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MAP Rural Health Workgroup Final Roster
The National Quality Forum's (NQF) Rural Health Workgroup's roster has been finalized. This workgroup was created to advise the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on issues related to measurement challenges in the rural population and to identify rural-relevant measures and gaps in measurement. The Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) Coordinating Committee provides oversight for this workgroup. (Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center - November 22, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Reimbursement Cuts on Lab Tests Pressure US Lab Firm Shares Reimbursement Cuts on Lab Tests Pressure US Lab Firm Shares
A federal agency on Friday rolled out deep cuts to reimbursement rates for some lab tests under Medicare, a move that could save the government as much as $3 billion over five years, but hurt margins of U.S. laboratory companies.Reuters Health Information (Source: Medscape Pathology Headlines)
Source: Medscape Pathology Headlines - November 21, 2017 Category: Pathology Tags: Pathology & Lab Medicine News Source Type: news

HCR ManorCare Gets Respite From Dropped Medicare Fraud Lawsuit HCR ManorCare Gets Respite From Dropped Medicare Fraud Lawsuit
The U.S. Justice Department withdrew a Medicare fraud lawsuit against HCR ManorCare, removing a cloud over one the largest U.S. nursing home chains as it nears a deadline to settle a legal dispute with its landlord.Reuters Health Information (Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines)
Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines - November 21, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Family Medicine/Primary Care News Source Type: news

How the finalized Medicare reimbursement rates impact LabCorp
Labcorp's shares rebound slightly after falling following the release of the 2018 reimbursement rates. (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Physician Practices headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Physician Practices headlines - November 21, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Jessica Seaman Source Type: news

Medicare, Medicaid And Long-Term Care: Your Questions Answered
Here is what Medicare and Medicaid do and don't cover for long-term care costs. You may be surprised and may want to plot a long-term care strategy. (Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News)
Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News - November 21, 2017 Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: Richard Eisenberg, Contributor Source Type: news

CMS National Training Program Learning Series Webinar
December 14, 2017 1:00-2:30pm ET. This webinar will provide an overview of Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace. (Source: HSR Information Central)
Source: HSR Information Central - November 21, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Medicare offers improved access to high-quality health coverage choices in 2018
CMS released the Star Ratings for the 2018 Medicare health and drug plans, as well as the benefit and premium information for Medicare. (Source: HSR Information Central)
Source: HSR Information Central - November 21, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program; Medicare Part B Monthly Actuarial Rates, Premium Rates, and Annual Deductible Beginning January 1, 2018
Presents the calendar year 2018 monthly actuarial rates for aged and disabled beneficiaries enrolled in part B of the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) program. Also announces the monthly premium for aged and disabled beneficiaries, the deductible for 2018, and the income-related monthly adjustment amounts to be paid by beneficiaries with modified adjusted gross income above certain threshold amounts. Rates become effective on January 1, 2018. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 21, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program; CY 2018 Inpatient Hospital Deductible and Hospital and Extended Care Services Coinsurance Amounts
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing the inpatient hospital deductible, and hospital and extended care services coinsurance amounts for services furnished under Medicare Part A during calendar year (CY) 2018. The updated deductible and coinsurance amounts take effect January 1, 2018. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 21, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program; CY 2018 Part A Premiums for the Uninsured Aged and for Certain Disabled Individuals Who Have Exhausted Other Entitlement
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing the calendar year (CY) 2018 Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) premium for uninsured enrollees who are not otherwise eligible and for certain individuals who have exhausted other entitlement. Effective January 1, 2018, the CY 2018 monthly premium for the uninsured aged and certain disabled individuals is $422, and the reduced premium for certain eligible individuals is $232. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 21, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Massachusetts Grabs Spotlight By Proposing New Twist On Medicaid Drug Coverage
Highlights the Massachusetts state Medicaid program's demonstration proposal, submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The proposal would allow the state to negotiate discounts for prescription drugs and to exclude drugs with limited treatment value. Discusses possible ramifications if this proposal were approved and implemented. (Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center - November 21, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Trump Administration Moves to Alter Drug Discount Program That Many Rural Hospitals Rely On
Details the 340B prescription drug program that allows hospitals serving low-income patients to buy medication at a discount and sell it to local pharmacies in order to bolster their bottom lines. In rural areas, this program has prevented hospital closures. A final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2018 would reduce funding for hospitals in the program. Includes commentary from both those who support and those who oppose the rule. (Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center - November 21, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Internists offer recommendations to improve CMS's approach to testing new payment models
(American College of Physicians) While the American College of Physicians (ACP) is supportive of the role that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) plays in the move toward value-based payment models, it has concerns about elements of its plans to test new payment models. In a letter sent in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Innovation Center New Direction Request for Information (RFI), ACP expressed concern about the agency's shift toward testing 'consumer-directed and market-based' innovation models. (Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science)
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - November 21, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Medicare Part B Increase Will Consume Retirees ’ Entire COLA, Warns...
Despite an increase in the Cost of Living Adjustment for Social Security recipients, those who automatically pay their Medicare Part B premiums will likely not see an increase in their monthly...(PRWeb November 21, 2017)Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/11/prweb14942691.htm (Source: PRWeb: Medical Pharmaceuticals)
Source: PRWeb: Medical Pharmaceuticals - November 21, 2017 Category: Pharmaceuticals Source Type: news

