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CMS warned state Medicaid programs in 2015 that they may be violating federal law by restricting access to hepatitis C medicines, but restrictions are still in place for many states. Other Medicaid news comes out of California, Tennessee and Michigan.
Editorial writers focus on policies impacting rising health care costs.
NPR looks at the five biggest changes made beneath the Trump administration, including the zeroing out of the individual mandate and allowing the addition of work requirements to some states’ Medicaid programs.
The rule that has sparked fierce pushback would allow immigration officials to consider whether a person is using federal aid programs, such as Medicaid, when deciding on their green card eligibility. While three separate judges ruled against the policy, many expect it to eventually land in front of the Supreme Court.
All three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had pointed questions from Trump administration lawyers during oral arguments on the legality of allowing states to add work requirements to their Medicaid programs.
“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.
Media outlets report on news from Florida, New Hampshire, Wyoming, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Massachusetts, Iowa and Louisiana.
While CMS is encouraging states to think creatively about ways to create flexibility within their Medicaid programs, its not a carte blanche invitation. Medicaid news comes out of Kentucky as well.
Opinion writers weigh in about health care issues.
Although the information is already available to people, CMS says that currently it’s difficult to access and understand. In other Medicare news: President Donald Trump’s new executive order may have unintended consequences and a price comparison tool is missing just as enrollment nears.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
Media outlets report on news from North Carolina, California, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, Massachusetts, Iowa, Minnesota and West Virginia.
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.
To report on the growing problem, The Washington Post spotlights communities in Texas — where 159 of the state’s 254 counties have no general surgeons, 121 have no medical specialists, and 35 have no doctors at all. More news on rural health conditions comes out of Minnesota and Oklahoma.
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.
Among the states that received the grants are Ohio, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
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.
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.
Editorial writers weigh in on these public health issues and others.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.