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
May 5, 2022
Congress continues to focus on Ukraine and Covid funding this week with an aim to pass something before the Memorial Day recess. There is no reported progress on other health care related legislation.
CMS released several regulations this past week
- The 2023 MA and PD final rule was released. While it made lots of updates to a particular interest, all forms of cost sharing will now accumulate towards the MA maximum out of pocket.
- CMS also released the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2023. The key difference relative to the proposed rule is that HHS did not finalize a proposed change to the ACA risk adjustment model (two-step model). The result is that HHS did not publish the final 2023 risk adjustment coefficients, which would be released at a later date.
- HHS Secretary announced that the long awaited regulation restricting short-term duration plans is slated for later this summer.
The Federal Reserve increased interest rates by 0.5%, it’s the first time in 22 years the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates by this amount. The Federal Reserve intends to continue increasing interest rates in an attempt to bring down inflation by reducing demand. Historically, this is a difficult thing to accomplish without triggering a recession.
Covid related deaths reached one million Americans this week. The FDA announced hearings for June as to what type of booster is appropriate for Covid this fall. New subvariants of Omicron are showing signs of immune escape, which some have argued necessitate a reformulated Covid vaccine. Given the lack of funds, Moderna is preparing to price the Covid booster at Commercial rates (higher than the current costs).
Research You Can Use
- Ludomirsky et al conducted analysis on Medicaid MCO networks found that care was highly concentrated in a few physicians. For example, 25 percent of primary care physicians in reported networks accounted for 86% of the care.
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