President Obama Signs H.R. 4302

 

On April 2, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4302, the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014,” which averts a 24 percent reduction in Medicare Part B physician payment rates until at least March 31, 2015. As in many prior years, Congress set aside Medicare payment reform proposals that would have repealed the “sustainable growth rate” (SGR) formula (in Medicare law since 1997) but postponed for another year the payment reductions that the SGR formula would have imposed. Instead, physician payment rates will increase 0.5 percent as a result of the new legislation. H.R. 4302 also postpones from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015 the date upon which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can require health care providers and health plans to transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM coding on claims, a five-fold increase in diagnostic coding specificity. [More]

 

DHHS Awards $55.5 Million to Bolster Health Care Workforce

 

To help prevent added strain on the health care workforce from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on December 5, 2013 awarded $55.5 million in grants to help augment health care workers. [More]

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New York State Begins Implementing “Health Homes”

 

New York state has begun to implement a coordinated system of primary care and behavioral health for Medicaid recipients who have multiple conditions and who use a high volume of services. "Health Homes" utilize a care manager who develops a plan that meets an individual's goals and then creates a network of multiple health and social service providers to address the person's complex needs. Providers report to the care manager on the patient's status, treatment, and outcome. [More]

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HHS Announces Availability of Primary Care Grants

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on October 26 the availability of up to $335 million in FY 2011 supplemental grant funding to support expansion of primary and preventive care through community health centers, migrant health centers, public housing sites, and health services for homeless persons. [More]

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