Issa Seeks Documents On Medicare Advantage Pilot Project, Hatch Asks Questions About Federal Health Exchanges
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., will subpoena internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services related to Medicare Advantage pilot projects. Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, continues to question HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the federal operation of health exchanges.
Modern Healthcare: Issa Plans Subpoena of Medicare Advantage Pilot Project Documents
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will subpoena documents from HHS relating to the department's $8 billion Medicare Advantage pilot program after the department failed to produce documents requested nearly five months ago to the committee's satisfaction. The move to a compulsory order followed repeated requests for HHS to voluntarily produce documents detailing its internal deliberations on a pilot program launched in 2010 that provides bonus payments to most Medicare Advantage plans, according to a letter dated Friday (PDF)from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the panel's chairman (Daly, 10/20).
The Hill: Hatch Seeks Records On Federal Exchange Contractors
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has more questions about the federally run insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act. Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, has raised several concerns about the federal exchange, which will operate in any state that doesn't set up its own marketplace. His latest letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, delivered Friday, asks about contractors for the federal exchange (Baker, 10/19).
Also in the news, children's hospital advocates held a briefing to outline to congressional staffers how Medicaid spending could be trimmed without making harsh cuts --
CQ HealthBeat: Children's Hospital Advocates Warn Against Across-The-Board Medicaid Cuts
Children's hospital representatives sought to draw attention at a briefing Friday for congressional staff on ways to lower Medicaid spending without imposing blunt cuts. Medicaid pays for the care of more than one in three children, and efforts to lower federal entitlement spending through Medicaid cuts raise concerns among advocates of children's hospitals. The Children's Hospital Association on Friday brought representatives of four hospitals to a Senate office building to discuss different ways to improve the care of sick kids while lowering costs (Adams, 10/19).