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Medicare Sequestration Extension Tied to Trade Package

April 24, 2015

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee and U.S. House Ways & Means Committee marked-up a package of trade bills, and included an extension of the Medicare sequestration cut to offset funding for the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which provides benefits to workers impacted by trade agreements.

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Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities FY 2016 Proposed Payment Rule Issued

April 24, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule governing Medicare payment policies and rates for the inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system (IRF PPS). The proposal also details the inpatient rehabilitation facility quality reporting program.

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Auditor General Releases Report on L & I Enforcement of Excessive Overtime

April 23, 2015

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently released a performance audit of the Pennsylvania  Department of Labor and Industry’s (L&I) implementation and enforcement of Act 102 of 2008—the Prohibition of Excessive Overtime Act.

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Secretary of Human Services Nomination Moves to Senate for Consideration

April 22, 2015

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee voted unanimously to report Ted Dallas’ nomination as Secretary of Human Services to the full Senate for consideration.

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Expensive Drugs and Need for Health Quality and Cost Transparency Top Consumer Concerns

April 22, 2015

Increased transparency of health care quality and costs is a top health concern for the public, according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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DHS Provides Additional Resources to Help Providers Understand and Transition to New HealthChoices Plan

April 22, 2015

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) has prepared training and informational guides to help providers, businesses, and community partners assist individuals with enrolling in the new HealthChoices Adult benefits plan—as part of Medicaid expansion.

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Joint State Government Commission Releases Physician Shortage Study

April 21, 2015

The Joint State Government Commission has released its report examining the physician shortage in Pennsylvania. The report concludes that a physician shortage does exist in Pennsylvania, as it does nationally.

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DHS to Expedite and Simplify Provider Enrollment Process

April 21, 2015

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has issued an update and notification of changes being implemented to the Medical Assistance provider enrollment process to improve the enrollment process and reduce backlogs of pending applications.

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DHS Implements System for Reporting Abuse of Adults with Disabilities

April 21, 2015

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced its system for providing adult protective services by choosing a statewide provider for investigating cases and providing protective services; and releasing information about how to report suspected abuse.

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Proposed Payment Rules for Inpatient and Long-Term Care Hospitals Issued for FY 2016

April 20, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule to update fiscal year (FY) 2016 payment policies and rates under the hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital prospective payment system (LTCH PPS).

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CMS Releases Star Ratings to Display Patients’ Experience of Hospital Care

April 17, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added “star ratings” to its Hospital Compare website to display ratings of patients’ experience of their hospital care. Hospitals receive ratings of one to five stars (with five stars being the highest score).

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CMS Issues FY 2016 Medicare Proposed Rule for Skilled Nursing Facilities

April 16, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a prospective payment system proposed rule outlining Medicare payment rates for skilled nursing facilities for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

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U.S. House Holds Hearing on Post-Acute Care Bundling

April 16, 2015

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing to review post-acute care payment reform concepts; and next steps in considering policy proposals on bundling and care coordination.

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Funding Available to Reduce Opioid Overdoses in Rural Communities

April 16, 2015

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy announced the availability of funding to reduce the incidences of deaths related to opioid overdoses in rural communities.

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