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
Lame Duck Topics
Congress is on break until after the election. There are a number of potential health care related items that will be considered when they return. One of the top items during the lame duck period (i.e., the period between the election and when the new Congress is installed) is provider related. Politico’s reporting includes:
- 4% sequestration
- Rural hospital payments
- Medicare physician fee schedule cuts
- Prior authorization limits for Medicare Advantage plans
The expectation is that decisions on whether to include the above items in a budget deal will be finalized by mid-December.
KFF released its annual survey of state Medicaid directors. A few highlights of the report include:
- State Medicaid directors expect enrollment to slow down to 8.4% in FY 2022 and decline 0.4% in FY 2023
- Expectations that Medicaid spending growth peak at 12.5% in FY 2022 and slow to 4.2% in FY 2023
- Key drivers: the end of the PHE, inflationary pressures, increased service utilization, and increased HCBS spending
The ongoing case against the ACA’s preventative services requirements took a twist this week. The plaintiffs in the case asked for the entire preventative services requirements to be struck down nationwide. The timing of such a ruling is unclear, but the general expectation is that the case will eventually reach the Supreme Court.
ACA Open Enrollment
CMS released it’s Health Exchange Public Use files this week as well as plan premium report as part of its preparation for Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment is scheduled to go from November 1st to December 15th for most states.
Arizona Medical Debt
One ballot initiative worth monitoring is in Arizona. The initiative would reduce what creditors can charge individuals with medical debt (down to 3% from its current 10%). If approved, the measure could gain momentum for being put on the ballot in other states.
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