Debra McCurdy

Debra McCurdy

Reed Smith

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Latest Publications


Medicare and Medicaid Drug Policy Provisions in the Obama Administration’s Proposed FY 2017 Budget

The Obama Administration’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget, released on February 9, 2016, includes a number of legislative proposals that would revise Medicare and Medicaid policies to achieve budget savings and make...more

2/12/2016 - CMS Federal Budget Medicaid Medicare Medicare Part D Obama Administration Pay-For-Delay Prescription Drug Coverage State Medicaid Programs

CMS Proposes Changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACO Benchmark Rebasing Rules

On February 3, 2016, CMS published a proposed rule that would revise the methodology CMS uses to measure the performance of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program)...more

2/9/2016 - ACOs CMS Comment Period Medicare Shared Savings Program Proposed Regulation

CMS Finalizes Medicaid Home Health and Medical Equipment Policy Changes, Including Face-to-Face Encounter Requirements

CMS published a final rule on February 2, 2016 to implement statutory requirements regarding documentation of face-to-face encounters with Medicaid beneficiaries within certain timeframes as a condition of Medicaid coverage...more

2/8/2016 - CMS Face-to-Face Narrative Requirement Final Rules Home Health Care Medicaid Medical Equipment Medical Supplies

House Energy & Commerce Committee Seeks Comments on Medicare Site-Neutral Payment Policies

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is seeking input on Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which established a site-neutral payment policy for newly-acquired, provider-based, off campus hospital outpatient...more

2/8/2016 - Bipartisan Budget Comment Period Congressional Committees Hospitals Medicare OPPS

OIG Interim Evaluation of ACA LTC Employee Background Check Grant Program

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued an interim evaluation report on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) program that provides grants to states to implement background check programs for prospective long-term care...more

2/8/2016 - Affordable Care Act Background Checks CMS Long-Term Care OIG

Committees to Examine Administration’s HHS Budget Proposal, Other Health Policy Issues Next Week

On February 9, 2016, President Obama is scheduled to submit his proposed fiscal year 2017 budget to Congress. Two Congressional committees have planned hearings to examine provisions of the proposed budget involving the...more

2/8/2016 - CHIP Congressional Investigations & Hearings Federal Budget FMAP HHS Medicaid Proposed Legislation

Government Reports Compile Medicaid, Dual Eligible Beneficiary Spending, Enrollment Data

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on trends in Medicaid managed care spending, enrollment, and oversight. Notably, the GAO reports that over 10 years (FY 2004 through 2014), federal Medicaid...more

2/5/2016 - Dual Eligibility GAO MACPAC MCOs Medicaid Medicare MedPAC

CMS Issues Guide on Avoiding Readmissions in Diverse Medicare Populations

The CMS Office of Minority Health has released a “Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries.” The guide highlights data indicating that racial and ethnic minority...more

2/5/2016 - CMS Diversity Hospital Readmission Hospitals Medicare

President Obama Establishes “White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force” Led by VP Biden, Calls for $1 Billion Investment in Cancer...

President Obama recently signed a memorandum formally establishing a White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force to coordinate and strengthen federal and private efforts to support cancer research and treatment. The Task Force,...more

2/5/2016 - Barack Obama Cancer Joe Biden Medical Research Task Force

CMS Announces Extension of Moratoria on Enrollment of HHAs, Ambulance Suppliers in Designated Areas

CMS published a notice February 2, 2016 announcing an additional 6-month extension of its current temporary Medicare enrollment moratoria for new ground ambulance suppliers and home health agencies (HHAs), subunits, and...more

2/3/2016 - Ambulance Providers CHIP CMS Home Health Agencies Medicaid Medicare Moratorium

CMS Announces DSH Allotments

CMS has published the final fiscal year (FY) 2013 and preliminary FY 2015 disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments, along with final FY 2013 and preliminary FY 2015 limitations on aggregate DSH payments that states...more

2/3/2016 - CMS DSH Hospitals Mental Health

CMS Explanation of FY 2004 Outlier Fixed-Loss Threshold as Required by Court Rulings

On January 22, 2016, CMS published a rule providing additional explanation of certain methodological choices CMS made in establishing the fiscal year 2004 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System fixed-loss threshold...more

