Price Transparency Measures
  • CMS Finalizes Co-Pay Accumulator Policy in NBPP Rule
  • Report Shows Critical Decline in Cancer Screenings

Health Policy Report - May 5, 2020

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  • Senate Returns to Discuss Fifth Pandemic Response Package
  • CMS Announces Second Round of Regulatory Relief, Changes to the Advance &
    Accelerated Payments Program and Provider Relief Fund
  • Members of Congress Urge Leadership to Prioritize DIR Fee Reform in Next
    Pandemic Relief Package
  • Joe Grogan To Depart White House Domestic Policy Council
  • HHS Delays Enforcement of Interoperability Rules
  • HHS Urges Federal Appeals Court to Reinstate Site Neutral Payments
  • CMS to Move Forward with Survey of 340B Hospitals’ Drug Acquisition Costs

Health Policy Report - April 21, 2020

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  • Update on CARES Act Relief
  • Congress Working to Boost Funding for Paycheck Protection Program
  • Medical Practices Continue to Struggle Amid COVID-19 Fallout
  • NAACOS Survey Shows Majority of ACOs Likely to Leave Medicare
    Cost-Saving Programs Due to COVID-19 Concerns
  • COVID-19 & Cancer Care: Practices Adjust, New Guidelines, and A
    Patient Registry
  • CMS Boosts Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment Rates for 2021
    Coverage Year
  • Administration Draws Strong Opposition from Stakeholders in
    Response to Drug Pricing Proposals Designed to Boost Generics and
    Biosimilars

Health Policy Report - April 7, 2020

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  • The US Oncology Network Submits Letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar Requesting Relief for Community Oncology Providers
  • The Network Submits Comments on 2021 and 2022 Medicare Advantage and Part D Proposed Rule
  • Congress Begins Discussions on Phase Four COVID-19 Relief Bill
  • Administration Rejects ACA Special Enrollment Period as Some States Re-Open
    Their Own Exchanges
  • COVID-19 Puts Strain on Independent Medical Practices
  • Drug Pricing Legislation Not Included in Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill, Next
    Opportunity Likely Post-Election
  • Study Finds Oncology Clinical Pathways Decrease Costs in Oncology-Specific
    APMs
  • CMS Defends Price Transparency Rule in Federal Court

Health Policy Report - March 24, 2020

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  • President Declares National Emergency for COVID-19
  • Congress Passes Second COVID-19 Response Package, Prepares Phase Three
  • CMS Releases Recommendations on Elective Surgeries During COVID-19 Response
  • White House Releases Drug Pricing Principles, CBO Releases Score for Senate Finance Committee Bill
  • New Medicare Part D Model for Insulin Released
  • HRSA to No Longer Issue 340B Guidance, Citing Limited Authority
  • NCCN Releases Recommendations for Standardizing Quality Measurements in
    Oncology
  • Report Shows Decline in Cancer Death Rates

Health Policy Report - March 11, 2020

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  • The Network Urges CMS to Drop Copay Accumulator Provision from
    2021 NBPP Proposed Rule
  • Dr. Thaker Discusses How Practices Can Use Big Data Analytics to Prepare for Proposed Radiation Oncology Model in Journal of Oncology Practice
  • Congress Passes Supplemental Funding Bill to Address COVID-19 as Federal Agencies Release Updates
  • CMS and ONC Release Healthcare Interoperability Rules, HHS Releases Strategy to Reduce EHR Administrative Burdens
  • New Research Shows Pharmacy DIR Fees Hit a Record $9 Billion in 2019
  • CMS Enables States to Restructure Medicaid Program Benefits
  • Study Finds Medicaid Expansion Fails to Spur More Hospital Charity
    Care Spending
  • FDA, FTC Outline Steps to Deter Anticompetitive Practices in
    Biosimilar/Biologic Advertising
  • Supreme Court Will Hear Third Challenge to Affordable Care Act

Health Policy Report - Feb. 25, 2020

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  • Dr. Neubauer Commentary Highlights The Network’s Oncology Clinical Pathways
  • New Rule Would Enable Medicare Part D Plans to Create Preferred Specialty Drug Tiers in to Help Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs
  • Secretary Azar Defends Administration Budget Request Before Senate Finance Committee
  • CMS Leader Hints at Reforming Prior Authorization Requirements
  • CMS Releases Proposed Three-Year Extension of Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model
  • Report Shows Americans with Employer Coverage Saw Growth in Drug Spending That Outpaced Other Medical Costs
  • Commentary Highlights Forthcoming Expansion of Biosimilars

