Entries by Joseph Steinbock

MedPAC Meets

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. to discuss a number of Medicare payment issues. The issues on MedPAC’s January agenda were: The Medicare prescription drug program (Part D):  status report and options for restructuring Redesigning the Medicare Advantage quality program:  initial modeling of a value incentive program Hospital inpatient and outpatient […]

GAO: Feds Need Better Oversight of 340B Eligibility

The federal government needs to do a better job of ensuring that non-government hospital participants in the 340B prescription drug discount program are eligible for that program, the U.S. Government Accountability Office concluded in a recent report. With growing numbers of non-government hospitals now participating in the 340B program, the GAO found that the federal […]

Interview With Seema Verma

In late December, PBS broadcast an interview with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma.  Kaiser Health News has published a transcript of excerpts from that interview during which Verma discusses Medicaid – including enrollment, eligibility, services, and children – Medicare for all, administration attempts to reduce health care costs, protection for people […]

Medicare Money for Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Training?

Should Medicare offer graduate medical education money for nurse practitioner and physician assistant training? That was the subject of a recent inquiry by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. In a new report inspired by concern over the current physician shortage and the belief that making greater use of nurse practitioners might help relieve that shortage, […]

Medicaid DSH Cut Delayed

Scheduled cuts in Medicaid DSH payments to hospitals will be delayed until at least late May under new federal spending legislation. The cuts in Medicaid disproportionate share allotments to the states, mandated by the Affordable Care Act and delayed several times by Congress – including twice in FY 2020 alone under continuing resolutions to fund […]

A Look at Surprise Medical Bill Legislation

While Congress’s decision this week to put off addressing the surprise medical bill challenge until next year has disappointed many, that decision did not reflect any lack of ideas for what to do. At last count, various parts of Congress were considering four major surprise medical bill proposals:  one from the Senate Health, Education, Labor […]


The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission met for two days last week in Washington, D.C. The following is MACPAC’s own summary of the sessions. The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission kicked off its December meeting with highlights from its forthcoming issue of MACStats: Medicaid and CHIP Data Book, due out December […]

President, VP Attempt to Mediate HHS Feud

President Trump and Vice President Pence have stepped into a feud between Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma. Azar and Verma have apparently clashed on numerous occasions in recent months, with Verma criticizing at least one Azar proposal during an Oval Office meeting and […]