This month has come and gone and we’ve complied a list of the top headlines for busy healthcare marketing and PR professionals.
Progress is being made on the regulatory front as CMS aims to align it’s standards across all of its 20+ programs, and the president calls for a cap on insulin for all Americans. CVS is also back in the headlines with a $10.6B deal with Oak Street Health. And as spring is quickly approaching, the HHS is preparing states for the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration.
CMS opens ACA special enrollment period for those losing Medicaid coverage
CMS is opening a temporary Exceptional Circumstances Special Enrollment Period from March 31 through July 31 for the 18 million people projected to lose coverage.
Biden calls for insulin cap extension, making boosted ACA subsides permanent in State of the Union
In his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden called for the $35 monthly insulin cap to be expanded to all Americans and not just those on Medicare. He also outlined other priorities including protecting Medicare and allocating funds for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
CMS plans to align quality measures across all programs
The goal of this “universal foundation,” outlined in CMS’ National Quality Strategy, will be to reduce provider burden and improve care quality across all CMS-operated programs.
Drug companies to pay rebates for prices that go higher than inflation
CMS released the initial guidance on the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program, requiring drug companies to pay rebates to the federal government or face fines if they raise prescription drug prices faster than inflation – the nation’s first prescription drug law.
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70% of hospitals comply with price transparency rules
While price transparency from U.S. hospitals is up 43% from 2021, CMS is working to ensure that the 30% of hospitals not being transparent soon comply with the regulations that have now been in place more than two years.
CVS finally makes primary care play, scooping up Oak Street Health in $10.6B deal
Oak Street Health’s tech-enabled, value-based model will continue to be ran by CEO Mike Pykosz, as it is folded into CVS’ newly created healthcare delivery arm. It’s goal, to reach underserved populations who may struggle to access healthcare services.
UnitedHealth, LHC Group close $5.4B merger deal
Home health provider, LHC Group, issued a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, marking the deals’ closure official. It will now be folded into UnitedHealth’s Optum subsidiary, allowing their joint expertise to offer value-based home care.
FDA issues EUA for first at-home flu and COVID-19 test
To best support publish health needs, the FDA issued an emergency authorization for the first single-use, at-home test that can detect COVID-19 and both influenza A and B (two common strains of the flu) with a shallow nasal swab. This has been deemed a “major milestone” by the director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
Doximity rolls out ChatGPT integration for physicians
Digital platform Doximity has launched a free beta version of a ChatGPT tool in order to help alleviate physicians time spent on administrative tasks.
HHS gives governors 90 days’ notice of PHE end
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra notified state governors of the changes coming to their jurisdictions and residents ensure a smooth transition when the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration comes to an end in May.
COVID-19 vaccines added to CDC’s immunization schedules
Although COVID-19 vaccinations have been added to the CDC’s immunization schedules, it will not mandate vaccines. It will be up to individual states and localities to determine which vaccines are required for health care providers and schools.