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In other news: Hospitals using artificial intelligence in end-of-life care; new doctors; and health centers merge in Boston neighborhood.
The publicly available tool, funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, may help companies trying to set their premiums for 2021. In other news, insurers offer new options for COVID-19 testing.
The measure must still be approved by the House. With just hours left to go before the program was slated to end, senators agreed to give the Small Business Administration the ability to keep approving Paycheck Protection Program loans until Aug. 8. News outlets also detail the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
The pharmaceutical giant says the regulations keep Pfizer from helping seniors to pay for an expensive heart condition drug. In other pharmaceutical news, drugmakers are teaming up in a new $1 billion for-profit venture to invest in small antibiotic companies.
According to a proposed rule, CMS would permanently allow telehealth costs to be reimbursable for home health agencies. And CMS’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced an extension for its pilot Medicare Care Choices Model program.
Republican lawmakers said they wished that in some instances President Donald Trump would wear a mask so that the general public would follow his example. Meanwhile, Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas — a state where cases are skyrocketing — say they don’t understand the administration’s decision to cut federal support of drive-thru testing sites.
The federal government plans to withdraw support for COVID-19 testing sites located in five states by the end of this month. Trump administration officials say that operations of facilities still open will be transferred to state or local governments. Seven of those sites are in Texas, where a record number of confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are being reported.
The American Hospital Association argued that the administration did not have the legal authority to force facilities to reveal prices that were negotiated with insurers. The outcome of the negotiations have long been closely guarded by both sides, but the Trump administration sees transparency as a way to force down health care costs.
Hospitals are arguing for more time to repay federal aid, but experts say many of them will be fine if everything goes according to schedule. Meanwhile, Politico looks at the role consulting firm McKinsey is playing in the distribution of CARES Act funds for hospitals.
The Washington Post and ProPublica report on stories of how U.S. efforts to test for the coronavirus have been hampered by bad equipment that yielded false results. Meanwhile, other testing questions persist, such as, who pays? News outlets report on other tracking and test developments.
The changes would allow commercial health insurers to enter into “value-based” payment schemes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services say.
Officials also said that they expect health insurers to cover the vaccine without any copays and that the administration plans to distribute a vaccine on a tiered system, prioritizing those who are most at risk of infection.
Tens of millions of Americans have lost jobs–and health care coverage–in recent months creating a crisis where patients who need care aren’t going because they can’t afford it. In other health industry news: charity care, health care worker job losses, new affiliations and inpatient rehab.
Editorial pages focus on this topic and other public health topics.
Read about the biggest pharmaceutical development and pricing stories from the past week in KHN’s Prescription Drug Watch roundup.
State officials say their budgets may not be able to handle the number of people enrolling in Medicaid after losing their jobs and health benefits. Meanwhile, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission urges Congress to loosen enrollment restrictions for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Media outlets report on news from California, District of Columbia, Texas, Wyoming and Georgia.
After getting lifesaving treatment for COVID-19, some patients are being sent eye-popping medical bills. While the hospitals and insurers say that is a mistake, the confusion over costs in the midst of the pandemic persists. In other health industry news: hospitals’ survival and payments.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) only offered a vague statement about the plan, but said the changes will help lower premiums and co-pays. In other health industry news: ER bill mark-ups, insurance coverage during a pandemic and hospital stocks.