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
The reconciliation bill (Inflation Reduction Act) continues to move forward. On Wednesday, CBO released its score of the bill, which you can read here. The Senate still has lots to accomplish before it goes on recess starting next week. While there is progress there remains uncertainty as 1) the bill could still change due to the parliamentarian rulings or amendments. Additionally, Senate Democrats have not yet secured the necessary votes to pass the legislation (Senator Sinema has not yet agreed to support the bill). The overall situation should be much clearer next week.
Politico reported that the recently passed telehealth bill (which extends current flexibilities through 2024) is not expected to be voted on in the Senate until December.
New data from the CDC (the national health insurance survey or NHIS) showed that the US uninsured rate reached the lowest levels on record in early 2022. Overall, the uninsured rate reached 8.0%, which can be seen in the below graph is the lowest ever. The recent decreases since 2020 have primarily centered on the below 400% FPL as a result of the lack of Medicaid redetermination and increased Exchange subsidies.
CMS Releases Inpatient Payment Rule
CMS released its annual Inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) rule. Under the rule, operating payment rates will increase 4.3%, the highest market basket increase in 25 years. To date, there has been relatively low inflation in the health care (services) sector but this rule and resulting potential spillover effects should increase input costs.
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