The Weekly Insight: December 18
Texas Insight Reports: December 11-15
- HHSC: Proposed New Rules Regarding the Disposition of Embryonic and Fetal Tissue Remains: The Texas Health and Human Services Commission conducted a public hearing on December 11, 2017, to receive comments on proposed new rules to implement Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 697, §§1.138.1 – 1.138.8, concerning the definition, treatment, and disposition of embryonic and fetal tissue remains from healthcare-related facilities. The proposed new rules are published in the November 17, 2017, issue of the Texas Register, (42 TexReg 6469). The purpose of the amendments is to implement Senate Bill 8, 85th Legislature, 2017, Regular Session.
- TX House of Representatives: Committee on Human Services: On December 13, the Committee received invited and public testimony on the following interim charges: 1) Examine the survey process for nursing facilities to determine any duplication of government regulations. Consider recommendations to reduce duplication while ensuring patient safety is preserved. 2) Monitor the HHSC’s implementation of Rider 219 in Article II of the General Appropriations Act related to prescription drug benefit administration in Medicaid. Analyze the role of pharmacy benefit managers in Texas Medicaid. The Committee also received an update on issues related to Child Protective Services.
- House Insurance Committee Hearing | TX Waiver Options and Implementation Analysis: House Insurance Committee Hearing Summary: The House Insurance Committee took up several charges on December 6, 2017, and heard from invited testimony on the Texas health insurance market, network stability and adequacy, waiver programs, balanced and surprise billing, pharmacy benefit managers, and prescription drug formularies. || Texas Waiver Options and Implementation Analysis: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), contains a provision for a waiver for state innovation in health care. This 1332 State Innovation Waiver (Waiver) provides the ability, subject to certain constraints, for states to request waivers from certain provisions of the ACA, subject to certain requirements colloquially known as “guardrails.”
- DSHS: Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force: The task force met on Friday, December 15, to receive updates on programs and receive reports on data analysis related to maternal and child deaths. The Task Force met in executive session to deliberate and review cases under Health and Safety Code, Section 34.007 as authorized by Section 34.004, and to seek legal consultation as authorized by Texas Gov’t Code Section 551.071.
- (Blog) Patient Safety: Assessing Adolescent Health Literacy: Imagine being released from the hospital with a confusing diagnosis, stacks of papers to read and more questions than answers about what to do next. That is the reality for a large percentage of Americans; including teenagers. Many have a limited ability to obtain, process and understand health information and services presented to them – also known as low health literacy. Yet, adolescent health literacy research remains limited compared with adult populations.
Federal Healthcare News
- Native Americans Feel Invisible In U.S. Health Care System: The life expectancy of Native Americans in some states is 20 years shorter than the national average. There are many reasons why. Among them, health programs for American Indians are chronically underfundedby Congress. And, about a quarter of Native Americans reported experiencing discrimination when going to a doctor or health clinic, according to findings of a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
- GOP Chairman: CHIP must be attached to next funding bill: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden(R-Ore.) said Tuesday that funding for a major children’s health insurance program needs to be included in a short-term funding bill later this month.
- Strong Demand for Health Insurance as Deadline Looms: Nearly 4.7 million people have signed up for health insurance despite cutbacks in federal efforts to promote enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.
- Medical Device Companies Press to Lift Obamacare Tax this Month: The medical device industry is pressing Congress to act before the end of the year to lift ObamaCare’s medical device tax.
- In a letter to lawmakers, Scott Whitaker, CEO of AdvaMed, the medical device trade group, warned against waiting until January to pass a delay of the tax, instead urging them to pass the measure this month.
- Ohio Legislature Passes Bill Barring Abortion over Down Syndrome Diagnosis: The Ohio legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would prohibit women from getting abortions because of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis. Republican Gov. John Kasich is likely to sign it.