The federal public health emergency (PHE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire on January 16, 2022. Previously, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra extended the PHE during its prior three expirations under the Biden administration, but a lot of non-medical infrastructure for Medicaid...National News
Following months of tense negotiations between moderate Congressional Democrats and the White House, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) ended any hopes for passing President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Bill on Sunday. This leaves many of the sorely needed healthcare spending and reform initiatives in limbo, although some Democrats hope to pass...Arizona News
On Monday, the White House announced an executive order (EO) directed at easing the "customer experience" of interacting with federally regulated public programs. The order directs certain federal agencies to make it easier for individuals to apply for and receive benefits, specifically through telehealth services, a personalized web...National News
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking steps to improve access to and quality of maternal healthcare nationwide, including supporting the delivery of equitable care for both pregnancy and postpartum care. The Children's Action Alliance in Arizona wants...National News
Medicaid plays an important role in providing health insurance to low-income adults, children, people with disabilities, and others who would otherwise face significant financial barriers to healthcare. New briefs from Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) analyze the current differences in healthcare access between...National Reports & Surveys
The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit policy think tank, published a report on Monday demonstrating that without enhanced subsidies the Affordable Care Act (ACA) couldn't protect many in New York from health coverage loss during the recession and pandemic.
According to researcher Christine Eibner, the Paul O'Neill Chair in Policy...CMS Rules
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its guidance for nursing home visitations during the COVID-19 pandemic this week. Although the guidance relaxes previous regulations, the agency notes its concern for the vaccination rates of nursing home employees. Unfortunately, unlike most other areas of the medical...National News
After months of negotiations, the Build Back Better Act is taking form as a bill that appeases the concerns of most Congressional Democrats, including holdouts like Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). The bill will now include a number of healthcare-related solutions and improvements to public health insurance programs...National News
Prescription drug price negotiations have been a major policy proposal for Congressional Democrats looking to improve the outcome of negotiations surrounding President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda in the form of the Reconciliation Bill. Initially, the president and Democratic leadership aimed to expand the ability for the...White Papers, E books, Reports and more
Despite concerns that the pandemic would cause much of the population to lose insurance coverage, a new report from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) found the number of uninsured people in the United States barely changed during the first 12 months of the pandemic.
The HHS ASPE Report, which...
Medicare Advantage is under pressure to demonstrate its cost-savings for the Medicare program following a report for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that suggests Medicare Advantage (MA) plans "may have inappropriately" leveraged chart reviews and health risk assessments to...
The Biden administration announced last Friday that it would make available $25.5 billion in provider relief funding to offset revenue loss and higher expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Fierce Healthcare, funding will be used for reimbursing smaller providers that generally operate on thin margins and to boost...
On September 7, 2021, there were 301,138 new recorded cases of COVID-19 in the United States. There were 2,226 COVID-19-related deaths. Of the total U.S. population, 63.2% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
This information comes from the New York Times interactive COVID-19 data tracker.
Children and COVID-19
This week the number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 set a record with 1,900 pediatric cases in hospitals across the United States on Sunday night. The Delta variant's rapid spread is to blame, primarily among unvaccinated populations which include children under age 12.
Of all hospitalizations, children comprise just 2.4%...
Last week President Joe Biden called on U.S. lawmakers to enact legislation aimed at lowering drug prices, including allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and imposing penalties on drugmakers that hike prices faster than inflation.
Biden said that U.S. prescription drug costs were higher than any other nation in the world by two to...Arizona News
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) withdrew federal approval for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System's (AHCCCS) Medicaid work requirement program, the AHCCCS Works Community Engagement Program. The waivers were approved under the Trump administration and similar work requirements from other states were...News
CMS announced Daniel Tsai as the new Deputy Administrator and Director of Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.
Over 80 million people receive health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Tsai will lead the Center’s efforts in addressing health equity disparities and serving the needs of...Arizona News
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System is soliciting input from stakeholders to inform the development and implementation of its Value Based Purchasing (VBP) strategies for Contract Year Ending (CYE) 2022 and CYE 2023.
One of AHCCCS’ Strategic Priorities in the AHCCCS Strategic Plan is to pursue and implement long-term...National News
This week, HHS announced that a record 80 million Americans have health insurance through either Medicaid or CHIP. That number increased by 10 million, or 14%, during the pandemic.
HHS attributed the fast growth in Medicaid and CHIP enrollment to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provided states with extra...
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are environmental, social, and economic conditions that affect health outcomes; SDOH data interoperability is key in the pursuit of health equity.
According to a post from ONC’s Health IT Buzz blog, authors Jawanna Henry and Samantha Meklir explained,
Addressing inequities in these conditions,...