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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.
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.
In March, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its biannual report to Congress on matters affecting the Medicare program. MedPAC is an independent congressional agency that advises Congress on issues relating to Medicare.
As of March 2018, there are twenty-four Medicaid 1115 waivers pending CMS approval.   Medicaid 1115 waivers, Research and Demonstration Projects, give states experimental, pilot, or demonstration projects likely to assist in promoting the objectives of Medicaid.
Mintz and ML Strategies will host the 3rd Annual Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Industry Summit on May 8, 2018! This year's summit will take place in Boston and we are thrilled to announce that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker will be the keynote speaker. 

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - Week of March 19th

March 19, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

Congress has until Friday to finalize a government spending bill. Over the next couple of days it will decide whether to move forward with a number of consequential health care issues, market stabilization and drug pricing chief among them.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - Week of March 12th

March 12, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

This week, Congress returns to Washington with 11 days to finalize a government spending bill. Standing in the way are a number of unresolved health care issues, including drug pricing and market stabilization.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - Week of March 5th

March 5, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

Congress has three weeks to finalize an omnibus spending package. There are a number of issues that are expected to come up, including market stabilization and drug pricing, among other issues. There's also activity at the state level on Medicaid waivers and work requirements. We cover this and more in this week's preview.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - Week of February 26th

February 26, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

Congress is back in session and will begin its work in finalizing a final spending bill for fiscal year 2018. Both chambers are considering new ways to address the opioid crisis, and we should expect a renewed push around gun control and mental health.
With the end of the 2017-2018 legislative cycle fast approaching, Beacon Hill’s agenda for the coming months has begun to take shape. All major policymaking will need to be concluded by the end of formal sessions on July 31, and lawmakers have a long to-do list they hope to complete before that date.

ML Strategies Health Care Preview - Week of February 12th

February 12, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

This week, the President's FY 2019 budget will be released, and the Administration will spend the next couple of weeks touting its goals. How this activity is received in Congress will play out in various committee hearings, as will issues like drug pricing, which the Administration is closely examining.

The Administration's Budget Proposal for FY2019

February 12, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan

Today, the White House released its FY 2019 budget proposal, outlining its policy priorities for the fiscal year. In health care, the President's budget focuses on prescription drug pricing and opioid funding.

The New Extender Timeline

February 8, 2018 | Blog

Based on the most up-to-date information on the budget deal, we have developed a new timeline for the major health care extenders. This new timeline is important because these provisions were once all tied together and now, they are not.
Late Monday night (February 5, 2018), the House of Representatives released a continuing resolution to keep the government funded and running until March 23, 2018. This CR includes many health care related provisions, specifically many of the health care “minibus” riders. In the chart below we summarize major health care provisions in this CR specific to the health care minibus.

Governor Baker Files FY2019 Budget

January 30, 2018 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Steven Baddour, Daniel Connelly, Caitlin Beresin, Maxwell Fathy

On Wednesday, January 24, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker released a $40.9 billion budget proposal for FY2019. The plan, commonly referred to as House 2, is the fourth Baker has proposed since assuming office and increases spending by 2.6% over FY2018 levels.

Alcohol Task Force Releases Final Report

January 23, 2018 | Advisory | By Julie Cox, Steven Baddour, Maxwell Fathy

The Task Force that Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg commissioned to review the alcohol industry in the Commonwealth issued its final report on December 27, 2017.

Recreation Marijuana Industry Forges Ahead Amid Enforcement Uncertainty

January 22, 2018 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Caitlin Beresin

The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) voted in late December to approve draft regulations establishing the framework for the recreational marijuana industry of Massachusetts.

Potential Government Shutdown and Impact on Immigration Processes

January 19, 2018 | Alert | By William Coffman

As of 4 pm on Friday, January 19, 2018, the US Senate had not reached an agreement on the terms of a continuing resolution to keep the US government running. The US House passed a 30-day resolution on Thursday, but this must also pass the Senate and President Trump must sign it before midnight, January 19, 2018 to avoid a shutdown. 

Massachusetts Health Care Update: Senate Bill, Medication Switching, and Opioids

November 20, 2017 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Caitlin Beresin, Maxwell Fathy

Massachusetts policymakers continue to debate health care reform proposals with important implications for industry stakeholders.

Draft Regulations on Employer Health Care Assessment Released

November 13, 2017 | Alert | By Julie Cox, Maxwell Fathy

The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance has released draft regulations changing the existing Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC), creating a temporary supplemental contribution, and modifying the unemployment insurance rate schedule.
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