CMS Resources Help Practice, Patients Transition to New Cards
CMS is offering physicians free resources to help prepare patients for the new Medicare cards that are coming in April 2018. (Source: AAFP News)
Source: AAFP News - November 20, 2017 Category: Primary Care Source Type: news

Comments from Richard Besser, MD, on Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center New Direction on Patient-Centered Care and Market-Driven Reforms
Comments were submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, by Richard Besser, MD, RWJF President and CEO, in response to the agency’s request for comments. (Source: RWJF - News Releases)
Source: RWJF - News Releases - November 20, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Tags: Health Care Quality Health Coverage Health Care Cost and Value Source Type: news

Comments from Richard Besser, MD, on Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center New Direction on Patient-Centered Care and Market-Driven Reforms
Comments were submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, by Richard Besser, MD, RWJF President and CEO, in response to the agency’s request for comments. (Source: RWJF News Digest - Quality of Care)
Source: RWJF News Digest - Quality of Care - November 20, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Tags: Health Care Quality Health Coverage Health Care Cost and Value Source Type: news

AAFP Summarizes 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
Because few family physicians have time to read all 396 pages of the 2018 final Medicare physician fee schedule, the AAFP has released a four-page executive summary. (Source: AAFP News)
Source: AAFP News - November 20, 2017 Category: Primary Care Source Type: news

Medicare Monday: PhRMA ’s comments on new direction for CMMI
Today, PhRMA submitted its comments in response to the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services (CMS) request for information on the future of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). While well intentioned, CMMI ’s current flexibility to make far-reaching changes has raised a number of concerns about large-scale mandatory demonstrations developed without stakeholder input, such as theproposed Part B drug payment model that was recently withdrawn. We welcome the Administration ’s call for feedback and look forward to working with them on the evolution of CMMI. Here are some of our suggestions ...
Source: The Catalyst - November 20, 2017 Category: Pharmaceuticals Tags: Medicare CMMI Source Type: news

HCR ManorCare gets respite from dropped Medicare fraud lawsuit
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department withdrew a Medicare fraud lawsuit against HCR ManorCare, removing a cloud over one the largest U.S. nursing home chains as it nears a deadline to settle a legal dispute with its landlord. (Source: Reuters: Health)
Source: Reuters: Health - November 20, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: healthNews Source Type: news

DHS Requesting Five-Year Extension for BadgerCare Reform Demonstration Waiver
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is requesting a five-year extension for its currentSection 1115 BadgerCare Reform Demonstration Project Waiver. The current waiver expires on December 31, 2018, and per federal regulations, DHS must submit an extension request one year in advance of the waiver expiration. Per direction from the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services (CMS), the request is being added to the current waiver...(see release) (Source: Wisconsin DHFS Press Releases)
Source: Wisconsin DHFS Press Releases - November 20, 2017 Category: Hospital Management Authors: millejcodn Source Type: news

Oregon faces another $112M worth of health questions
The $74 million related to Medicare-Medicaid "dual eligibles" appears to be the tip of the iceberg. (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care News Headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care News Headlines - November 20, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: Elizabeth Hayes Source Type: news

Reimbursement cuts on lab tests pressure U.S. lab firm shares
(Reuters) - A federal agency on Friday rolled out deep cuts to reimbursement rates for some lab tests under Medicare, a move that could save the government as much as $3 billion over five years, but hurt margins of U.S. laboratory companies. (Source: Reuters: Health)
Source: Reuters: Health - November 20, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: healthNews Source Type: news

2018 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles
Fact sheet outlines the 2018 premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for the Medicare Part A and Part B programs. (Source: HSR Information Central)
Source: HSR Information Central - November 20, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