1/28/2016 - CMS Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Medicare Outlier Payment Rules New Regulations

Congressional Health Policy Hearings - January 2016

The Senate HELP Committee is holding a January 28, 2016 hearing on “Generic Drug User Fee Amendments: Accelerating Patient Access to Generic Drugs.” Separately, on February 4, the House Committee on Oversight and Government...more

1/28/2016 - Affordable Care Act Congressional Investigations & Hearings Generic Drugs HELP Mental Health Prescription Drugs

CMS Call: IMPACT Act Measure Alignment and Outcomes (Feb. 2)

On February 2, 2016, CMS is hosting a Special Open Door Forum call to discuss implementation of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act). The call will cover standardized quality...more

1/28/2016 - CMS IMPACT Act Inpatient Quality Reporting Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility

CMS Posts Update to 2016 MPFS Rates

CMS has posted corrections to the 2016 Medicare physician fee schedule payment files. Among other things, CMS has revised the conversion factor, reducing it slightly from $35.8279 to $35.8043. CMS has also made changes to...more

1/28/2016 - CMS Medicare MPFS

Senate HELP Committee Outlines Plans for Action on Biomedical Innovation Bills

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has announced its plans to consider companion legislation to the House-approved “21st Century Cures Act,” which is intended to improve the drug and device...more

1/28/2016 - 21st Century Cures Initiative Electronic Medical Records FDA HELP Innovation Medical Devices Pending Legislation Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI)

CMS Releases Long-Awaited Final Medicaid Covered Outpatient Drug Rule

After months of speculation and waiting, CMS yesterday released its final rule to revise Medicaid reimbursement for covered outpatient drugs and reform Medicaid drug rebate requirements. While we are still digesting what the...more

1/23/2016 - CMS Manufacturers Medicaid Prescription Drug Coverage Prescription Drugs Rebates

FDA Public Workshop on Patient, Medical Professional Perspectives on Receiving Genetic Test Results (March 2)

On March 2, 2016, the FDA is hosting a public workshop on “Patient and Medical Professional Perspectives on the Return of Genetic Test Results.” FDA is convening the workshop to discuss the specific information...more

1/19/2016 - FDA Genetic Testing Health Care Providers Patients Public Meetings

First Meeting of MACRA Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee Set for Feb. 1, 2016

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) includes payment incentives to encourage providers to participate in alternative payment models (APMs) that focus on coordinating care, improving quality, and...more

1/19/2016 - Alternative Payment Models (APM) CHIP Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA) Physician Payments PTAC

Finance Committee Invites Suggestions on Medicare Chronic Care Policy

A bipartisan Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group is inviting comments on an options paper outlining potential ways to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries with complex chronic conditions. Options under...more

1/13/2016 - Medicare Senate Finance Committee

GAO Calls for Improvements to HHS Oversight of Health Care Workforce Programs

The GAO has reviewed HHS management of the 72 health care workforce programs administered by HHS and its agencies. The GAO concludes that HHS “lacks comprehensive planning and oversight to ensure that its many workforce...more

1/13/2016 - GAO Health Care Providers Healthcare Workers HHS

CMS Requests Comments on HIT Certification and Quality Measure Reporting to Reduce Provider/HIT Developer Burden

On December 31, 2015, CMS published a request for information (RFI) seeking public comments on certification requirements for health information technology (HIT), including electronic health records (EHR) products used for...more

1/13/2016 - CMS Health Information Technologies Reporting Requirements

CMS Launches New “Accountable Health Communities” Innovation Model

CMS’s latest innovation model, the Accountable Health Communities model, will test whether screening for health-related social needs, providing community service referral and navigation, and encouraging partner alignment...more

1/13/2016 - CMS Medicaid Medicare

GAO Recommends Equalizing Payment for Evaluation & Management Visits

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining trends in “vertical consolidation” — hospital acquisition of physician practices or hiring of physicians as salaried employees – and the impact on...more

1/13/2016 - Acquisitions GAO Hospital Mergers Hospitals Industry Consolidation Medicare Physicians

ONC Releases Final 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released its final 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory, which catalogs the “best available” interoperability standards and implementation...more

1/13/2016 - Health Information Technologies Health IT ONC Proposed Standards

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