Azar hinted that Medicare Advantage plans could see pay boosts as part of the Trump administration's strategy to tackle maternal mortality rates, social determinants of health and rural healthcare access.
The CMS administrator blamed hospital pay policies for spiking healthcare costs and vowed to fight rising prices through Medicare policies in order to fend off Democratic proposals on coverage expansion.
Medicare may cover acupuncture for patients with chronic low-back pain enrolled in clinical trials or other CMS-approved studies.
Nearly 98% of clinicians who participated in MIPS last year will receive a positive payment adjustment in 2020. At the same time, MIPS lost nearly 142,000 clinicians.
The CMS' proposal would boost payment rates for home health agencies in 2020 and implement several changes to the way it pays for the services they provide.
The Trump administration has withdrawn its proposal to eliminate drug rebates in Medicare and Medicaid plans, striking another significant blow to its broader plans to curb rising drug costs.
Hospital presidents and employees, predominantly from rural areas, support proposed changes to the "fundamentally flawed" system the CMS uses to set hospital payments, saying the current formula has led to closures.
Median charges for air ambulance services compared to Medicare rates soared by 46% to 61% from 2012 to 2016.
The more than 700,000 teachers and other state employees who receive health coverage from the North Carolina State Health Plan could soon face higher medical bills when visiting hospitals in the state.
Piedmont Healthcare's new advance payment policy requires patients who will pay their entire bills out-of-pocket to pay 25% before they can receive care.
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