Iowa Wins CMS Approval of Private Insurance Medicaid Expansion

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) notified Governor Terry Branstad on December 10, 2013 that it has approved a three year demonstration waiver under which the Iowa Department of Human Services may expand Medicaid for 100,000 Iowans aged 19-64, with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), mainly by offering premium assistance for them to select qualified health plans (QHPs) offered through the Exchange. [More]

Congressional Representative Announce a Bipartisan Budget Proposal

On December 10, 2013, two Congressional leaders – one Democrat and one Republican – announced a bipartisan budget proposal that would end most of the automatic spending cuts imposed by the sequestration that began on March 1. According to a December 10 U.S. Department of Education (ED) blog post, some experts believe that the proposal would restore about 87 percent of total spending on discretionary programs, including ED. [More]

CMS Issues Final Rules on Medicare Payments for Outpatient Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule in the December 10, 2013 Federal Register on Medicare payments for outpatient hospital and ambulatory surgical center services. The rule is another incremental step in a multi-year progression toward an all-inclusive, quality-driven bundled payment methodology analogous to Medicare’s inpatient hospital prospective payment system. [More]