Health Care Reform Implementation Update - February 13, 2013

by Cozen O'Connor
Contact

In the past week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an updated federal budget to account for new regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), President Obama formally renominated Marilyn Tavenner to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Obama administration proposed eliminating outdated and burdensome Medicare requirements, and Mississippi became the first state to have its exchange plans rejected.

AT THE AGENCIES

The CBO released an updated federal budget to account for the new regulations from HHS and IRS (granting exemptions from individual mandate requirements and saying affordability requirements to employees of employer-provided health plans are for self-only plans, not family plans).  The updated budget projects an increased number of uninsured and decreased projected federal revenue from the penalty for failing to have insurance.

Also included in the CBO updated 10-year budget was a change in the cost of fixing the sustainable growth rate problem, from $245 billion to $138 billion.  The change comes just as a bill was introduced on Wednesday (2/6) by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and a bill from Ways and Means Health subcommittee chair Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas). Schwartz's bill would require physicians to adopt a replacement for fee-for-service, which CMS would then test and approve over a five-year period. Congressman Brady's alternative, expected soon, according to a Ways and Means Committee memo would continue wide-scale modified fee-for-service system and offer incentive payments for physicians that undertake efficiency improvements.

On Thursday (2/8), President Obama formally renominated Marilyn Tavenner to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  The Senate still has to vote to confirm her.  Tavenner has been the acting administrator of CMS since November 2011, when she was nominated for the first time.  If Tavenner is confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first confirmed CMS Administrator in more than seven years.

The Essential Health Benefits, Actuarial Value, and Accreditation Final Rule and the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters Final Rule are now under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

On Monday (2/4), HHS and CMS issued a proposed rule that would modify or eliminate Medicare regulations deemed to be outdated or overly burdensome, particularly in ways that enable hospital workers and technicians to perform “tasks they are trained to do, without requiring the supervision or approval of a physician or other practitioner.”  A list of suggestions is included in the proposed regulation.  The reforms are expected to save hospitals and health care providers up to $3.4 billion over five years. Public comments are due April 8.

The Obama administration delayed the roll out of the Basic Health Program by one year.  The Basic Health Program aimed to benefit low to moderate-income people who did not qualify for the expanded Medicaid program.  The program would have enabled states to offer government insurance to people who did not qualify for Medicaid, but who would have a difficult time affording premiums and cost sharing (even with government subsidies) in the exchange.  On Wednesday (2/6), HHS said it was behind schedule and would not be able to get this program up and running by 2014.

IN THE STATES

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said the only way he would approve Medicaid expansion for his state is if the state could use its "Healthy Indiana" plan to cover new members.  States have the ability to choose whether to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act due to the Supreme Court’s decision making the expansion optional.

On Tuesday (2/5), Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said in a letter to HHS Sec. Sebelius that he cannot recommend expanding Medicaid because of the increase in taxpayer dollars it would require.

On Monday (2/4) Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republicans who has criticized the Affordable Care Act, announced he will expand Medicaid in his state.

On Thursday (2/7), Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder proposed a $51 billion state budget for FY 2014, which includes a proposal to expand Medicaid.

On Friday (2/8), Mississippi became the first state to have its health insurance exchange plan rejected.  In a letter to the state, HHS cited a lack of support from Mississippi’s governor and no formal commitment to coordinate with other state agencies as the reasons for its rejection.  The state’s insurance commissioner was planning a state-based exchange for the state, however, Gov. Phil Bryant did not support it.

ON THE HILL

A group of 180 House Members, Republicans and Democrats, reintroduced a bill to end the Affordable Care Act's 2.3 percent tax on medical devices.  This provision of the ACA is projected to raise $30 billion over 10 years; however, opponents say it will hinder innovation in the medical device industry and stifle job growth.

A bipartisan group of Senators, led by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced a bill to repeal the medical device tax.

Representative Ron Kind (D-Wis.), a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, was selected to lead the House Rural Health Care Coalition, a bipartisan group of lawmakers that will focus on improving access to health care in rural communities.

Rep. Gingrey (R-Ga.) introduced a bill to Change the Permissible Age Variation in Health Insurance Premium Rates.

IN THIRD PARTIES

In response to the Obama administration's attempt to find a compromise over the contraception requirement of the Affordable Care Act, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the recent proposed rules are insufficient because they only offer "second-class status" to church-affiliated organizations and institutions, unlike the full exception granted to houses of worship.

Written by:

Cozen O'Connor
Contact
more
less

Cozen O'Connor on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.