Week in Washington 060420

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


Latest on COVID Rates

Overall COVID data was mixed, while the number of reported deaths has declined and number of tests increased, the number of reported cases and hospitalizations have been flat. The likely reason for the mixed data is that different states are having very different experiences. While there has been continued improvements in places like New York, other states such as North Carolina have seen recent upticks. 538 updates notable COVID infection models here.

Nursing Homes

CMS is beginning to release the impact of COVID on nursing homes. While the data is incomplete (20% of nursing homes have not yet reported), the data does find that at least 25,000 nursing home residents and 400 staff have died from COVID. At least 1 in 4 facilities reported a death.

Economic News

Unemployment claims came in at 1.9 million, the lowest level since early March. The unemployment rate, which will be announced Friday, is expected to be around 20%. The CBO released projections that it didn’t expect the US economy to fully recover until 2030.

Proposed RADV Rule

HHS published a new proposed rule on adjustments to the ACA risk adjustment data validation (RADV) program. Katie Keith has a good summary here . HHS proposed three changes to the error calculation. If finalized, they would impact the 2019 RADV benefit year. They also proposed shifting RADV application to a concurrent approach starting in the 2021 benefit year.  For example, benefit year 2021 RADV would impact benefit year 2021 risk adjustment transfers. Comments are due July 2, 2020.

Colorado Passes “Easy Enrollment” Program

Colorado, which has delayed its public option bill, instead passed an easy enrollment program, designed to increase enrollment in the individual market. The program, designed to mirror Maryland’s program, would make it possible for the state to use state tax returns to identify and offer SEPs to eligible uninsured Coloradoans.

Previous editions: 

5/28/2020: Grim Milestone

5/21/2020: Week in Washington

5/14/2020: Week in Washington

5/7/2020: Week in Washington

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