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CMS Proposes Skilled Nursing Facility FY 2020 PPS Update

CMS has issued a proposed rule to update the Medicare payment rates and the quality programs for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for FY 2020. CMS will begin using a new case-mix model, the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), which focuses on the patient’s condition and resulting

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CMS Releases Proposed FY 2020 Hospice Wage Index, Payment Rate and Quality Reporting Requirements

CMS has issued a proposed rule that would update hospice payment rates, wage index values, and quality reporting items for fiscal year 2020. The rule also proposes to rebase the continuous home care (CHC), general inpatient care (GIP), and the inpatient respite care (IRC)

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Advisory Panel for the North Carolina Healthy Opportunities Pilot Service Fee Schedule

The Commonwealth Fund and Manatt Health are convening an expert advisory panel to offer feedback on a groundbreaking effort of the NC of Health and Human Services. Under its recently approved Medicaid 1115 waiver, NC DHHS will launch “Healthy Opportunities Pilots” in two to

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Governor Cooper Announces $12.2 Million Grant for Crisis Counseling for Hurricane Florence Survivors

North Carolina will receive a $12.2 million grant to expand crisis counseling services to Hurricane Florence survivors in 28 counties, Governor Roy Cooper announced last week. “Along with physical damage to homes and businesses, storms like Florence take an emotional toll,” Gov. Cooper said.

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Study: Fewer Hospital Patients Uninsured After ACA Expanded Coverage

The proportion of hospital emergency department visits by uninsured patients declined 2.1 percentage points per year between 2014 and 2016, just after the health insurance exchanges opened and states began expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study reported recently in JAMA

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CMS Announces New Value-based Payment Models for Primary Care

The CMS Innovation Center recently announced the Primary Cares Initiative, which will provide primary care practices and other providers with five new payment model options under two paths – Primary Care First (PCF) and Direct Contracting (DC). The PCF model options are focused on individual primary

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HHS Extends Deadline for Comments on Health IT Rules

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and CMS have extended the deadline to comment on their proposed rules to promote electronic health information exchange. ONC and CMS both extended their deadline by 30 days to June 3. In

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ONC Issues Updated Draft Framework for Trusted Health Information Exchange

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released for comment through June 17 an updated draft Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement for the exchange of health information across networks. The updates are based on more

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FDA Approves First Generic Naloxone Nasal Spray

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first generic naloxone nasal spray, an emergency treatment for opioid overdose intended for use in the community. Generic injectable naloxone products have been available for use in health care settings for years. The FDA has previously approved

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FDA Proposes Regulatory Changes to Improve Surgical Stapler Safety

The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed reclassifying surgical staplers for internal use as moderate-risk rather than low-risk medical devices. The change would allow the agency to require premarket review of the devices and establish special controls such as mandatory performance testing of the device’s

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