Highlights from The Workers Compensation Research Institute 2019 Annual Issues and Research Conference

February 28-March 1, 2019, marked the 35th annual Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) Issues and Research Conference. The theme of this year’s event, “Breaking Down Barriers to Improve Injured Workers’ Outcomes,” signified two core ideas that were evident in each session. The first was that workers compensation can no longer operate in a silo. As ...

Work Requirement Waiver Approvals Vacated in Kentucky and Arkansas

On March 27, 2019,  Judge James Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued rulings on back-to-back cases addressing work requirement eligibility criteria included in Section 1115 waiver applications submitted by the states of Arkansas and Kentucky. Judge Boasberg again ruled against the implementation of a Medicaid work requirement in Kentucky, while ...

Court Ruling Invalidates Major Provisions of the New Association Health Plan Regulations

On March 28, 2019, Judge John D. Bates of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling invalidating major provisions of last summer’s final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs). The regulations—which were released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on June 19, 2018—established additional and more flexible criteria under ...

Newly-Elected Governors Set Their Sights on Healthcare Reforms

The new year brought changes to state leadership across the nation, with 19 governors newly entering the corner office—seven of whom took over from an administration on the other end of the political spectrum. This refresh has brought a surge of new ideas and energy in the realm of state health policy. Below, we highlight

Insights from the AHIP National Health Policy Conference

Last week, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) held its annual health policy conference (#AHIPPOLICY) in Washington DC, with top industry leaders, regulators and policy makers convened to provide diverse voices and perspectives on today’s most urgent health care issues. The conference themes were familiar and front-of-mind topics: tackling the opioid epidemic, rising prescription drug costs, data ...

2019 Brings Progress on Prescription Drug Cost Control Efforts at State and Federal Level

As states and the federal government grapple with how best to address the issue of rising prescription drug costs, various models have emerged at the federal level that are similar to efforts underway at the State level. The Administration has called upon states to create innovative approaches to state Medicaid programs, particularly by examining value-based ...

Department of Transportation to Establish Committee to Study Air Ambulance Billing Practices

Concern about out-of-pocket costs associated with air ambulance transport has been growing for some time. Groups such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) have advocated for state flexibility to regulate the billing practices of the industry. A small but meaningful step forward came last fall with the passage of a legislative requirement that ...

Health Policy News Hosts Webinar on Annual Exchange Guidance

On February 7, 2019, the Health Policy News team hosted a webinar highlighting the proposed changes outlined in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) long-awaited annual Exchange guidance (proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020 and the 2020 Draft Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Exchanges) released on January 17, 2019. ...

Health Policy News – January 2019

 Introduction As readers are likely aware, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) long-awaited annual Exchange guidance was released on January 17, 2019, and, as in past years, PCG subject matter experts have prepared a summary of notable changes to assist states in parsing through this voluminous guidance. In addition to the summary, PCG ...

CMS Releases Its Long-Awaited Exchange Guidance for 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released first drafts of its long-awaited annual Exchange guidance on January 17, 2019 – the Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020 (NBPP) and the 2020 Draft Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Exchanges (Letter) as well as ancillary guidance (the draft Actuarial Calculator and ...

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