Health Policy Report - Feb. 11, 2020

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  • The Network’s Debra Patt, MD Raises Step Therapy Concerns
  • President Renews Call for Drug Pricing Reform, Highlights Other Healthcare Issues in State of The Union
  • Administration Unveils 2021 Budget Proposal
  • Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Increase CMMI Transparency
  • Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Drug Pricing
  • CMS Enables States to Restructure Medicaid Program Benefits
  • CMS Clarifies Use of Copay Accumulators
  • FDA, FTC Outline Steps to Deter Anticompetitive Practices in Biosimilar/Biologic Advertising
  • CMS Expands Coverage of Next Generation Sequencing Diagnostic Tests
  • Insurer Groups, CMS Announce Efforts Aimed at Improving Prior Authorization

Health Policy Report - Jan. 28, 2020

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  • Hospital Groups Sue Over 2020 Site Neutral Payment Cuts
  • Supreme Court Will Weigh Validity of State Laws Regulating PBMs
  • Report Finds Significant Variability in Oncology Drug Costs Across Sites of Service
  • GAO Report Faults HRSA for Lapses in 340B Program Oversight
  • MedPAC Issues Payment Recommendations, 340B Study Following January Meeting

Health Policy Report - Jan. 14, 2020

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  • Texas Oncology’s Dr. Wilfong Co-Authors Commentary on Patient- Reported Outcomes in Medicare Oncology Payment Models
  • Network Members Discuss Proposed Radiation Oncology Model in JCO Oncology Practice Blog
  • The Network Responds to Cures 2.0 RFI
  • President Signs End of Year Spending Deal; Tees Up Health Legislation in Spring
  • Brad Smith Named New Head of CMMI
  • Avalere Releases Analysis on Part D Formularies
  • Study Finds 340B Hospitals Reimbursed at a Higher Rate Than What They Pay for Drugs
  • Study Finds Increase in Hospital Mergers Has Not Led to Improvements in Quality

Health Policy Report - Nov. 19, 2019

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  • Medicare Part B Premiums to Increase in 2020
  • CMMI Extends Oncology Care First Model Comment Deadline to December 13
  • HHS Defends 340B Payment Cuts in Court
  • MedPAC Highlights Hospital Consolidation in New Analysis
  • HHS Releases Price Transparency Rules
  • Op-ed: Reforming CMMI is Not a Partisan Issue
  • Stephen Hahn Nominated to FDA Commissioner

Health Policy Report - Oct. 22, 2019

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  • Network Radiation Oncologists Advocate for Improvements to CMS Radiation Oncology Model
  • Network OCM Practices Earn High Marks from CMS
  • Congress Focuses on Drug Pricing Legislation
  • HHS Announces Plan to Reform Stark Law
  • Amy Bassano Named Acting Director of CMMI
  • Report Examines Medicare Part D Plan Design and Proposed Policy Changes
  • Cardiac Tests in Hospital Outpatient Departments Generated $661 Million in Extra Costs

Health Policy Report - Oct. 2, 2019

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  • The Network Submits Comments on Physician Fee Schedule, Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rules
  • House Committees Hold Hearings on Pelosi Drug Pricing Plan, Ways & Means Committee Report
  • Judge Rules Against CMS Site Neutral Payment Policy
  • Senate Finance Committee Urges DIR Payment Reforms
  • Healthcare Groups Urge Congress to Protect Medicare Advantage Patients from Prior Authorization
  • New Study Examines Hospital Profits from Physician-Administered Drugs

Health Policy Report - Sept. 3, 2019

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  • New CMS Rule to Impede Drug Company Coupon Practices
  • Grassley Seeks Deal with House Dems To Press McConnell On DrugPricing Vote
  • Canada Reacts to U.S. Import Plan After Meeting with Stakeholders
  • Court Consolidates Hospitals’ Site Neutral Payment Lawsuits
  • Surprise Billing Debate Wages On
  • Radiopharmaceutical Payment Equity Act Introduced in House

