The Weekly Insight: October 30

30th Oct 2017

Texas Insight’s Coverage: October 23-27
  • HHSC: Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council: The Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council met today for their quarterly meeting. Two motions were adopted related to wording for advance directives and the Council provider website.
  • HHSC: Texas Brain Injury Advisory Council: The Council met and received brief updates from subcommittees and a brief presentation on opportunities in the community for people with acquired brain injury. These include: Church Volunteering; Raised Bed Garden Project; Other supportive community engagement; Adaptive sports; Creative Classes; and Supportive relationships and marriage.
  • HHSC: Proposed Medicaid Payment Rates for Hospice Services: The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) conducted a public hearing to receive public comment on proposed Medicaid payment rates for hospice dual routine home care, service intensity add-on, continuous home care, inpatient respite care, and general inpatient care services. The hearing was held in compliance with Texas Human Resources Code §32.0282, which requires public notice of and hearings on proposed Medicaid reimbursements.
  • HHSC: Joint Committee on Access and Forensic Services: The Joint Committee met with frustration to discuss the data related to wait lists and wait time for Forensic and non-forensic services. Opportunities exist from additional funding provided by the legislature.
  • (BLOG) Round One of Senate Interim Charges Released by Lt. Governor Patrick: Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick released Round One of Senate Interim Charges. This document contains the interim charges related to health and human services. As in the past, the Senate often releases interim charges in phases. There will be another release of additional charges at a later date.
  • (BLOG) House Speaker Straus Issues Interim Charges: Speaker Straus announced the 85th Legislative interim charges for the House of Representatives. By issuing interim charges, Speaker Straus highlighted issues that should receive study and discussion leading up to the next legislative session, which will begin in January 2019. Committees will report their findings to the House before that session begins. Speaker Straus also created the Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse, which will study the prevalence and impact of substance abuse and substance use disorders in the state. Rep. Four Price of Amarillo will serve as the committee’s Chairman, while Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso will serve as Vice Chairman. The charges related to health and human services are listed in this article.
Federal Healthcare News
  • Trump’s call to Bolster Virtual Opioid Treatment Lacks Muscle, Critics Say: President Donald Trump on Thursday signaled his intention to break a logjam preventing doctors from treating opioid addiction through long-distance consults, a vital way to reach the hundreds of thousands of addicts living in rural and hard-to reach parts of the United States.
  • FDA Hires Top Mylan Executive: Report: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has hired a senior executive from EpiPen maker Mylan to be a senior communications adviser in the agency, CBS News reported Friday.
  • Trump’s ObamaCare Move may Bolster Law: President Trump’s decision to cancel key ObamaCare payments could be backfiring. Trump has claimed the health-care law is “imploding,” and earlier this month he took an action seemingly aimed at that goal: cutting off subsidy payments to insurers known as cost-sharing reductions. However, that move might ultimately be a boon to consumers.
  • With Federal Funds Cut, Others Must Lead Health Insurance Sign-Up Efforts: Starting [this] week, Americans will again be able to shop for health plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Open enrollment in most states runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. But a lot of people don’t know that because the Trump administration slashed the marketing budget for Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. So, states, municipalities, community groups, insurers and others are strengthening their outreach efforts.