Healthcare Policy - Press Search

Goals

To understand the newest developments in healthcare policies in the United States by identifying related press articles between July and September 2020 to create a report for healthcare industry clients.

Early Findings

  • In July 2020, a regulation establishing that employers with religious reservations could opt out of covering contraception for women under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was upheld by the Supreme Court. This contravenes the mandated coverage of female contraception established by Obamacare.
  • On July 24, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order establishing that drug rebates for prescription medication under Medicare Part D would be banned.
  • This executive order has not been implemented yet. The purpose of the order is to ensure patients can benefit from any discounts available. While this would reduce copay, it would also lead to an increase in Medicare premiums.
  • On the same date, the President signed another executive order in which an increase in the importation of drugs is mandated. The purpose of this order is to decrease prices paid by Americans.
  • In September 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule regarding the import of prescription drugs, specifying these would be acquired from Canada. Certain regulations apply.
  • A third executive order signed on July 24, 2020, established that the Secretary of Health and Human Services would ensure that Federally Qualified Health Centers that are part of 340B programs would provide access to insulin and epinephrine at a discounted price.
  • This department issued a proposed rule in September 2020 in which actions to implement this order are presented.
  • On August 3, 2020, an executive order was signed with the goal of improving access to telehealth in the rural setting.
  • On September 1, 2020, the HHS issued a memorandum in which it is explained that a new initiative involving the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and HHS would be created to comply with the executive order.
  • In addition, in August 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the creation of the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model.
  • This model looks to fund rural practices and increase the implementation of local transformation. The CMS would also work in partnership with Accountable Care Organizations to achieve this goal.
  • An interim final rule was issued by the CMS in August 2020 requiring the testing of both staff and residents of long-term facilities in order to continue tracking and managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On September 23, an executive order was signed in which it is established that specific prescription drugs under Medicare Part B and D should be acquired at the same price as the "most favored nation". The implementation of this order is pending.
  • The End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model received its final order in September 2020. This model looks to implement dialysis treatments at home as well as increase the number of kidney transplants and determine if this reduces Medicare expenses.

Summary of Findings

  • We used this initial hour of research to assess the availability of the information and provide numerous findings regarding proposed or implemented policy changes that took place between July and September 2020. We have provided those that have been highlighted as some of the most instrumental.
  • In addition, we identified policy changes related to COVID-19 implemented at the state level. While we did not have time to include this information, this could be provided with further research.

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