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CMS strengthens federal support to California residents affected by wildfires

December
15

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma today announced that the agency has taken immediate steps and is monitoring conditions in support of California residents displaced and recovering from the wildfires ravaging southern portions of the state. On Dec.11, 2017, Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric D. Hargan declared a public health emergency (PHE) in the state of California retroactive to Dec. 4, 2017. The PHE allows CMS to waive or modify certain Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements if necessary to provide health services.

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CMS Office of the Actuary Releases 2016 National Health Expenditures

11 December
06

In 2016, overall national health spending increased 4.3 percent following 5.8 percent growth in 2015, according to a study by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published today as a Web First by Health Affairs. Following Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage expansion and significant retail prescription drug spending growth in 2014 and 2015, health care spending growth decelerated in 2016. The report concludes that the 2016 expenditure slowdown was broadly based as growth for all major payers (private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid) and goods and service categories (hospitals, physician and clinical services, and retail prescription drugs) slowed in 2016.

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FDA announces approval, CMS proposes coverage of first breakthrough-designated test to detect extensive number of cancer biomarkers

November
30

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the FoundationOne CDx (F1CDx), the first breakthrough-designated, next generation sequencing (NGS)-based in vitro diagnostic (IVD) test that can detect genetic mutations in 324 genes and two genomic signatures in any solid tumor type. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the same time proposed coverage of the F1CDx. The test is the second IVD to be approved and covered after overlapping review by the FDA and CMS under the Parallel Review Program, which facilitates earlier access to innovative medical technologies for Medicare beneficiaries.

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CMS finalizes changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model, cancels Episode Payment Models and Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model

November
30

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the cancellation of the mandatory hip fracture and cardiac bundled payment models that were to be operated by the CMS Innovation Center and implemented changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model. These changes will offer greater flexibility and choice for hospitals in providing care to Medicare patients. 

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Updated Medicare Part D Opioid Drug Mapping Tool Unveiled

November
29

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an updated version of the Medicare opioid prescribing mapping tool. This tool is an interactive, web-based resource that visually presents geographic comparisons of Medicare Part D opioid prescribing rates. The tool includes the addition of extended-release opioid prescribing rates and county-level hot spots and outliers, which may identify areas that warrant attention. 

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