Health Care Roundup: NCCS on Proposed OPPS Changes; Bipartisan Proposal to End ‘Surprise Billing’; Medicaid Work Req’s; Financial Toxicity Survey; More
In order to bring you the latest cancer-related health care policy and news, we at NCCS combined our ACA Updates and What Caught Our Eye (WCOE) content into a weekly email and blog post. We aim to make this a concise, one-stop summary of what you need to know as we continue working together to make cancer care better for everyone.
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HEALTH CARE HIGHLIGHTS
NCCS Submits Recommendations to CMS Regarding Proposed Changes to Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)
NCCS submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed update to the hospital outpatient prospective payment system, known as OPPS, for calendar year 2019.
In the letter, NCCS addressed the proposed “site neutral” payments, which would reduce patient cost-sharing but could have other unintended consequences for patient access. NCCS also commented on the topic of price transparency and the value of price information for patients, as well as on a proposal to reform the drug acquisition system with a Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP).
Bipartisan Proposal to End Surprise Billing
Recently, a bipartisan group of Senators developed a draft bill, the Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills Act, to address surprise medical bills. There has been significant media attention to patients who received surprise bills from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, such as emergency rooms. Vox’s Sarah Kliff, who has written extensively about emergency room bills and surprise billing, explains the legislation, which would require out-of-network doctors to bill insurance companies, rather than billing patients directly.
CHART OF THE WEEK
Surprise medical bills could be a powerful campaign issue
Article: Drew Altman, Axios
Chart: Kaiser Family Foundation
One Big Problem With Medicaid Work Requirement: People Are Unaware It Exists
Via New York Times Upshot
This article highlights the impact of implementing work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries in Arkansas, the first state to adopt these types of requirements. As Margot Sanger Katz points out, the results are very concerning:
Despite thousands of people having health care coverage taken away, more states continue to pursue adoption of similar policies and CMS remains dedicated to approving them.
Paying for Cancer Care At All Costs
Via CURE Today
Financial toxicity, and the short- and long-term impact that it has on patients’ well-being, continues to gain more and more attention. This article discusses new survey results that provide further insights into how much patients are willing to sacrifice, including 49% of respondents saying they’re willing to declare bankruptcy. It is further evidence that while some progress is being made, a lot of work still continues to protect more patients and their families from the high costs of cancer care.
Threat to ACA Turns Up the Heat On Attorney General Races
Via Kaiser Health News
It’s not often that attorneys general races throughout the country garner national attention. But that is exactly what is happening in large part due to the recent filing by 20 attorneys general of a lawsuit seeking to deem the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. In races up and down ballots, the issue continues to motivate individuals on both sides, especially when it comes to pre-existing condition protections:
ACA Premiums Stabilizing
Washington Post, Health 202
It was reported recently that after years of turmoil, premiums for the ACA are expected to stabilize for 2019. This article sheds light on the real reasons that is occurring.