Monday Mishmash

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services released its proposed rule describing changes to its Medicare Part A prospective payment system (“PPS”) changes for the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2020. This PPS applies to acute and long term inpatient care. Fierce Healthcare explains that the changes represent “an approximately 1.6% increase to inpatient hospital stay payments” that will add about $2.1 billion to Medicare spending next fiscal year.

A friend of the FEHBlog recommended a book called “Together: The Healing Power of Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World” written by former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. It seems like a perfect read for the great hunkering down. The FEHBlog will let you know.

In other news:

  • Fierce Healthcare also discusses how CVS Health has adapted its specialty pharmacy to the COVID-19 emergency. According to the article, CVS Specialty is making greater use of digital tools, e.g., “a 30% increase in March alone in encounter volume through CVS Specialty’s secure messaging tool, which allows [their] pharmacists to text members directly to discuss their medications.”
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that “Atul Gawande is in advanced discussions to step down as chief executive and take on a less operational role as chairman of Haven, the health-care venture backed by Amazon.com Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and JPMorgan Chase JPM , according to people with knowledge of the matter.” Haven was the big new thing is 2018 when Dr. Gawande came aboard.
  • The HHS Office of Inspector General announced the availability of two “toolkits and the accompanying code can be used to analyze claims data for prescription drugs and identify patients who may be misusing or abusing prescription opioids and may be in need of additional case management or other followup. These toolkits and accompanying code can also be used to answer research questions about opioid utilization.”

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