Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act

Medicare Medicaid 50th

December 28, 2015

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 1321, S. 2425

On Monday, December 28, 2015, the President Obama signed into law:

S. 2425, the “Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act,” which makes changes to Medicare payments for certain complex rehabilitation technology and radiation therapy services, provide flexibility in applying a hardship exception from meaningful use of electronic health records, and improve Medicare and Medicaid program integrity.

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Radiation Therapy Alliance Commends Congress for Passing Legislation to Ensure Access to Radiation Therapy Care for Nation’s Cancer Patients

Legislation is essential step to achieving lasting payment stability for needed cancer care services

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Radiation Therapy Alliance (RTA) – a non-profit organization representing freestanding radiation therapy centers that is dedicated to working with policymakers to advance logical, predictable payment reform to ensure patient access to quality cancer care – today commended lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for passing the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act (S. 2425).

The legislation provides payment stability to freestanding radiation therapy centers by freezing Medicare payment rates for the sector in 2017 and 2018 as it transitions to a new, episodic alternative payment model in 2019.  The legislation also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit to Congress a report on the development of an episodic alternative payment model for payment under the Medicare program within 18 months.

The RTA thanked Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dan Coats (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Representatives Tom Price (R-GA), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), James Clyburn (D-SC), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) for their leadership in advancing this vital cancer care legislation.

“The RTA applauds Congress for passing this critical legislation which will ensure patient access to freestanding radiation therapy services across the country,” said Christopher M. Rose, MD, FASTRO, RTA Policy Chair. “Consistent with the legislation, we look forward to working with CMS to craft an Alternative Payment Model for radiation oncology that will ensure access while improving the efficiency and quality of care to Medicare patients.”

Freestanding radiation therapy centers offer patients access to treatments for prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting closer to home, removing the burden of traveling to distant hospitals or specialty centers.

For more: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/radiation-therapy-alliance-commends-congress-for-passing-legislation-to-ensure-access-to-radiation-therapy-care-for-nations-cancer-patients-300195540.html

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Congress Simplifies MU Hardship Exemption Process
AAFP Strongly Supported New Legislation

December 22, 2015 03:42 pm – AAFP

Congress provided a bit of end-of-the year cheer to America’s physicians on Dec. 18 when the U.S. House and Senate passed the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act(www.congress.gov) with the AAFP’s strong support.

The bill includes a provision that gives CMS the authority — for the next few months — to expedite applications from physicians for a hardship exemption related to meaningful use stage two requirements for the 2015 calendar year.

The expedited “categorical authority” applies only to hardship exemption applications filed before March 15, 2016. Stay tuned for more information on the application process as it becomes available from CMS.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and is widely expected to be signed by the President.

“This heralds a reprieve to physician practices that are unable to successfully attest to meaningful use for 2015, through no fault of their own,” said AAFP President Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., in a Dec. 21 statement about the legislation.

Passage of the bill is important to many family physicians because under current law, physicians participating in the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs(www.federalregister.gov) must attest to meeting meaningful use stage two requirements for 90 consecutive days in 2015.

For more: http://www.aafp.org/news/government-medicine/20151222muexemption.html

Obamacare Sign-Ups Reach 8.3 Million in 2015

December 23, 2015 By Zachary Tracer – insurancejournal

About 8.3 million people have signed up for health coverage through Obamacare’s U.S.-run shopping markets this year, the U.S. said Tuesday, surpassing last year’s total and signaling good news for hospital and health insurance companies.

At about the same point in the enrollment period last year, 6.4 million people had signed up. The U.S. report counts enrollees for 2016 coverage as of Dec. 19 in 38 states that use the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. It’s the most comprehensive accounting since a Dec. 17 deadline for people to pick coverage that begins at the start of 2016.

Sign-ups this year are an important indication of how President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul is faring ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

For more: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/12/23/392935.htm

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Medicare, Medicaid turns 50

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration for these programs, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is collecting stories of how Medicare and Medicaid have made a difference for everyday Americans.

Please visit Medicare.gov/anniversary/share-your-story to share your Medicare or Medicaid story.

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#Medicare & #Medicaid

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12 thoughts on “Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act

  1. WH

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    Kailua, HI

    7:00 AM
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  2. Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act

    December 28, 2015

    Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 1321, S. 2425

    On Monday, December 28, 2015, the President signed into law:

    H.R. 1321, the “Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015,” which prohibits the manufacture and introduction into interstate commerce of rinse-off cosmetics containing intentionally-added plastic microbeads; and

    S. 2425, the “Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act,” which makes changes to Medicare payments for certain complex rehabilitation technology and radiation therapy services, provide flexibility in applying a hardship exception from meaningful use of electronic health records, and improve Medicare and Medicaid program integrity.

