Washington Update

Supreme Court Rules Providers Cannot Sue States for Higher Medicaid Reimbursement Rates

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The Supreme Court ruled that private health care providers could not sue the state in federal court to force a state to raise its Medicaid reimbursement rates. In its 5 4 ruling in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, the Court

HHS Releases Final Recommendations on Community Water Fluoridation

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final recommendations for community water fluoridation on April 27. To summarize The HHS recommendations reinforce that optimal community water fluoridation “continues to reduce tooth decay in children and adults…

CMS Updates “Meaningful Use” Rule in Final Stage of HITECH Act

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The third and final rule of the HITECH Act, the six year old law designed to create a nationwide health care IT infrastructure, has been released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Stage 3 rule, released

Office of National Coordinator Releases “Roadmap” for Interoperability

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A roadmap detailing the path to reach an “interoperable health IT ecosystem” by 2024 was released by the coordinator of the government’s health information technology effort.

Federal Health IT Strategic Plan Released

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draft version of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020 released last month emphasizes, among other things, that new information about health care delivery be shared “quickly, securely, and efficiently.”

New CMS Rule Could Improve Accountable Care Organizations

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public comment on five adjustments the agency wants to make to the Shared Savings Program used by Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

HHS Issues Proposed Rule to Expand Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule on October 3, 2014, that would amend the safe harbors included in both the anti-kickback statute and the civil monetary penalty rule.

More Flexibility for Certification of Electronic Health Records

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a final rule on Release 2 of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) certification criteria. The new rule will take effect on October 14, 2014.

HRSA Plans to Merge Health Workforce Bureaus

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The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the $8.4 billion agency charged with improving access to health care for the uninsured and medically vulnerable, plans to consolidate two of its bureaus into a newly created one.

Campaign Promotes Year-Round Enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services initiated a new push in May to educate parents that they can enroll their children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at any time during the year, and that parents themselves may also be eligible for Medicaid.