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
Congress will be taking a two week recess starting this weekend. Covid funding and other legislative items such as insulin cost caps or ACA subsidies will be pushed until the end of April, if not later. The Senate did confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court before going on recess.
CMS released two major regulations this week.
- Fix for the family glitch. The Biden Administration proposed to fix the family glitch, effective 2023, in a regulation released this week. The regulation would allow family members , who are currently ineligible to Marketplace subsidies. The regulation, if finalized, would make it easier for family members with employer offers to be eligible for Advanced Premium Tax Credits. The regulation could increase the number of people eligible for APTCs but up to 5 million people.
- 2023 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement CMS released the CY 2023 MA and Part D Advanced Notice. The notice proposes an expected average change in revenue of 8.5%. It would also increase star ratings by 0.54 percent
- CMS also announced a way for all Medicare Beneficaries enrolled in Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, access to over the counter Covid-19 tests at no cost. You can find more details here.
Prescription Drug Trends
A new report by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists estimated that total drug spending U.S. grew 7.7% in 2021 to around $575 billion dollars. The Covid-19 treatment remdesivir accounted for 10 more than 10% of what hospitals spent on drugs last year, far larger than any other drug.
While Covid related hospitalization numbers are among the lowest since the pandemic began, there has been some uptick in Covid cases, specifically in the Northeast/Atlantic region.
A new report found that US life expectancy continued to decline in 2021. Overall over the past two years average life expectancy has decreased approximately two years, far in excess of peer nation’s experience.
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