Hearings Begin on “Medicare for All” Legislation

On June 12, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee conducted its initial hearings on H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019. Introduced by U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) in February, H.R. 1384 would: Provide health coverage for all U.S. residents. Authorize automatic enrollment upon birth or establishment of U.S. ...

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 ...

Eat Your Veggies!

How do we increase the promotion of produce prescriptions in the never-ending quest to implement and integrate social determinants of health? As of 2010, diet has surpassed smoking as the leading cause of death for Americans—which translates to hundreds of billions of dollars being spent to combat diseases stemming from poor health and diet. Data ...

Recent Developments in State Health Policy

This month, we’re sharing important developments in two state health policy efforts we covered previously: state efforts to advance a public option (with major developments coming out of the state of Washington) and Tennessee’s pursuit of a Medicaid Block Grant. Read on for more information about how recently-passed legislation in these states has advanced major ...

New Guidance on Association Health Plans

The standards for Association Health Plans (AHPs) continue to be in flux at the Federal level following the Federal District Court ruling at the end of March that invalidated major portions of last summer’s final Federal rule on AHPs. Since the final rule was already in effect for fully insured AHPs and existing self-insured AHPs, ...

Health Policy News – April 2019

Introduction In this month’s edition of Health Policy News, we delve into two of last month’s breaking Federal litigation updates: the decisions issued in cases regarding the Association Health Plan Final Rule and the use and operationalization of Medicaid work requirements. As both decisions reverse course on recent health policy developments, we analyze their likely ...

CMS Releases the Final 2020 Exchange Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released final annual Exchange guidance for 2020 on April 18, 2019, via the Final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020 (NBPP) and the 2020 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Exchanges (Letter) as well as ancillary guidance. CMS’s stated goals for this year’s guidance are: ...

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 ...

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