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The Daily Scan

Last Updated: 1:00 PM EST


  • Yesterday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced changes to the way contractors decide which technologies are covered by publishing a revision to Chapter 13 of Medicare’s Program Integrity Manual. Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) determine which healthcare items and services meet requirements for Medicare coverage — taking into account local variations in the practice of medicine — through “local coverage determinations” or LCDs. LCDs are issued when national determinations do not exist, or when MACs need to further define a national determination. The updated manual responds to Congress’ requirement in the 21st Century Cures Act for more transparency in the LCD process and aims to ensure an open LCD process that meets patients’ needs. The changes will clarify and simplify the process, helping to ensure that companies can get therapies and devices to patients more efficiently. (CMS.gov: Press Release, Fact Sheet)


  • U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) praised the Senate for passing bipartisan opioid legislation that includes their bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act – which will stop criminal drug traffickers in countries like China from shipping synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the United States through the Postal Service. The measure passed the Senate yesterday by a vote of 98 to 1. The bill will now be sent to the president’s desk to signed into law. “Passing the STOP Act is a victory in our efforts to combat the opioid crisis and stop the influx of cheap, deadly synthetic drugs like fentanyl,” said Portman. “By closing the loophole in our international mail system that drug traffickers have exploited to ship fentanyl into the U.S., we can help law enforcement keep this poison out of our communities and ensure those gripped by addiction the chance to live up to their God-given potential.” (Portman.Senate.gov)

Private Sector

  • Humana Inc. announced yesterday that it has collaborated with Heritage Provider Network (HPN), one of the nation’s most experienced and effective physician-led value-based care organizations, on a value-based agreement designed to offer a coordinated, patient-centered experience to help Humana Medicare Advantage members in Southern and Central California achieve better health. Humana’s Medicare Advantage HMO plan members in Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties, as well as Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (for patients qualifying for both Medicare and Medicaid) members in Kern and Ventura counties, will have in-network access to HPN’s vast number of physicians and facilities throughout Southern and Central California. (Press.Humana.com)

  • Yesterday, Cerner announced it has established a team of industry leaders and innovators with extensive experience in large enterprise systems and commercial sectors to modernize the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic health care record (EHR) and provide seamless care to our nation’s Veterans. Along with Cerner, the core team, including Leidos, Guidehouse, Accenture, Henry Schein Inc., AbleVets LLC, MicroHealth, ProSource360 and 17 additional businesses, many of which are veteran-owned, will provide experience and expertise to the VA implementation. “Cerner has brought together some of this country’s brightest industry leaders to transform veteran health care delivery,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This team will create a single longitudinal health record that can facilitate the efficient exchange of data among military care facilities, VA facilities and the thousands of civilian health care providers where current and former service members receive care.” (Cerner.com)

  • BlackBerry Limited today announced new partnerships and customer-driven projects that have a shared aim of transforming the global delivery of patient care enabled by the Enterprise of Things (EoT). “We are applying our expertise in security, data privacy, and communication work in regulated industries such as automotive, financial services, and government to tackle one of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry: leveraging healthcare endpoints to improve patient outcomes while ensuring security and data privacy,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry. The initiatives include using the Blackberry Network Operation Center to power a blockchain digital ledger, a new operating system for medical devices compliant with IEC 62304 safety-certification standards, and partnerships with the Mackenzie Innovation Institute and Melanoma Institute Australia. (Blackberry.com)

#Medicaid #Medicare #Legislation #PrivateSector


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