Health Care

HHS OIG Admits: We’re Just Flushing Money Down the Drain

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) admitted last week that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) hospital payment process is broken.

The OIG’s report, “Significant Vulnerabilities Exist in the Hospital Wage Index System for Medicare Payments,” showed that from 2004 to 2017, CMS overpaid nearly 300 hospitals more than $140 million in taxpayer dollars.

More Good News from Trump Administration on Lowering Health Insurance Costs

It’s a common saying in D.C., that bad news gets released on Fridays.  But, that was not the case on Friday, November 30, 2018.  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced that her agency was releasing four waiver concepts to help governors and state legislatures take advantage of Section 1332, Waiver for State Innovation, found in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.

Healthcare Moves from the Election and Back to Congress

Poll, after poll, after poll shows that healthcare was the top issue in the 2018 elections.  This should not be a surprise as Democrats ran on the issue, while many Republicans hid from it.

Comment to CMS - Do Not Adopt Destructive Price Controls in Medicare Part B

November 16, 2018

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Department of Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 8013
Baltimore, MD  21244-1850

Attention:

CMS-5528-ANPRM
Soliciting public comments on utilizing international price controls in Medicare Part B.

Background

Comment to CMS - Pharmaceuticals DTC Advertising

November 13, 2018

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Department of Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 8013
Baltimore, MD  21244-1850

Attention: Docket CMS-4187-P

Proposed Rule that would revise the Medicare and Medicaid programs to require direct-to-consumer (DTC) television advertisements for prescription drugs and biological products to include the Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC), or the “list price,” of that drug or biological product.

Background:

Taxpayer Watchdogs Urge House & Senate Committees to Revive Prepayment Reviews for Medicare Claims

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) President Tom Schatz and National Taxpayers Union President Pete Sepp sent a joint letter to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee urging them to allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) Recovery Audit Contracting (RAC) program to establish a permanent, nationwide prepayment claims review process for Medicare claims.

In 2019, More Options Available to Save on Health Insurance

Once again, open enrollment began for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.  The time frame to enroll is from November 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018 for coverage in 2019.

Citizens Against Government Waste Submits Recommendations for President Trump’s Nickel Plan

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) sent letters to 16 federal departments and agencies detailing potential spending cuts that could be made in furtherance of President Trump’s “nickel plan” for an across the board 5 percent budget cut, which he announced on October 17, 2018.

CAGW Recommendations for Trump Administration's Nickel Plan- HHS

November 1, 2018

The Honorable Alex M. Azar, II
Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20416

Dear Secretary Azar,

During a meeting on October 17, 2018, President Trump directed you and other members of his Cabinet to cut their department budgets by 5 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2019.  With a national debt of more than $21 trillion and the budget deficit soaring to its highest level since 2012, President Trump’s initiative will help to improve fiscal responsibility.

Adopting Foreign Countries’ Price Controls: A Really Bad Idea

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) was troubled and mystified when the Trump administration issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that would change Medicare Part B reimbursement for outpatient drugs from the Average Sales Price (ASP) plus 6 percent to instead a reimbursement system based on what other countries pay for the same drugs.

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CAGW Names Rep. Mike Rogers November 2018 Porker of the Month

Rep. Hoyer is CAGW's Porker of the Month for his support for being a leading proponent of a wasteful sixth military branch called the Space Force.