CMS WITHDRAWS COVID-19 HEALTHCARE FACILITY VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS
Yesterday evening, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule which, in part, withdraws the COVID-19 healthcare staff vaccination requirements established in a November 2021 interim final rule. The November 2021 rule required most Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers to ensure COVID-19 vaccination of staff. This rule largely did not apply to physician offices. Although CMS is withdrawing the staff vaccination provisions, the agency intends to encourage ongoing COVID-19 vaccination through its quality reporting and value-based incentive programs.
MGMA SUBMITS TESTIMONY TO HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS & MEANS SURROUNDING NO SURPRISES ACT
MGMA submitted testimony earlier this week to the House Committee on Ways and Means in response to its May 16 hearing, “Health Care Price Transparency: A Patient’s Right to Know.” The testimony centers on the No Surprises Act (NSA) and concerns about the way certain provisions may be implemented due to current limitations in the healthcare environment and available infrastructure.
While supporting the underlying goals of the transparency provisions of the NSA, MGMA raised concerns about increasing administrative burden for practices without increasing transparency regarding the Advanced Explanation of Benefits (AEOB) and convening/co-provider requirements. Specifically, MGMA highlighted the need for a uniform and automated standard to be available before the requirements go into effect. Policymakers must work with medical groups to institute polices that empower patients without impacting the delivery of care.
HOUSE PASSES DEBT CEILING BILL — A STEP CLOSER TO AVOIDING DEFAULT
On May 31, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 3746 — the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 — averting U.S. default on the debt limit and enabling continued Medicare and Medicaid payments. This politically fraught legislation includes a two-year debt ceiling suspension, discretionary spending caps, expanded work requirements for SNAP and TANF, and cuts to IRS funding. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the legislation will result in cuts to the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The bill is now headed to the Senate — if the full Congress does not pass the bill by the Monday deadline, the U.S. could risk a default on the nation's debt. MGMA Government Affairs will continue to monitor and provide updates to membership.