Latest Morning Briefing Stories

CMS Faulted By Government Watchdog For Approving Medicaid Work Requirements Without Considering Costs

KHN Morning Briefing

“Without requiring states to submit projections of administrative costs in their demonstration applications, and by not considering the implications of these costs for federal spending, CMS puts its goals of transparency and budget neutrality at risk,” the Government Accountability Office said in the report. The GAO, a nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, found in its report that costs to administer the work requirements range from about $6 million in New Hampshire to $271 million in Kentucky.

Medicaid Expansion Remains A Primary Sticking Point In North Carolina Budget Stalemate

KHN Morning Briefing

North Carolina’s Republican-led state legislature plans to adjourn by Oct. 31, with or without an approved budget. Earlier in the summer, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a budget bill, in part because it did not include Medicaid expansion. In Florida, state Medicaid officials recommend cuts to its program for people with disabilities, though the caps were not as severe as some had initially feared. And in other state budget news, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defends her line-item vetoes.

Idaho Officials Seek Federal Approval For Work Requirements For Medicaid Expansion

KHN Morning Briefing

The waiver — and others expected from Idaho — could take months to process, but “Medicaid expansion will happen on Jan. 1, 2020, regardless of the status of the waivers,” said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokeswoman Niki Forbing-Orr. Other Medicaid news comes from Kansas, West Virginia and Minnesota.

CMS Releases Rules Aimed At Relieving Regulatory Burdens For Hospitals, Home Health Centers

KHN Morning Briefing

The new rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services modify discharge planning requirements and allow health systems to share a centralized staff for quality assessment, performance improvement and infection control programs across several hospitals. CMS also finalized another rule that requires that all hospitals have an antibiotic stewardship program. Meanwhile, health care providers are pushing back against a recent Department of Health and Human Services proposal to expand law enforcement’s access to patient records during a criminal investigation.

Senate Passes Bill To Avoid Government Shutdown; White House Says Trump Will Sign It

KHN Morning Briefing

The federal government’s fiscal year ends Monday and the legislation will provide money to keep the government running. Congress has not yet passed bills to fund individual agencies. Also in news from Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats are seeking a vote to overturn some of the administration’s rules on insurance, consumer groups lobby for legislation to protect against surprise medical bills, the Senate turns down a measure to give federal workers paid family leave and the House passes a bill to improve care for immigrants at the border.