Washington Update - October 27, 2017

On the Horizon

  • The House plans to hold a vote next week to extend the Children's Health Insurance Program, Teaching Health Centers GME, the National Health Service Corps and other public health programs.
  • On October 31, the Senate HELP Committee will have a hearing on the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act.

Washington Update - Full Report

Download this week's report(1 page PDF).

Take Action

Urge Congress to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Without prompt action, states will exhaust federal CHIP funds threatening affordable insurance and access to medical services for millions of children.

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U.S. Congress

On October 26, AAFP President Michael Munger, MD was one of three stakeholders invited to present at a listening session with CMS Administrator Seema Verma on regulatory relief. The “Patients Over Paperwork” agenda examined regulatory barriers to patient care; regulations that CMS should consider as it completes a full review of its rules; and guiding principles for the regulatory review process. Dr. Munger highlighted three key reforms for CMS to address. First, elimination of prior authorizations for DME, diabetic supplies, and generic drugs for physicians that have an established relationship with the patient. Second, elimination of all documentation guidelines for E&M codes 99211-99215 and 99201-99205 for primary care physicians participating in the Medicare Quality Payment Programs. Third, repeal burdensome regulations for advancing care information so that physicians would only be scored on use of a certified electronic health record.

Centering on the States

CMS approved West Virginia’s Section 1115 demonstration waiver(www.medicaid.gov). The waiver aims to strengthen its substance use disorder (SUD) delivery system to improve the care and health outcomes for West Virginia Medicaid beneficiaries with SUD. The waiver would strengthen the system through expanded SUD service coverage and the introduction of new programs to improve the quality of care.

Oregon became the fourth state to have an approved Section 1332 waiver(familiesusa.org). The waiver creates a reinsurance program that will reimburse 50% of claims between an attachment point and a $1 million cap.

Executive Branch

On October 26, the AAFP nominated Robert Wergin, MD, FAAFP to the HHS National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.

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