KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

White House Moves $500 Million To IRS For Health Law Implementation

The funds were diverted to the Internal Revenue Service outside the normal appropriations process to help the agency implement the overhaul. Meanwhile, other news outlets report on developments related to accountable care organizations and primary care payment issues.  

The Hill: White House Has Diverted $500M To IRS To Implement Health Care Law
The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president's healthcare law. The money is only part of the IRS's total implementation spending, and it is being provided outside the normal appropriations process. The tax agency is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate (Baker, 4/9).

Modern Healthcare: Blazing A Trail
For federal health officials, a couple of payment alternatives allow policymakers to offer participants some flexibility and experiment with the hope of identifying the best models. "It's meeting people where they are," said Dr. Richard Gilfillan, director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which has oversight of the effort, known as the Medicare Pioneer ACO Model program. Participants were named in December, and each selected one of five payment models with varying degrees of potential risk and reward (Evans, 4/7).

Politico Pro: Specialists Want Cut Of Primary Care Cash
Step one: The health reform law boosts Medicaid pay for primary care physicians for two years. Step two: Everyone wants to be primary care physicians. Specialty physician groups are pressing CMS for a more expansive definition of primary care services, saying a broader definition is more consistent with the intent of the health care law, if not the actual legislative text. Lobbyists for the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have urged CMS to include them under an Affordable Care Act provision that will allow primary care doctors to receive Medicare-level rates when they treat Medicaid patients (DoBias, 4/6).

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