KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Legislation Proposed To Improve Seniors’ Care Coordination

The bill backed by Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., would promote better coordination between medical and social services for elderly people by building on the Older Americans Act.

The Hill: Kerry, Schwartz Propose Better Care Coordination For Seniors
New legislation from Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) would promote better coordination between medical and social services for the elderly. The bill builds on the Older Americans Act, which established a variety of services for seniors such as home-delivered meals, transportation and legal assistance. Dubbed the Care Coordination for Older Americans Act, the new measure would ensure that an elderly diabetic, for example, is provided meals in collaboration with a doctor. "Preventable and highly manageable chronic diseases consume 75 percent of health care costs making it vital that we find common-sense solutions to ensure that seniors can better manage their chronic diseases," said Schwartz in a statement (Viebeck, 10/5).

Also in the news, President Barack Obama signed a measure amending the Food and Drug Administration User-Fee Law --

Modern Healthcare: Obama Signs Bill Amending FDA User-Fee Law
President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday that will amend the Food and Drug Administration's user-fee law to ensure that a new program intended to improve approval times for generic drugs can begin. The FDA User Fee Correction Act, which was passed by the House and Senate last month before Congress adjourned, addresses the industry's concern that the government's temporary funding measure would delay implementation of the generic user-fee program. The FDA collects millions of dollars in user fees from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries each year in exchange for using the funding to improve the drug and device approval process (Lee, 10/6).

Finally, four House Republican leaders want hospitals' electronic medical records payments suspended over potential waste --

Center for Public Integrity: House Republicans Demand Suspension Of Electronic Medical Records Program
Four Republican House leaders want federal officials to suspend payments to hospitals and doctors who switch from paper to electronic health records, arguing the program may be wasting billions of tax dollars and doing little to improve the quality of medical care (Schulte, 10/5).

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