NAHU Washington Update - 05/24/2019  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Fast Facts
•  Senate Committee Releases Draft Legislation to Require Broker-Compensation Disclosure
•  NAHU Seeks Passage of Employee Flexibility Act
•  House Holds Hearings on Surprise Billing and Single-Payer Costs
•  State Spotlight: Louisiana Finalizes Its “Netflix Model” to Tackle Drug Prices
•  Healthcare Happy Hour: Don’t Be Surprised by this Week’s Topic
•  Register Now for the “Live from NAHU” Webinar on June 20
•  HUPAC Roundup: Special Elections Held to Get Closer to a Full House
•  What We’re Reading


What We’re Reading

As we head out for weekend parades, barbeques and pool parties, we also honor those who paid the ultimate price...

The Old Guard placed more than 228,000 “flags in” at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, signaling the start of the Memorial Day holiday. As we head out for weekend parades, barbeques and pool parties, we also honor those who paid the ultimate price in service of our country.

  • For the story behind “flags in,” check out this article.

  • Trying to wrap your head around all of the surprise billing legislation? Kaiser Health News has you covered.

  • CMS announced its latest round of navigator funding for 2020, keeping the program budget flat at $10 million for the coming year, with a minimum of $100,000 available to each of the 34 federal marketplace states.

  • The Alliance to Fight the 40 welcomed four new members this week: Families USA, Public Sector HealthCare Roundtable, the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans and the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.

  • Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have garnered a lot of attention for their efforts to address surprise billing, but they are also looking to bring more transparency to hospital contracts by banning gag clauses that prevent facilities from disclosing if treatment may cost less elsewhere.

  • CMS issued a memo to Medicare Part D plan sponsors that they shouldn’t expect the final rebating rule before June 4, when 2020 contract bids are due. It is unclear if the rule will be finalized with enough time for it to be effective for next year.

  • A poll by Arnold Ventures finds that 95% of Americans are in favor of allowing Medicare to negotiate for drugs that have no market competitors, and four-in-five respondents favor reimporting drugs from Canada.

  • The Congressional Budget Office released an updated report from 2007, affirming its position that government negotiations of drug pricing in Medicare Part D wouldn’t save money unless it is accompanied by pressure on drug manufacturers.

  • A report by the Commonwealth Fund finds that spending on premiums and out-of-pocket costs for households enrolled in employer-based plans ranged from a median of $1,500 in Hawaii to $5,540 in South Dakota in 2016 and 2017.

  • A group of more than 200 economists endorsed the Medicare-for-All bills pending in Congress, claiming they would reduce healthcare costs compared to the existing system.

  • This week’s “What the Health” podcast looks at whether the Medicare-for-All movement has been losing momentum in recent weeks as divisions in the Democratic caucus grow, with many turning their focus on how to increase coverage through existing programs.

  • The Washington Post looked at the claim that taking aspirin daily will prevent heart attacks and strokes after the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association found little benefit of doing so.

  • How low are you setting the office thermostat? A room that is too cold may be harming productivity in the office, especially for women.

  • Wearable technology remains the rage these days, and Amazon is looking to bring it to the next step with a device that can read human emotions.