KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Safety Net Hospitals Urge Congress To Alter Readmissions Penalties In Lame-Duck Session

The hospital group argues that the Medicare formula unfairly dings facilities that primarily serve lower-income patients who are more likely to be readmitted due to factors outside a hospital's control. In other Capitol Hill news, conservative organizations caution lawmakers against adding the CREATES Act to the 21st Century Cures Act.

Modern Healthcare: Hospitals Push Readmissions Fix In Lame-Duck Congress 
Industry lobbyists are putting the pressure on Congress to use the lame duck session to pass a law that would take into consideration the challenges faced by hospitals that predominantly treat low-income patients. America's Essential Hospitals, which represents 275 safety net hospitals around the country has launched a campaign that includes advertisements in CQ Rollcall and Vox.This summer, the House unanimously passed a bill that would require the CMS to account for patient socioeconomic status when calculating readmissions penalties. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) aims to reduce preventable readmissions by penalizing hospitals with higher-than-average Medicare readmissions. (Dickson, 11/14)

Morning Consult: Conservative Groups Warn Against Including Bill Targeting Generics In Cures Act
Ten conservative organizations are warning lawmakers against adding a measure they say could cause unnecessary health risks to a medical innovation bill top lawmakers hope to advance before the year ends. The groups, including Americans for Tax Reform, the American Conservative Union and the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, say adding the CREATES Act to the 21st Century Cures Act could have “many harmful unintended consequences.” The CREATES Act, a bipartisan measure, aims to speed up the process of bringing generic drugs to market, but there are some concerns that the measure would undermine safety protocols for certain drugs that treat life-threatening illnesses. (McIntire, 11/14)

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