CMS Innovation Center Medicare Quality Payment Program Year 2 Final Rule - All-Payer Combination Option Webinar
November 29, 2017 3:00-4:00pm ET. (Source: HSR Information Central)
Source: HSR Information Central - November 20, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Oregon faces another $112M worth of health questions
The $74 million related to Medicare-Medicaid "dual eligibles" appears to be the tip of the iceberg. (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Pharmaceuticals headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Pharmaceuticals headlines - November 20, 2017 Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: Elizabeth Hayes Source Type: news

What's Next for Medicare Provider Payment?
December 1, 2017 12:00-1:30pm ET; Washington, DC. (Source: HSR Information Central)
Source: HSR Information Central - November 20, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Program: Contract Year 2019 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-for-Service, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, and the PACE Program
Proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would revise Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D) regulations to implement certain provisions contained in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act. The proposed rule also clarifies the "any willing pharmacy" requirement, which may work to support independent community pharmacies often found in rural areas, and improve rural beneficiaries' access to specialty drugs. Comments regarding provisions of the rule must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on January...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 20, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Program: Medicare Part B Monthly Actuarial Rates, Premium Rates, and Annual Deductible Beginning January 1, 2018
Presents the calendar year 2018 monthly actuarial rates for aged and disabled beneficiaries enrolled in part B of the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) program. Also announces the monthly premium for aged and disabled beneficiaries, the deductible for 2018, and the income-related monthly adjustment amounts to be paid by beneficiaries with modified adjusted gross income above certain threshold amounts. Rates become effective on January 1, 2018, and final publication in the Federal Register is scheduled for November 21, 2017. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 20, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Program: CY 2018 Inpatient Hospital Deductible and Hospital and Extended Care Services Coinsurance Amounts
Pre-publication notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing the inpatient hospital deductible, and hospital and extended care services coinsurance amounts for services furnished under Medicare Part A during calendar year (CY) 2018. The updated deductible and coinsurance amounts take effect January 1, 2018, and final publication in the Federal Register is scheduled for November 21, 2017. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 20, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Program: CY 2018 Part A Premiums for the Uninsured Aged and for Certain Disabled Individuals Who Have Exhausted Other Entitlement
Pre-publication notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing the calendar year (CY) 2018 Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) premium for uninsured enrollees who are not otherwise eligible and for certain individuals who have exhausted other entitlement. The CY 2018 monthly premium for the uninsured aged and certain disabled individuals is $422, and the reduced premium for certain eligible individuals is $232. Rates take effect January 1, 2018, and final publication in the Federal Register is scheduled for November 21, 2017. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - November 20, 2017 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

News on Medicare Insurance, Healthy Living, Brain Health
AARP Logo. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps people 50 and older improve the quality of their lives. About AARP · AARP Press Center ... (Source: AARP.org News)
Source: AARP.org News - November 20, 2017 Category: American Health Source Type: news

American College of Rheumatology responds to CMS Innovation Center request for information
(American College of Rheumatology) The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove barriers that make it difficult for subspecialists and providers in small practices to participate in alternative payment models (APMs) in a comments letter submitted in response to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Innovation Center New Direction Request for Information. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - November 20, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Most older adults prefer to participate in medical decisions
(American Academy of Family Physicians) Although most older Americans prefer to actively participate in making health care decisions, those with four or more chronic conditions are less likely to prefer active decision making. Researchers analyzed a random sample of 2,017 older adults who, with sample weights, represented approximately 33 million Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - November 20, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Survey Finds Seniors Struggle to Understand Medicare Plans
by Randy Lilleston, AARP, November 16, 2017|Comments: 0. Seniors shop harder for cable TV than Medicare. Gallery Stock. A new survey found that older  ... (Source: AARP.org News)
Source: AARP.org News - November 18, 2017 Category: American Health Source Type: news

Higher premiums for outpatient coverage for many on Medicare
The government says higher monthly premiums for outpatient coverage await many Medicare beneficiaries next year (Source: ABC News: Health)
Source: ABC News: Health - November 18, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Health Source Type: news

Medicare 'Part B' premiums to rise next year for many
Many Medicare beneficiaries will pay higher monthly premiums next year for outpatient coverage (Source: ABC News: Health)
Source: ABC News: Health - November 17, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Health Source Type: news

The Rising Medicare Scams You Need To Know About
In the latest Medicare scams, crooks attempt to gather personal information and swindle people, including by purchasing pricey replacement Medicare cards. (Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News)
Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News - November 17, 2017 Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: Next Avenue, Contributor Source Type: news