Health Policy Report - Aug. 20, 2019

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  • The Network Responds to CMS’ Patients Over Paperwork Initiative
  • CMS Issues National Coverage Determination for CAR-T Therapy
  • ASP Coalition Commends Senate Finance Committee Members for
    Opposing IPI
  • John O’Brien, Senior Advisory to the Secretary on Drug Pricing
    Reform, to Leave HHS
  • GAO Report Finds Part D Drug Rebates Growing Fast; PBMs Give
    Nearly All Rebates To Plan Sponsors
  • UnitedHealth Group Analysis on Rising Cost of Hospital Care

Health Policy Report - July 23, 2019

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  • The Network’s Dr. Patt Discusses the Oncology Care Model
  • CMS Proposes Mandatory Radiation Oncology Bundled Payment Model
    as Head of CMMI Announces Departure
  • Judge Blocks HHS Rule Requiring Drug Companies to List Prices in TV
    Ads
  • Administration Abandons Proposal to Eliminate Certain Drug Rebates
  • HHS Secretary Azar Shifts on Drug Importation
  • CMS Releases Quality Payment Program Results
  • Federal Appeals Court Hears Arguments on the Constitutionality of the
    Affordable Care Act

Health Policy Report - July 9, 2019

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  • Ben Jones: Oncologists Still Face Challenges When Trying to Extract Data From EHRs
  • House GOP Doctors Caucus Sends Letter to HHS Secretary Over Step Therapy Concerns
  • President Trump Issues Executive Order on Pricing Transparency
  • CAP Study Confirms High Price of Hospital Care
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Prescription Drug Pricing Legislation
  • Lower Health Care Costs Act Passes Committee

Health Policy Report - June 18, 2019

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  • The Network’s Ben Jones Discusses the Impact of Step Therapy in Medicare Advantage
  • Bipartisan Bill to Improve Prior Authorization Transparency Introduced in House
  • Drug Pricing Legislation Update: Cassidy Introduces Bill Package, Promotes Value-Based Payments
  • CMS Seeks Fresh Ideas On How To Reduce Provider Administrative Burdens
  • Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Healthcare Consolidation
  • House Ways & Means Committee Holds Hearing on Universal Healthcare
  • Pharmaceutical Companies Invest Heavily in Cancer Treatments
  • Merck, Lilly and Amgen Sue HHS Over Drug Prices in Ads

Health Policy Report - June 4, 2019

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  • The Network Hosts Congressman Kevin Brady for Employee Town Hall
  • CMS Releases 2020 Medicare Advantage and Part D Drug Pricing Final Rule
  • Senate HELP Committee Unveils Bipartisan Healthcare Legislation
  • House Energy &Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on Drug Pricing Bills
  • House Committees on Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Release Draft Legislation to Reform Medicare Part D
  • CMS Delays CAR-T Coverage Policy

Health Policy Report - May 17, 2019

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  • The Network’s Dr. Patt Featured in the Austin American-Statesman
  • New Court Ruling Orders CMS to Quickly Rectify 340B Pay Cuts
  • FDA Issues Final Rule on Biosimilars
  • CMS Finalizes Rule Requiring Drug Prices in Direct-to-Consumer Ads
  • House Lawmakers Launch Effort to Block Site Neutral Payments
  • Forty-Four States Sue Generic Drug Makers, Allege Price-Fixing
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Examines Drug Patents
  • Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health Holds Hearing on Drug Supply Chain

Health Policy Report - May 3, 2019

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  • Congressman Mike Waltz Visits Southeast Regional Prostate Cancer Treatment Center
  • The Network Joins Physician Groups in Opposing Repeal of the Stark Law’s In-Office Ancillary Services Exception
  • ASTRO Survey of Radiation Oncologists Finds Prior Authorization Unnecessarily Delays Patient Access to Care
  • CMMI Unveils New Primary Care Pilot Programs to Reform Payment to Providers
  • House Rules Committee Holds Hearing, CBO Releases Report on Medicare for All
  • House Energy and Commerce Holds Hearing on Prescription Drug Pricing in the Medicare Program
  • House Judiciary Committee Marks-Up Drug Pricing Bills

