June 8, 2018



In This Issue
Fast Facts
Senate Cancels Majority of August Recess to Focus on Judicial Nominations
HHS Secretary Testifies on Agency’s Priorities and Market Stability Regulatory Efforts
House Holds Hearing on HSA Improvements
NAHU’s Healthcare Happy Hour Unpacks a Week of Hearings, Announcements and Primaries
Garden State Passes Individual Mandate after Administration Zeroes out Penalties
Register Now for the “Live from NAHU” Webinar on June 21
HUPAC Roundup
What We’re Reading
Tools
E-mail the Editor
Visit the NAHU Website
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What We’re Reading

C-A-P-S CAPS-CAPS-CAPS! We tip our caps to the Washington Capitals for winning their first Stanley Cup, after defeating the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 last night.

  • One of the Trump Administration’s main action items in their “America First” prescription drug plan would require pharmaceutical companies to disclose the list price of drugs in their advertising. But would that do anything to reduce the consumer costs?
  • CMS announced that the Medicare trust fund will no longer be able to meet its obligations three years sooner than previously projected, due largely to higher Medicare Advantage reimbursements and reduced revenues from payroll and Social Security taxes
  • A report by the HHS inspector general finds that despite a decrease in the volume of prescriptiondrugs between 2011-15, Medicare spending on the drugs increased by 77%, led largely by increases in the costs of brand-name drugs.
  • Kaiser released a tracking poll on healthcare ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, finding that, contrary to the past four federal election cycles, it is Democrats who are most charged over the issue of healthcare while Republicans have reduced its importance.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has scrapped much of the August recess and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to use that time on legislation addressing the cost of healthcare.
  • Maine Governor Paul LePage has been ordered by the state’s superior court to expand their Medicaid program. Voters approved a ballot measure last year to expand the program after the state legislature had passed measures that were then vetoed by the governor. The court ruling declared the ballot effort “clear and unambiguous” for the state to expand its program.
  • CMS will begin releasing a first-ever scorecard of the performance of each state’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs.
  • A new analysis of the Healthy Indiana Plan, the Hoosier State’s Medicaid expansion crafted by now-Vice President Mike Pence and CMS Administrator Seema Verma, shows that it led to “unquestionable” coverage gains, but that they lagged behind neighboring states of Ohio and Michigan that didn’t opt for work requirements and premium payments.
  • Big data is already analyzing your risk of developing health conditions by using credit reports, marriage and divorce records, criminal history, voting frequency, shopping patterns, and other lifestyle information that it already has on 280 million Americans.
  • One option that rural hospitals facing closure are considering is to bill patients who never set foot into the facility for lab tests, by expanding their virtual care and telemedicine operations.
  • After listening to the NAHU Healthcare Happy Hour podcast, check out this week’s Politico Pulse Check with special guest Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) as he reviews his latest proposal to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system.
  • Illinois may be looking to curb the opioid crisis by allowing physicians to prescribe marijuana instead of traditional prescription painkillers.
  • The Trump Administration released data showing that the Obama-era Partnership for Patients campaign helped save 8,000 lives and nearly $3 billion in health costs from 2014-16, with other estimates showing 95,000 lives saved and $23 billion in reduced costs from 2010-16.
  • After the San Francisco city council banned the sale of flavored tobacco, the industry spent millions in a campaign that pushed the issue to voters. But those voters, by a more than two-to-one margin, overwhelmingly sided with the city to uphold the ban.
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