Health Policy News – Summer 2020

As the nation remains in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, PCG’s Health Policy News team continues to provide readers with updates regarding pandemic-related health policy developments. This year’s summer edition features the latest news from the federal level related to COVID-19 coverage, state waivers and efforts relative to health disparities.

In light of a recent uptick in policy developments unrelated to COVID-19, we also provide a roundup of broader health policy developments, including information about several recent regulatory proposals.

Our last piece features the perspective of HPN author Margot Thistle on some best practices and lessons learned from PCG’s recent experiences helping states implement contact tracing programs.

COVID-19-Related Policy Developments Continue at the Federal Level

As the country continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies continue to provide guidance to states and providers as they respond to the pandemic. As in the past several months, our first article this month aggregates the latest updates from the federal level, including those relative to Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) guidance; state Section 1115 and Section 1135 Waivers; private insurance guidance; and health disparities. Click here to catch up on the latest developments.

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Roundup of Recent Federal Health Policy Developments

While the COVID-19 pandemic remains the center of everyone’s attention and most policy developments at the federal level, there has been a recent uptick in health policy developments unrelated to the pandemic.

Our second article includes a brief snapshot of recent regulatory developments, including the much-awaited final Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Rule and proposed rules on telehealth and Medicare home health; health reimbursement arrangements; and grandfathered plans. These proposed rules are still open for public comment.
We also share updates on the recent proposed rule relative to value-based purchasing arrangements and Medicaid drug reimbursement (for which the comment period closed earlier this month). Click here to learn more about each of these developments.

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Insights from the Front Lines of Contact Tracing

States across the country are experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 infections and seeing small clusters of outbreaks as we simultaneously seek to reopen more of our economy and communities. Contact tracing and case investigations are the best tool we have at our disposal to stop the spread of COVID-19, and until such time as an effective vaccine is widely available both in volume and pricing, it is essentially our only tool. Click here to read a few lessons learned and key takeaways from PCG’s experience working on contact tracing efforts that we wanted to share with our readers.

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