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On June 19,  the Health Policy Consensus Group, which is a group led by former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and composed of several conservative think tanks, released a white paper proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
It has been a few weeks since the publication of the Trump Administration’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices, and Secretary Azar’s  Request for Information (RFI) on the Blueprint.  We previously posted about the Blueprint’s focus on the 340B Drug Discount Program.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - June 18th

June 18, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

Welcome to the third week of this four week stretch. This week, the House will continue to vote on a number of proposals to address the opioid crisis.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - June 11th

June 11, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

This week the Senate Finance Committee will mark up its opioid package. Additionally, the HELP Committee will hear from Secretary Azar on the Administration's effort to lower prescription drug prices. For our complete review and what else to watch for this week.
To date, 34 states (including D.C.) have adopted Medicaid expansion. Of the remaining 17 states, some are considering expanding Medicaid.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - June 4, 2018

June 4, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

Congress is back in session for a four week work period. With the focus on opioids, there's the potential that meaningful legislation gets done. We will also continue monitoring state action as it relates to work requirements and other initiatives via 1115 waivers.

Ohio Submits 1115 Waiver on Work Requirements

May 23, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

In a previous blog, we reviewed pending and approved 1115 waivers in 11 states. These reviews provide an overview of 1115 waiver applications, including a focus on work requirements, lock-outs, changes in coverage structures, repealing the Medicaid IMD exclusion, and other behavioral health initiatives.  

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - Week of May 21st

May 21, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

This week, the House is set to vote on Right to Try legislation which has gained the support of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. In the Senate, the HELP Committee will review the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, or PAHPA, along with rural health care issues, which the Senate Finance Committee also happens to be looking at this week.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - May 14, 2018

May 15, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

This week, the House Energy & Commerce Committee will hold its second round markup of opioid-related legislation. While they remain on pace for passage by Memorial Day, the timing will be determined by how smooth the markup this week goes.

President Trump Delivers Much Anticipated Drug Pricing Speech

May 14, 2018 | Blog | By Susan Berson, Theresa Carnegie, Tara E. Dwyer

On Friday, after weeks of delay, the President finally delivered his Drug Pricing Speech and released the HHS Blueprint detailing the Trump Administration's plan to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs.
On Tuesday, May 8th, the House held three hearings related to combating the opioid epidemic. The first hearing came out of the Energy and Commerce (E&C) Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which examined opioid distribution and diversion by the pharmaceutical industry.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

This week, Congress is back in session with the House continuing its work on addressing the opioid crisis. There are three hearings and a markup on several pieces of legislation intended to address the ongoing epidemic.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

This week, the focus shifts back to the Congressional push around addressing the opioid epidemic after the President's speech on drug pricing was postponed. Both committees of jurisdiction in the House and Senate are moving on opioid legislation this week, so that has our immediate attention.

FY2019 Massachusetts Budget Update: House Ways and Means Budget

April 18, 2018 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Steven Baddour, Daniel Connelly, Caitlin Beresin, Maxwell Fathy

On Wednesday, April 11, the House Ways and Means Committee proposed a $40.991 billion budget for FY2019 that represents an increase of $1.24 billion, or 3.1 percent, above FY2018 spending levels. The budget proposes $83 million more in spending than Governor Charlie Baker recommended in the FY2019 budget he filed in January.
On Monday, CMS published a number of policies changing the dynamics of the individual market, including the Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019 Final Rule, guidance on hardship exemptions, and a bulletin on transitional (grandmothered) plans. When interpreting all of these policies it’s important to keep in mind the following: What is success? And who is defining it?

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - Week of April 16th

April 16, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

Congress will continue its work in addressing the opioid crisis this week with a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee. There were reports last week that Congress will also consider legislation around telemedicine, which is sure to capture stakeholders attention.
In a previous blog, we reviewed pending and approved 1115 waivers in 8 states. We also highlighted the trends we see in 1115 waivers, such as changes to coverage requirements, a time limit on how long certain beneficiaries can receive Medicaid coverage, lock-outs if an individual fails to pay a premium or meet the work requirement, and drug testing requirements.
In March, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) released its biannual report to Congress. MACPAC is an independent congressional agency that advises Congress on issues relating to Medicaid. In its report, the Commission made a three part recommendation in regards to streamlining Medicaid managed care authorities.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - Week of April 9th

April 9, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

This week, Congress returns from recess with its eyes set on addressing the opioid crisis. We expect to see some form of bipartisan legislation considered between now and Memorial Day. We will also see Congress dive into appropriations which will eat up plenty of time, not to mention nominations of Cabinet officials and appointments to the federal bench.

Massachusetts Legislature Issues Net Neutrality Report, Recommends Legislation

April 9, 2018 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Maxwell Fathy

On March 23, 2018, the Special Senate Committee on Net Neutrality and Consumer Protection (the Committee) released a report recommending legislation aimed at ensuring net neutrality in Massachusetts.
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