Public Policy

October 6, 2020

Trump Administration Announces Plan to Ship 150 Million Rapid COVID-19 Tests to States

Trump Administration Announces Plan to Ship 150 Million Rapid COVID-19 Tests to States On September 28, 2020, President Trump announced a plan to distribute 150 million rapid coronavirus tests purchased by the federal government to states, tribes, and other jurisdictions in the coming months. Experts praised the news as a welcome endorsement of the importance of rapid and widely available testing while the nation continues to struggle in its fight to rein in the coronavirus, which has so far killed more than 204,000 people in the United States. Rapid tests, which don’t need to be routed through labs, have been proposed as an appealing alternative to fill that gap, especially if given frequently enough to catch infections early. The tests that are […]
October 6, 2020

CMS Announces a Model for Rural Health Care Access and Transformation

CMS Announces a Model for Rural Health Care Access and Transformation On September 16, 2020, the CMS Innovation Center announced the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model. As part of that rural transformation, including transforming a system built on fee-for-service and volume to one based on value, CMS is testing the CHART Model. Through the Model, CMS is directly providing a pool of $75 million in upfront seed funding, with 15 rural communities applying for up to $5 million to develop local transformation plans. With this upfront seed funding, CMS is also providing regulatory and operational flexibility for updated service delivery models as well as changing how participating hospitals in these communities are paid, from a system based […]
October 6, 2020

Blue Cross Plans Announce Settlement in Antitrust Lawsuit

Blue Cross Plans Announce Settlement in Antitrust Lawsuit It was announced on September 24, 2020, that the nation’s Blue Cross plans have reached a tentative $2.7 billion settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by their customers that accuses the group of engaging in a conspiracy to thwart competition among the individual companies, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The settlement, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, would need to be agreed to by each of the three dozen Blue Cross insurers that make up the trade group, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Judge R. David Proctor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, who is overseeing the case in that […]
October 6, 2020

New CPT Codes for Reporting Medical Services During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Period

New CPT Codes for Reporting Medical Services During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Period The American Medical Association (AMA) just announced updates to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set that includes two code additions for reporting medical services sparked by the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first addition, CPT code 99072, allows for the provision of evaluation, treatment, or procedural services during a public health emergency in a setting where extra precautions are taken to ensure the safety of patients as well as health care professionals. The second addition, CPT code 86413, was approved in response to the development of laboratory tests that provide quantitative measurements of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, as opposed to a qualitative assessment (positive/negative) […]