MHA Today | June 9, 2016

June 9, 2016
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders




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In This Issue
Medicaid Eligibility Change Signed Into Law
Nixon Signs Bills On FRA, Infection Control, Telemedicine and Pharmacy
U.S. Senators Voice Concern About Opioid Antidote Pricing
CMS Announces Medicare Home Health Prior Authorization Demonstration
House Energy And Commerce Committee Approves Preparedness Bill
CMS Updates Short-Stay Patient Status Reviews
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
HHS Releases Zika Resource Guide
APS Provides Educational Offerings

Advocate
state and federal health policy developments


Medicaid Eligibility Change Signed Into Law

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

Gov. Jay Nixon has approved House Bill 1565 from the 2016 session of the Missouri General Assembly. The legislation expands eligibility for Medicaid coverage by increasing the value of assets that may be held without jeopardizing the eligibility of those who are blind, aged or disabled. The increase will be phased-in. The asset limit has not been changed since 1968. The new law is projected to extend Medicaid eligibility to 10,000 new cases through fiscal year 2022.

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Nixon Signs Bills On FRA, Infection Control, Telemedicine and Pharmacy

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

Gov. Jay Nixon has approved four health-related bills from the 2016 session of the Missouri General Assembly. The bills reauthorize the hospital FRA and other state provider taxes (HB 1534), update and eliminate duplicative reporting of hospital infection control data (SB 579), create new standards for the use of telemedicine (SB 579), regulate insurers’ use of step therapy in making drug coverage decisions (HB 2029), and create a process for pharmacists to dispense a less expensive biological product if it is interchangeable with the brand name product originally prescribed (SB 875). Additional details about the bills are available in MHA’s issue brief summarizing the outcomes of the legislative session.

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U.S. Senators Voice Concern About Opioid Antidote Pricing

Staff Contacts: Daniel Landon or Leslie Porth

The chair and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging have written five pharmaceutical manufacturers about potential price-gouging for the drug naloxone, which is used as an antidote for opioid overdoses. Both Congress and the Missouri General Assembly have taken action to promote access to naloxone by removing regulatory impediments and/or enabling deeper price discounts. Sparked by media reports of 17-fold price increases and hospital shortages, the senators asked each of the manufacturers to respond. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is the committee’s ranking member.

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CMS Announces Medicare Home Health Prior Authorization Demonstration

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced a three-year demonstration project to require prior authorization of Medicare home health services. It will be implemented in five states ― Illinois, Florida, Texas, Michigan and Massachusetts ― because of “high incidences of fraud and improper payments for these services.” The agency also released a fact sheet. Responding to an earlier regulatory solicitation of comments about the potential administrative burden, MHA expressed concerns about the proposal.

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House Energy And Commerce Committee Approves Preparedness Bill

Staff Contact: Jackie Gatz or Daniel Landon

Yesterday, HR 3299 — the Strengthening Public Health Emergency Response Act ― was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee. The legislation includes a provision requiring the Government Accountability Office to review and report on state, local and hospital preparedness programs, including the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response Hospital Preparedness Program. The GAO’s engagement will provide additional oversight to ensure that federal funds are being used appropriately to meet the intent of such preparedness programs, which includes building medical surge capacity and enhancing response capability of hospitals, health systems and health care coalitions.

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Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care


CMS Updates Short-Stay Patient Status Reviews

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services previously announced a temporary pause in quality improvement organizations’ initial patient status reviews, focusing on short stays. CMS now has updated the announcement by providing FAQ responses and links to additional information about the pause. CMS stated that the temporary suspension of short-term patient stays could last through the end of July.

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MLN Connects Provider eNews Available

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues updates to MLN Connects Provider eNews. eNews includes information about national provider calls, meetings, events, announcements and other MLN educational product updates. The latest issue provides updates and summaries of the following.

  • 2017 ICD-10-PCS updates
  • Medicare makes enhancements to the shared savings program to strengthen incentives for quality care
  • new program for evaluating payment patterns electronic report for short-term acute care hospitals and June 21 webinar
  • home health quality of patient care star ratings technical expert panel summary available
  • quality measures and the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act call


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Quality and Population Health


HHS Releases Zika Resource Guide

Staff Contact: Jackie Gatz

Planning resources for Zika are available to health care providers and health care coalitions through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. While the virus does not present similar challenges to other infectious disease outbreaks, early recognition and warning to specific patient populations, such as pregnant women, are essential. The guide provides tools for engaging specialty providers and social services not routinely involved with health care preparedness efforts. Additional preparedness resources for providers and coalitions can be found on The Technical Resources, Assistance Center and Information Exchange (TRACIE) and MHAnet.

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Noteworthy


APS Provides Educational Offerings

Staff Contact: Mary Becker

APS and the National Healthcare Career Network are hosting a webinar, “Step Up Your Talent Recruitment With MOHealthJobs,” at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 14. The webinar will review the MOHealthJobs online career center and its new digital and social enhancements. Register online.

APS and Doximity are hosting a webinar, “Innovative Physician Recruitment,” at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 16. The webinar will review cost-effective ways to recruit the right physician. Register online.

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Consider This ...

Major depression affects about 3 percent of children ages six to 12 years and about 6 percent of teenagers ages 13 to 18.

Source: AP/U.S. News & World Report