1. HHS Announces New Initiatives

    Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell announced new initiatives to combat opioid abuse and expanding treatment and services for substance abuse. Included in the announcement, HHS states that the agency is making additional funding available to states and community health centers to expand the use of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, and is releasing guidance to help states implement innovative approaches to substance use disorder treatment.

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  2. FDA Grants Delay in DSCSA Tracking Requirements

    The FDA granted a delay for dispensers to comply with the drug tracking requirements set forth in the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Dispensers now have until November 1, 2015 to implement the requirements. BGOV reported that three pharmacy organizations recently asked the FDA to delay the enforcement of the requirement, citing a compressed implementation timetable of a 2013 law and the potential for disruptions in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The FDA issued the industry guidance in response to that request. Manufacturers, wholesale distributors and repackagers originally had to meet these same requirements by January 1, 2015, although the FDA also granted them more time to comply.

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  3. CMS Proposes Updates to ESRD PPS

    CMS released a proposed rule to update and make revisions to the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) for 2016. According to CMS, the proposals in this rule are necessary to ensure that ESRD facilities receive accurate Medicare payment amounts for furnishing outpatient maintenance dialysis treatments during calendar year 2016. This rule also proposes to

    • Set requirements for the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) for CY 2016.
    • Establish and revise requirements for quality reporting and measurement, including the inclusion of new quality measures for payment year (PY) 2019 and beyond.
    • Update programmatic policies for the PY 2017 nd PY 2018 ESRD QIP.
    Comments are due August 25, 2015.

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  4. NCPDP Testifies at June NCVHS Review Committee Hearings

    The National Committee on Vital & Health Statistics (NCVHS) held a hearing this week to obtain information from the healthcare industry on the currently adopted standards, operating rules, code sets and identifiers used in administrative simplification transactions.  NCPDP testified at the hearing; written comments are available on NCPDP’s Workspace Collaborative website.  The hearing focused on two main objectives:

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  5. CMS Issues Final Rule on MSSP ACO

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Accountable Care Organizations. According to CMS, the final rule updates the Medicare Shared Savings Program to “encourage the delivery of high-quality care for Medicare beneficiaries and build on the early successes of the program and of the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model.” The modifications to the proposed regulations stem from comments CMS received from the December 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

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