A project of the George Washington University's Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Archive: October 2010

CMS offers preliminary guidance on expansion of Recovery Audit Contractor Program

Posted on October 27, 2010

In a letter to state Medicaid directors, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers preliminary guidance on the expansion of the Recovery Audit Contractors Program under the health reform law, which “amends section 1902(a)(42) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requiring States to establish programs to contract with RACs to audit payments to Medicaid providers by December 31, 2010.” The letter specifies full implementation is expected by April 1, 2011.

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Brookings releases report, “Bending the Curve through Health Reform Implementation”

Posted on October 27, 2010

In a new report, the Brookings Institution makes recommendations on ways to slow the growth of health spending through the implementation of the health reform law. It focuses on three key objectives:

  • Speed payment reforms away from traditional volume-based payment systems so that most health payments in this country align better with quality and efficiency.
  • Implement health insurance exchanges and other insurance reforms in ways that assure most Americans are rewarded with substantial savings when they choose plans that offer higher quality care at lower premiums.
  • Reform coverage so that most Americans can save money and obtain other meaningful benefits when they make decisions that improve their health and reduce costs.
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    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds impact on states of Medicaid expansion overstated

    Posted on October 27, 2010

    InĀ a new report, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities takes on several studies by Milliman, Inc. commissioned by state officials critical of the health reform law. CBPP finds they “produce overstated estimates of the costs of the Medicaid expansion because they rely on a number of problematic assumptions.”

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    HHS makes available $3.9 million for families of children with special health care needs

    Posted on October 27, 2010

    The Department of Health and Human Services is making available $3.9 million in funding made possible by the health reform law to support Family-to-Family Health Information Centers. These are non-profit organizations run by and for families with children with special health care needs.

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    HHS makes available $335 million to community health centers

    Posted on October 27, 2010

    The Department of Health and Human Services has announced $335 million is available to community health centers nationwide through the Expanded Services Initiative. These funds, provided by the health reform law, are to be used to increase access to preventive and primary care.

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    AARP releases study on care management in integrated care for dual eligibles

    Posted on October 26, 2010

    The AARP has released a new study analyzing care management practices in integrated care models serving dual eligibles.

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    NAIC adopts model MLR regulation

    Posted on October 21, 2010

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners today adopted model regulations on medical loss ratios. The health reform law tasks the organization with recommending definitions and methodologies for calculating MLRs to the Department of Health and Human Services. In a statement, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised the NAIC recommendation as “reasonable, achievable for insurers and will help to ensure insurance premiums are, for the most part, supporting health benefits for consumers,” and pledged to issue MLR regulations “in coming weeks.”

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    GAO determines HHS did not violate law with Medicare ads

    Posted on October 20, 2010

    In a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa, the Government Accountability Office explains that HHS did not violate the prohibition on using funds for “publicity or propaganda” when it produced an aired three advertisements on the health reform law’s changes to the Medicare program.

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    HHS announces $30 million in consumer assistance grants

    Posted on October 20, 2010

    The Department of Health and Human Services has announced $30 million in grants to states and territories to support consumer assistance programs. These grants will be used to directly aid consumers with questions or concerns about their health insurance. A fact sheet outlining how each state will use the funds has been posted on HealthCare.gov.

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    CDC creates breast cancer commission

    Posted on October 19, 2010

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced an invitation to 15 people to serve on a new Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, which was created by the health reform law.

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