Health Policy Report - April 22, 2019

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  • IPI Model Continues to Pose Threat to Delivery of Community Based Cancer Care
  • Members of Congress Tour Local Oncology Practices
  • Bipartisan Bill to Limit Step Therapy Introduced
  • Site Neutral Payments Lawsuit: Hospitals Argue CMS Can’t Ignore Statue
  • Senators Question PBM Executives at Finance Committee Hearing
  • Drug Price Transparency Bill Passes House Ways and Means Committee
  • Medicare Expected to Announce CAR-T Coverage Decision Soon
  • CMS Announces ACO Application Timeline to Begin in 2020
  • Sanders Reintroduces Medicare for All Bill in the Senate

Health Policy Report - April 4, 2019

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  • Members of Congress Urge Azar to Reconsider IPI Drug Pricing Model
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Hosts Capitol Hill Briefing
  • McKesson’s Ben Jones Discusses Cancer Care Policies with AJMC
  • Department of Justice Argues Court Should Strike Down Entire ACA
  • Federal Court Strikes Down Association Health Plan Rule
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee Holds Mark-up Hearing on Drug Pricing Bills
  • Energy & Commerce Subcommittee Chair: No Plans for 340B Oversight Hearings

Health Policy Report - March 21, 2019

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  • IPI Model Critics Express Concern with Patient, Stakeholder Impacts
  • Trump Administration Releases FY2020 Budget Proposal
  • Alex Azar Testifies Before Congressional Committees
  • MedPAC Releases March 2019 Report to Congress
  • Ned Sharpless Appointed Acting FDA Commissioner
  • Bipartisan Lawmakers Urge HHS to Maintain Protected Drug Classes
  • CMS Releases Updated Drug Pricing Data

Health Policy Report - March 7, 2019

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  • Network Physicians Visit Capitol Hill to Advocate for Medicare Part B
  • FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to Resign
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Urges Congressional Leaders to Consider Site Neutral Policies
  • Pharma CEOs Testify Before Senate Finance Committee
  • Congress to Hold Additional Drug Pricing Hearings Throughout the Month
  • Government Appeals Ruling on 340B Payment Cuts

Health Policy Report - Feb. 22, 2019

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  • Network Physicians Meet with Lawmakers to Stress Part B Reform Concerns
  • Internal Documents Show CMS Preparing Radiation Therapy Bundle
  • New Bills Aim to Address Drug Prices, PBM Transparency
  • House Ways & Means Committee Holds Hearing on Drug Pricing
  • Hospital Groups ask Court to Require CMS Recalculate 340B Payment Rates
  • CMS Issues National Coverage Decision for CAR-T Cell Therapies

Health Policy Report - Feb. 8, 2019

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  • The Network Submits Comments on Medicare Advantage and Part D Drug Pricing Proposed Rule
  • Healthcare, Drug Prices Featured in State of the Union Address
  • HHS Moves to Address Drug Rebates in Medicare Part D
  • House, Senate Committees Hold Hearings on Drug Prices
  • Hospital Groups Sue HHS Over Site Neutral Payment Policy
  • Study: Hospital Price Growth is Major Driver of U.S. Healthcare Spending

Health Policy Report - Jan. 25, 2019

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  • Trump Administration Proposals Could Increase Out of Pocket Costs for Consumers
  • CMS Unveils New Part D Payment Model
  • CMS Offers New Flexibility for MA Plans in Expanded Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model
  • Chairmen and Ranking Members Announced for Key Healthcare Committees
  • MedPAC Adopts 2020 Payment Recommendations
  • Azar Meets with Senate Finance Members to Defend HHS’ Drug Pricing Proposals
  • Patient and Provider Groups Express Concerns About Shutdown Impact on FDA

Health Policy Report - Jan. 10, 2019

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  • The Network Submits Comments on Proposed IPI Drug Pricing Model
  • MedPAC Releases Comments on Proposed IPI Model
  • Federal Court Strikes Down CMS 340B Drug Cuts
  • Pelosi Sworn in as Speaker of the House
  • House Ways & Means Committee Leadership Urges Greater Transparency in CMMI Reform
  • Senators Urge CMS to Establish Guardrails for Step Therapy Policy
  • Government Shutdown Impacts & Updates
  • Texas ACA Case Under Appeal
  • Senate Confirms New Science Advisor and Drug Czar

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