Week in Washington is brought to you by Michael Cohen, PhD. Tune in each week to read the latest on healthcare policy and get a glimpse of what’s on the horizon
Week in Washington
With Congress on recess there was no major health news from Capitol Hill this week. This could change next week as President Biden is expected to deliver his State of the Union speech that could outline his goals on health policy for the forthcoming year, although global events are likely to overtake focus on health policy in the coming weeks.
COVID hospitalizations, cases, and deaths are declining on average across the country. As can be seen in the Politico graphic below, hospitalizations are generally back to levels pre-Omicron.
There is concern that waning immunity and seasonality could drive a spike in COVID cases in the Fall/Winter. Consequently, the FDA is examining whether it will recommend a booster (i.e., 2nd booster) for the fall.
Odds and Ends
- Health Saving Account- A website that specializes in health saving accounts (AskMrHSA) , is projecting the requirements for high deductible health plans in 2023 to have a minimum deductible (for an individual) of $1,500 and a maximum out of pocket of $7,450. The projected max health saving account contribution is $3,850.
- Surprise Billing- A federal judge from Texas issued a ruling against HHS in favor of providers over the process HHS set up over Surprise Billing. While the ruling is expected to appeal, the ruling does throw into doubt how the arbitration process over Surprise Billing will be handled in the interim. If the providers prevail in their suit, it likely will result in higher premiums.
- CMMI- CMS announced this week it was pulling the Accountable Care Organizations Transformation track for rural ACOs. It also announced they would be releasing more proposals to increase ACOs in rural areas soon.
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