Your weekly source for Health Center policy updates November 18, 2014
HHS Withdraws 340B “Mega Reg”
Last Friday the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) withdrew a comprehensive 340B drug discount proposed rule from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where it had been under consideration since April. This move was not surprising in light of recent legal challenges to HRSA’s authority to issue regulations related to the 340B program. Instead, HRSA said it will issue guidance in 2015 on specific aspects of the 340B program and released the following statement: “In 2015, HRSA plans to issue a proposed guidance for notice and comment that will address key policy issues raised by various stakeholders committed to the integrity of the 340B program. HRSA is also planning to issue proposed rules pertaining to civil monetary penalties for manufacturers, calculation of the 340B ceiling price, and administrative dispute resolution.” NACHC will continue to monitor this development and share any additional information pertaining to new 340B guidance as soon as it is released.
HRSA to Fund Existing Teaching Health Centers into the Next Academic Year
HRSA announced this week that it will support existing teaching health centers into the 2015-16 academic year through funding to be made available in July of next year. Because of the looming expiration of funding for the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Program, HRSA has estimated that the amount available per resident will be $70,000 and is not planning a new competition, but rather will give priority to existing residents. As part of the broader effort address the Primary Care Cliff, NACHC has been advocating for extending funding for Teaching Health Centers and recently organized a letter signed by more than 100 national organizations calling on Congress to address the issue in the lame duck session.
Access is the Answer Phase Two Continues
Health Center Advocates should continue reaching out to newly elected Members of Congress and strengthening relationships with current Members in the months to come. Take these three simple action steps as part of phase two of Access is the Answer to demonstrate to your Members the outpouring of support for Health Centers and to help secure a fix to the Health Center Funding Cliff:
1) Collect Local Support Letters from state and local elected official and community partners
2) Place an editorial in a local media outlet regarding the cliff and its impact in your community
3) Meet with Members of Congress and educate new Members about Health Centers and the cliff.
If you missed the national TeleForum launching Phase Two of Access is the Answer, check out the transcript and recording of the call. You can find more information on the campaign on the Campaign for America’s Health Centers website.
NACHC Trainings on Medicare PPS
Are you ready? The new Medicare FQHC PPS began phasing in October 1st. NACHC is holding one-day trainings to help you prepare. Registration is now open for trainings on the 16th and 17th of December in San Diego, CA. Space is limited, so register today!
The Louisiana Primary Care Association is featured in this The Daily Beast article about the impact of not expanding Medicaid in the Bayou State.
97% of Community Health Centers felt ready for the second round of open enrollment. Read NACHC’s press release here.
The American Academy of Family Physicians urges “Congress to act during the upcoming lame duck [session] to address the looming shortfall in each of these programs, which work both independently and synergistically to undergird our nation's health care system, in order to ensure the stability and viability of that system moving forward." Read more here.
Tweet of the Week
U-M Economics @umichECON: Research by @martha_j_bailey shows Community Health Centers are cheap and effective ways to improve health #fqhc http://bit.ly/1wMk8mo
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