Proposed U.S. bill would require docs to report medical device adverse events to the FDA
June 9, 2016 | By Alyssa Huntley A proposed bill from U.S. representatives Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) would have quite an impact on doctors when it comes to reporting potentially serious problems with medical devices.
The Medical Device Guardians Act would require physicians and physicians' offices to report "adverse events" that occur when a medical device is in use and would also consider those individuals and institutions "protected." Bill sponsors want to change the law after a "long delay in public awareness of the risks of a women's surgical tool called the laparoscopic power morcellator," the Wall Street Journal reported. See entire article:
Part B Drug Plan Draws Fire From All Sides Insurers, physicians, even generic drugmakers slam proposal | WASHINGTON -- If the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was hoping for a positive overall response to its proposal to change the way it reimburses for drugs under Medicare's Part B program, the agency must be sorely disappointed.
"Both history and the experience of our members suggest that efforts to reduce pharmaceutical prices in one market segment can result in higher costs through manufacturers setting higher launch prices for new drugs and pursuing greater price increases on existing drugs," America's Health Insurance Plans, a lobbying group for health insurers, wrote to the agency in a comment letter.
See entire article: http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Medicare/57827?2?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal&mrkid=6357651&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTjJaak5qWmtNbVkyWVRGayIsInQiOiJla21ETURMSXdOb082MnBXdVZxc01ObnBUbjN3a2hqRmhUYmpkXC9Fa1N2NitIK29tTml6dE8wYzI1U0ZKVFRpRWFNckJJMG5TYXYzMzFWR3o3YlgxZVlGQ2VsKys0bG9UZlN0eTByeHBnS1E9In0%3D
Senators push Justice Department to halt health insurance mergers
By Bob Herman | June 22, 2016
Seven Democratic U.S. senators—including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut—are urging the U.S. Department of Justice to block the pending health insurance mega-mergers in one of the strongest stances to date against the deals.
Their opposition sends the message that they were not convinced by the testimony of Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini and Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish last year, and it builds even more uncertainty around the federal government's final decisions. The two insurance executives told senators this past September that their respective transactions—Aetna's $37 billion takeover of Humana and Anthem's $53 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp.—would not negatively impact competition.
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Hospital and ASC: Proposed OPPS Changes for CY 2017
On July 6, CMS proposed updated payment rates and policy changes in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System. Several of the proposed policy changes would improve the quality of care Medicare patients receive by better supporting their physicians and other health care providers. These proposals are based on feedback from stakeholders, including beneficiary and patient advocates, as well as health care providers, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and the physician community.
Proposed changes include:
Addressing physicians’ concerns regarding pain management
Focusing payments on patients rather than setting
Improving patient care through technology
Emphasizing health outcomes that matter to the patient
CMS estimates that the updates in the proposed rule would increase OPPS payments by 1.6 percent and ASC payments by 1.2 percent in 2017.