    • Radiation Therapy Alliance Commends Congress for Passing Legislation to Ensure Access to Radiation Therapy Care for Nation’s Cancer Patients

      Legislation is essential step to achieving lasting payment stability for needed cancer care services

      WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2015

      (Excerpt):

      “The RTA applauds Congress for passing this critical legislation which will ensure patient access to freestanding radiation therapy services across the country,” said Christopher M. Rose, MD, FASTRO, RTA Policy Chair. “Consistent with the legislation, we look forward to working with CMS to craft an Alternative Payment Model for radiation oncology that will ensure access while improving the efficiency and quality of care to Medicare patients.”

      Freestanding radiation therapy centers offer patients access to treatments for prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting closer to home, removing the burden of traveling to distant hospitals or specialty centers.

      For more: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/radiation-therapy-alliance-commends-congress-for-passing-legislation-to-ensure-access-to-radiation-therapy-care-for-nations-cancer-patients-300195540.html

    • Congress Simplifies MU Hardship Exemption Process
      AAFP Strongly Supported New Legislation

      December 22, 2015 03:42 pm – AAFP

      Congress provided a bit of end-of-the year cheer to America’s physicians on Dec. 18 when the U.S. House and Senate passed the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act(www.congress.gov) with the AAFP’s strong support.

      The bill includes a provision that gives CMS the authority — for the next few months — to expedite applications from physicians for a hardship exemption related to meaningful use stage two requirements for the 2015 calendar year.

      The expedited “categorical authority” applies only to hardship exemption applications filed before March 15, 2016. Stay tuned for more information on the application process as it becomes available from CMS.

      The bill was sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and is widely expected to be signed by the President.

      “This heralds a reprieve to physician practices that are unable to successfully attest to meaningful use for 2015, through no fault of their own,” said AAFP President Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., in a Dec. 21 statement about the legislation.

      Passage of the bill is important to many family physicians because under current law, physicians participating in the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs(www.federalregister.gov) must attest to meeting meaningful use stage two requirements for 90 consecutive days in 2015.

      For more: http://www.aafp.org/news/government-medicine/20151222muexemption.html

  3. Obamacare Sign-Ups Reach 8.3 Million in 2015

    December 23, 2015 By Zachary Tracer – insurancejournal

    About 8.3 million people have signed up for health coverage through Obamacare’s U.S.-run shopping markets this year, the U.S. said Tuesday, surpassing last year’s total and signaling good news for hospital and health insurance companies.

    At about the same point in the enrollment period last year, 6.4 million people had signed up. The U.S. report counts enrollees for 2016 coverage as of Dec. 19 in 38 states that use the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. It’s the most comprehensive accounting since a Dec. 17 deadline for people to pick coverage that begins at the start of 2016.

    Sign-ups this year are an important indication of how President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul is faring ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

    For more: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/12/23/392935.htm

  4. Consumer Confidence in U.S. Increases More Than Projected

    December 29, 2015 ShoChandra – bloomberg

    Consumer confidence rebounded more than forecast in December as Americans grew more optimistic about the current state of the economy and job market.

    The Conference Board’s sentiment index climbed to 96.5 from a revised November reading of 92.6 that was higher than previously estimated, the New York-based private research group said Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 93.5.

    The combination of a strong labor market and cheap fuel costs have buoyed households’ finances, giving them the wherewithal to purchase everything from cars to clothing and holiday gifts. Faster growth in wages would usher in bigger gains in confidence and probably provide another boost to consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy.

    “Some of the primary things boosting confidence are strong labor market conditions and perhaps more importantly, low gasoline prices,” said Thomas Simons, a money-market economist at Jefferies Group LLC in New York. “On the margin, it should increase consumers’ propensity to spend.”

    The share of Americans who see greater job availability in the next six months increased, and fewer expected their incomes to decline, the report showed.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-29/consumer-confidence-index-in-u-s-increased-to-96-5-in-december

  5. WH

    Wednesday, December 30,, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing
    Kailua, HI

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  6. December 30, 2015

    Statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price on the Arrest of Journalists in Ethiopia

    Having welcomed developments in Ethiopia earlier this year–including the release of several detained bloggers–that suggested increased protections for the fundamental right of free expression, we are deeply concerned by the recent arrests of other journalists in Ethiopia. We continue to urge the Ethiopian Government to build on earlier developments by strengthening free speech protections and broadening democratic progress, and note that the continued stifling of independent voices will only inhibit such progress as well as development and economic growth.

    The United States has consistently applauded Ethiopia for being a model and a voice for development in Africa, but such gains must rest on a foundation of democratic governance and respect for human rights if they are to be sustainable. We urge the Ethiopian Government to release journalists and all others imprisoned for exercising their right to free expression, to refrain from using its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation as a mechanism to silence dissent, and to protect the rights of journalists, bloggers, and dissidents to write and speak freely as voices of a diverse nation.

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