All posts by Margot Thistle

Margot Thistle, Esq. is a managing editor of Health Policy News who has spent much of her career working directly on Affordable Care Act policy and implementation, including having lead plan management operational and policy planning for Vermont Health Connect, a state-based exchange. During her time at PCG, Ms. Thistle has worked extensively with state insurance departments and state agencies on health policy, market stabilization, and regulatory compliance matters. Ms. Thistle provides broad policy and regulatory support to PCG’s other health care clients across the country, analyzing policy and regulatory developments, providing strategic advice relative to regulatory questions, and drafting policy briefs and position papers. Ms. Thistle still has her admission ticket to the signing of Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006, the historical Massachusetts health reform bill that preceded the ACA.

State Mitigation of COVID-19 Related Costs

On April 25, 2020, Health Affairs published a piece by one of the editors of Health Policy News, entitled “States Should Act Now To Mitigate Commercial Insurance Costs Associated With COVID-19”[1]. The piece focuses on actions states can take to potentially mitigate costs associated with COVID-19—specifically, examining the impact that COVID-19-related health insurance expenditures in ...

Updates on the State-Level Responses to COVID-19

As the U.S. continues battling the COVID-19 pandemic, individual states have enacted policy mandates and taken action to ensure patients have access to medication, healthcare, and COVID-19 testing and treatment—while minimizing barriers to these resources and/or the pre-approval needed to access them. With social distancing and the stay-at-home order still in effect, a nationwide focus ...

An Interview with Retired Deputy Fire Chief Ken Riddle, PCG’s Emergency Medical Services Subject Matter Expert

Health Policy News often features Medicaid-related policy topics; this month, we are featuring the first in a series of pieces that touch on Medicare policy—specifically, Emergency Medical Services (EMS). PCG is fortunate to have retired Las Vegas Deputy Fire Chief Ken Riddle leading our work in this area. We spent time with Ret. Deputy Chief ...

Public Comment Period on Draft Transparency in Coverage Rule Extended Until January 29th

The draft Transparency in Coverage rule was developed by the Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services (hereinafter “the Departments’) and published on November 27, 2019.  This rule was developed in response to the President’s Executive Order on Improving Price and Quality Transparency. The proposed rule applies to group plans and health insurance ...

2020 Prediction: Continued Focus on Ensuring Access to Healthcare, Prescription Drugs, and Healthy Food to Combat Diet-Related Illness

Over the past year, Health Policy News readers were drawn to topics that were top of mind for many policymakers, as well as articles that detailed innovative solutions to complex problems like controlling health costs and expanding access to healthcare. As 2019 comes to a close, this piece revisits these popular topics, providing updates on ...

Verma Announces Proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule at National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) Conference

On November 12th, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma kicked off the NAMD conference by announcing the CMS issuance of the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (CMS-2392-P). In her opening remarks, Administrator Verma indicated that this proposed rule seeks to strengthen the Medicaid program through program integrity measures and equitable funding ...

States Seek to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Services via Telehealth

Passed in October 2018, the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act and its provisions seek to tackle the opioid misuse crisis by encouraging recovery, supporting affected caregivers and families, and encouraging innovation to create long-term solutions. As Health Policy News previously reported, a particularly interesting ...

How Can Communities Support Fresh Produce Programs for Their Citizens?

As we reported in May, funding for a first-of-its-kind Produce Prescription (“Produce RX”) pilot program was included in the 2018 Farm Bill. Produce RX programs seek to connect physicians and patients with vendors that accept prescriptions for fruits and vegetables. The federal government is currently evaluating proposals from organizations hoping to use this funding to launch ...

Bipartisan Federal Surprise Billing Legislation Likely to Pass

Although it has been discussed and debated at the federal level for years, viable bi-partisan surprise billing legislation had not been proposed until recently, in the form of the No Surprises Act (“the Act”). It seems likely that the current federal legislation will pass soon, which would be a first step towards a nationwide approach ...