CMS Proposes CJR Changes, VP Picks, Opioid Bills, and more…
For questions or concerns on these or other advocacy issues, contact the Office of Government Relations at
CMS Releases New Bundled Payment Program; Changes Made to CJR On July 25, 2016, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed new models (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Bundled Payment Models for High-Quality, Coordinated Cardiac and Hip Fracture Care) that continue the Administration’s initiatives to shift Medicare payments from quantity to quality. Apart from introducing a new mandatory cardiac care bundle and cardiac rehabilitation incentive payments, this proposed rule provides an update to the existing mandatory joint replacement bundled payment model (i.e., the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement or CJR model), proposes a new voluntary model under the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) program, and creates a new pathway for physicians to qualify for increased payment incentives through the advanced Alternative Payment Models (A-APMs) under the proposed Quality Payment Program.

Click here to read more.

National Governors Association Compact to Fight Opioid Addiction During the July 13 National Governors Association (NGA) meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, 46 Governors signed the Compact to Fight Opioid Addiction. The Compact stipulates that, “Although there has been progress in recent years, inappropriate opioid prescribing continues to fuel one of the deadliest drug epidemics in our nation’s history… [The Compact] sends a clear signal to opioid prescribers and others whose leadership is critical to saving lives. The Compact has three distinct goals. It aims to reduce inappropriate opioid prescribing, change the public’s understanding of opioids and addiction, and to create pathways to recovery for individuals with addictions. Click here to read more.
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biologics that participate in U.S. federal health care programs to report certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals and was designed to make payments to physicians more transparent. CMS was charged with implementing the program and renamed it the Open Payments System.   Concerns arose with reporting requirements of certified Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs.   In order to address this discrepancy, Senator John Barrasso introduced S. 2978, the “Protect Continuing Education and Patient Care Act”, which would protect the dissemination of peer and independent third-party reviewed services and products that improve patient care. The legislation simply clarifies that certain applicable manufacturer transfers of value to support independent medical educational programs and materials are exempt from reporting under the Sunshine Act.

Click here to read more.

What We’re Reading

Obama Signs Opioid Bill into Law On July 22, 2016 President Barrack Obama signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act into law. The comprehensive package came together in early July following a House and Senate conference committee meeting which was chaired by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Fred Upton (R-MI).  The conference filed a report on July 6, 2016 and the House approved the language on July 8, 2016 by an overwhelming vote of 407 – 5. Click here to read more.