Developing a New Score: How Machine Learning Improves Risk Prediction
Composite risk scores have been used for decades to identify disease risk and health status in the general population. However, current approaches often fail to identify people who would benefit from intervention or recommend unnecessary intervention. Machine learning promises to improve accuracy, ensuring targeted treatment for patients that need it and reducing unnecessary intervention. Framingham Risk Score, the gold standard for predicting the likelihood of heart disease, predicts hospitalizations with about 56% accuracy. It uses factors such as age, gender, smoking, cholesterol levels, and systolic blood pre...
Source: MDDI - November 17, 2017 Category: Medical Devices Authors: Heather R. Johnson Tags: R & D Source Type: news

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll - November 2017: The Politics of Health Insurance Coverage, ACA Open Enrollment
The latest KFF health tracking poll looks at open enrollment coverage, opinion of the ACA, and support for a Medicare buy-in proposal. (Source: HSR Information Central)
Source: HSR Information Central - November 17, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Tax Reform Bill Will Bankrupt Community Oncology Centers Tax Reform Bill Will Bankrupt Community Oncology Centers
If Congress passes it, the tax reform bill could cut $25 billion from Medicare, which would drive many community oncology practices into bankrupcy.Medscape Medical News (Source: Medscape Today Headlines)
Source: Medscape Today Headlines - November 17, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Hematology-Oncology News Source Type: news

CMS Proposes Policy Changes and Updates for Medicare Advantage and the Prescription Drug Benefit Program for Contract Year 2019 (CMS-4182-P)
CMS has issued a proposed rule with comment period that proposes to update Medicare Advantage (MA) and the prescription drug benefit program (Part D) by promoting innovation and empowering MA and Part D sponsors with new tools to improve quality of care and provide more plan choices for MA and Part D enrollees. (Source: HSR Information Central)
Source: HSR Information Central - November 17, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

CMS proposes policies to lower the cost of prescription drugs and combat the opioid crisis
CMS has issued a proposed rule that includes a number of changes that, if finalized, will ensure that Part D Medicare enrollees have access to more affordable prescription drugs and more robust prescription drug coverage at the pharmacy they prefer. The rule also gives health plans a new tool to combat the opioid crisis. (Source: HSR Information Central)
Source: HSR Information Central - November 17, 2017 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Trump administration proposes Medicare rules aimed at opioids, drug costs
(Reuters) - The Trump administration on Thursday proposed changes to Medicare drug plans including limits on opioid prescriptions and rules aimed at reducing drug costs for seniors, such as requiring health insurers to pass on discounts to consumers. (Source: Reuters: Health)
Source: Reuters: Health - November 17, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: healthNews Source Type: news

Hospital-Employed Physicians Soaked Medicare, Study Says Hospital-Employed Physicians Soaked Medicare, Study Says
Payment differentials based on location have motivated hospitals to acquire medical practices, according to the Physicians Advocacy Institute. But Medicare reimbursement policies are changing.Medscape Medical News (Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines)
Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines - November 16, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Family Medicine/Primary Care News Source Type: news

CMS data shows PatientPing's ACO users are saving more
National data sets from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reveal that Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that use PatientPing, a care coordination platform, have seen higher savings than other ACOs, the company reported. (Source: mobihealthnews)
Source: mobihealthnews - November 16, 2017 Category: Information Technology Source Type: news

South Jersey ACO nets $3.5M Medicare shared savings check
No other local ACO qualified for a Medicare shared savings program payment in 2016. (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care News Headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care News Headlines - November 16, 2017 Category: Health Management Authors: John George Source Type: news

CMS Administrator Seema Verma To Outline Her Three-Year Plan At 2017 Forbes Healthcare Summit
Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a key figure in the future of the Affordable Care Act, will be interviewed live on-stage at the Forbes Healthcare Summit by Forbes Opinion Editor Avik Roy on November 30. (Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News)
Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News - November 16, 2017 Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: Matthew Herper, Forbes Staff Tags: NASDAQ:BLUE NYSE:UNH NYSE:NVS NYSE:LLY NASDAQ:ONCE Source Type: news

CMS Administrator Seema Verma To Outline Her Plan At 2017 Forbes Healthcare Summit
Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a key figure in the future of the Affordable Care Act, will be interviewed live on-stage at the Forbes Healthcare Summit by Forbes Opinion Editor Avik Roy on November 30. (Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News)
Source: Forbes.com Healthcare News - November 16, 2017 Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: Matthew Herper, Forbes Staff Tags: NASDAQ:BLUE NYSE:UNH NYSE:NVS NYSE:LLY NASDAQ:ONCE Source Type: news