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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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Federal Budget Hearing Focuses on Ebola Response and Preparedness

April 15, 2015

The U.S. House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee heard testimony from top public health officials about Ebola response and preparedness efforts; and the use of emergency funding provided by Congress during December 2014.

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Permanent SGR Fix for Medicare Physician Payments to Be Enacted into Law

April 15, 2015

The U.S. Senate passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, by a vote of 92-8, sending the legislation to the President for signature into law.

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AHRQ Releases National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report

April 14, 2015

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released a report about the quality of health care in the United States; and disparities in care by different socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups.

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Commonwealth Court Upholds Lower Court’s Ruling on Tobacco Settlement

April 13, 2015

The Commonwealth Court issued a ruling affirming a ruling of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The lower court had voided a portion of the reduction in payments the state would receive from the major tobacco companies participating in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

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CMS Eases Meaningful Use Burden for Health Care Providers

April 13, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule that would modify the reporting period for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program during 2015 to a 90-day period aligned with the calendar year.

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House Policy Committee Examines Organ Donation in Pennsylvania during Hearing

April 10, 2015

Representatives from Pennsylvania hospitals testified during a House Republican Policy Committee hearing about the medical aspects of organ donation in the commonwealth.

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Newly Established Board Begins Work on Expanding Pennsylvania’s Drug Monitoring Program

April 09, 2015

The Department of Health (DOH) convened the first meeting of the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program (ABC-MAP) Board to begin work on developing the policies and procedures that will expand Pennsylvania’s drug monitoring program.

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Organizations Seek Injunction of Governor Wolf’s Executive Order Regarding Home Care Workers

April 08, 2015

The Pennsylvania Homecare Association, United Cerebral Palsy of Pennsylvania, two consumers of home care services, and a direct home care worker have filed a petition in Commonwealth Court challenging Governor Wolf’s Executive Order 2015-05.

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Pennsylvania Hospitals Face Significant Cuts in Budget; Budget Process Likely to Be Protracted

April 08, 2015

After further analysis of Governor Wolf’s proposed state budget, HAP can confirm that hospitals and health systems face a total of $166.5 million in cuts (state and federal) in the budget.

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