The Reed Smith Health Industry Washington Watch blog has been updated to discuss a variety of health policy developments, including the following:

  • President Obama Outlines Plans for Deficit Reduction/Entitlement Reform. Today President Obama delivered a speech outlining his plan for reducing the federal budget deficit by $4 trillion within 12 years, in part through Medicare and Medicaid reforms. Specifically, the President is calling for $480 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts by 2023 and at least an additional $1 trillion in cuts over the subsequent decade.
  • Regulatory Developments. CMS has issued rules on DMEPOS supplier standards, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage, Medicare payments to ESRD facilities, and FY 2011 hospital wage indices/reclassifications. CMS also has also published notices on the ACA Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, APC Panel nominees, and a new Federally Funded Research and Development Center. HHS is requesting comments on a regulatory review initiative.
  • Other CMS Developments. The Obama Administration has launched a $1 billion “Partnership for Patients” to improve hospital care. CMS has updated its DMEPOS competitive bidding Round 2 timeline and provided an update on the Round 1 Rebid. CMS has issued policies regarding Part D Coverage Gap Appeals and released the 2012 MA/Part D Call Letter. CMS also has clarified policies regarding the signature requirement for clinical diagnostic laboratory test orders, home health and hospice face-to-face encounter requirements, and Medicare EHR attestation, and it has issued its annual “Active Projects” report.
  • Legislative Developments. An agreement was reached on an FY 2011 spending bill, and Congress is moving on to consideration of broader deficit reduction/entitlement reform. Bills repealing certain ACA provisions are advancing in Congress, and Congressional panels have held hearings on various health policy issues.
  • GAO Reports. The GAO has issued a report on ways to aid state Medicaid programs during recessions.
  • Health Industry Events. CMS is hosting meetings/calls on 2011 Physician Quality Reporting System and the eRx Incentive Program, HCPCS code applications, and clinical lab code payments. FDA is holding meetings on medical device issues.