January 16, 2024

Congressional Leaders Agree on Extension of Funding

The four congressional leaders announced a deal to extend government funding to March 8 to avoid a government shutdown.  This is a concession by House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-LA, who originally said he would not extend government by a short-term continuing resolution (CR). A number of items are left out of the funding package. Conservatives in the House GOP caucus are not happy with Speaker Johnson’s (one of their own) endorsement of the extension.

Additional articles here: https://insidehealthpolicy.com/daily-news/short-term-cr-carries-extenders-through-march-8 and https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4410728-congress-shutdown-conservative-anger/

Additional article on status of healthcare bills, including hospitals’ opposition to site-neutral payments that is in a passed bill that would forestall disproportionate share hospital(DSH) funding cuts: https://www.modernhealthcare.com/politics-policy/congress-spending-deal-hospitals-dsh-medicare-site-neutral

(Some articles may require a subscription.)

#governmentshutdown #crs

Link to Article

More Fallout From MedPAC Report On Medicare Advantage

The fallout from the MedPAC meeting continues.  A leading member has argued that the analysis by MedPAC staff is politically motivated, principally the conclusion that Medicare Advantage (MA) is being overpaid by as much as $88 billion annually through a combination of overcoding and beneficial selection. For sure, MedPAC ignores the huge safety net that MA provides as well as numerous quality and other benefits.

While some reforms may be warranted, I agree with those who say the MedPAC report is flawed and perhaps politically motivated.  But, the damage is done and Capitol Hill will look at this report and seek to realign MA rates in 2024.

Better Medicare Alliance statement here: https://bettermedicarealliance.org/news/better-medicare-alliance-statement-on-medpacs-meeting-on-annual-status-report/ .

#medicareadvantage #medicare #overpayments

Link to Article

WSJ Wants DeSantis To Drop Out in Favor Of a Haley vs. Trump Contest

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board is saying FL Gov. Ron DeSantis should drop out of the race in favor of allowing former SC Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to take on former President Donald Trump.  DeSantis has no path to victory, while Haley could still upset Trump in NH.

#gopprimary #trump #desantis #haley #nh

Link to Article

MedPAC Endorses Hospital and Physician Hikes in Medicare

MedPAC endorsed increases for hospitals and physicians in 2025. Physicians are fighting a major reduction in 2024.

(Article may require a subscription.)

#hospitals #providers #physicians #2024 #medicare

Link to Article

Trump Healthcare Agenda In a Second Term

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) theorizes what a Donald Trump second term would look like in terms of healthcare.  I will have a blog on this later this week.

#trump # healthcare #healthcarereform

Link to Article

Trump HHS Secretary Now At Company To Make Money From Florida Drug Imports

Good articles from Kaiser Health News about the fact that former Health and Human Services Alex Azar, who cleared the Florida drug importation scheme, now heads a company that will profit from the initiative. While I support drug importation, this is part of the ugly underbelly of Washington. The Food and Drug Administration has the same problem with a conflict-of-interest revolving door.

Additional article here: https://kffhealthnews.org/news/article/health-202-alex-azar-drug-importation-canada/

#drugimportation #fl #azar #trump 

Link to Article

New Study on Impact Of Private Equity’s Takeover of Hospitals

A new study builds on an earlier one questioning the impact of private equity takeovers of hospitals.

(Article may require a subscription.)

#hospitals #privateequityfirms

Link to Article

Canadians Outraged Over Florida Drug Importation

Article points to outrage in Canada on importation of drugs to Florida.  It also questions whether Florida will ever see true savings.

#drugimportation #fl #drupricing #canada

Link to Article

Humana To Layoff Employees

As I predicted, insurers will layoff individuals this year, in part due to rising medical expenses and pressure on administrative costs.

(Article may require a subscription.)

#humana #healthplans

Link to Article

— Marc S. Ryan

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