U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments on 340B Payment Cuts

Healthcare provider groups made their case before the Supreme Court this week, saying reimbursement cuts in the 340B program were made unlawfully by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  The case brought by the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and other provider groups was supported by CHA in an amicus brief submitted in September.  The cuts, which amount to nearly 30%, resulted in a $1.6 billion reduction in 340B payments in the first year of the changes.  The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case after the U.S. Court of Appeals sided with the Department of Health and Human Services, overruling a lower court ruling in favor of the AHA.

 

Federal Court Halts Enforcement of CMS Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

A U.S. District Court judge in Louisiana has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction this week preventing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from enforcing its COVID-19 healthcare staff vaccination mandate as a condition of participation with the government insurance programs.  The judge was ruling on a challenge of the vaccine mandate brought by 14 states.  Judge Terry Doughty said while the matter ultimately will be decided by a higher court, the liberty interests of the unvaccinated must be considered before moving forward.  The ruling follows another preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge in Missouri that is applicable in ten states.  The CMS interim final rule requires workers in most healthcare settings that receive payment from Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022.  The courts’ rulings do not impact Connecticut hospitals’ implementation of mandatory vaccination policies.

 

CDC Alerts Clinicians to Increased Flu Among Young Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned clinicians of an uptick in Seasonal Influenza A (H3N2) activity, particularly among young adults.  The CDC indicated that college and university settings are primary locations of these observed increases, and while overall case activity is still low nationally, vaccine coverage is also low.  The agency is urging clinicians to continue efforts to encourage vaccination against the flu, along with COVID-19 vaccines.  The flu vaccine is recommended for all persons six months and older, unless contraindicated.  CDC is also recommending early treatment with antiviral medications for patients testing positive for the flu or as prophylaxis for patients exposed to someone who has the flu.

 

CMS Releases Implementation Guidance on No Surprises Act Good Faith Estimates

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released 11 documents related to the agency’s regulations implementing the No Surprises Act.  The documents include a template of the comprehensive good faith estimate, including model disclaimer language, and model language to be used to inform uninsured/self-pay patients of their rights to a good faith estimate and the patient-provider dispute resolution process.  The documents can be downloaded here.

 

 

Education Updates

Alcohol Use Disorder Forum: Treatment in a Hospital Setting
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Virtual Session

CHA is pleased to partner with the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership to offer a professional forum focusing on Alcohol Use Disorder and current treatments.  The program will cover the epidemiology of Alcohol Use Disorder and its impact on quality of life, diagnostic prevalence and treatment utilization data, screening tools and biological markers, and best practices for treatment. 

There is no fee for this forum, but registration is required. CEUs are available.

  • Click here to register for this Wednesday, December 8 forum

 

Issue-Based Forum: Connecticut Parentage Act: What Hospitals Need to Know
Thursday, December 9, 2021 9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Virtual Session

This presentation will review the Connecticut Parentage Act (CPA), Public Act 21-15, which goes into effect on January 1, 2022.  The CPA comprehensively updates Connecticut parentage law so that children have equal access to parentage regardless of their method of conception or the gender, sexual orientation, or marital status of their parents.  The presentation will go over the various pathways to establish parentage, including pathways for parents having children through assisted reproduction, and will cover methods of establishing parentage, including pre-birth parentage orders and new Acknowledgments of Parentage that include not only genetic parents, but also intended and presumed parents.

There is no fee to attend; this program is open to all CHA members. 

  • Click here to register for this Thursday, December 9 session

 

Implicit Bias: Awareness, Accountability, and Action

Thursday, December 9, 2021
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 
Virtual Sessions

All sessions run from 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Implicit bias refers to the unconscious attitudes and stereotypes that can affect understanding, actions, and decisions.  From an awareness standpoint, healthcare clinicians need to be fully aware of the complexities and impact of implicit bias on patient experience and engagement.  Looking at accountability, healthcare clinicians need to acknowledge, challenge, and manage their biases.  From an action perspective, healthcare clinicians need tools, skills, and strategies for comfort, confidence, and competence to connect, communicate, and effectively collaborate cross-culturally. 

Some of these sessions are part of the Parents Recovering from Opioid Use Disorders (PROUD) series, and others are funded by the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM).

There is no fee for this program.  Class size is limited and all sessions are identical.  Sessions are filling up quickly.

  • Click here to register for the Thursday, December 9 session
  • Click here to register for the Wednesday, January 19 session
  • Click here to register for the Wednesday, February 16 session

 

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