The health policy Rand Paul and Elizabeth Warren agree on

A BOX DUCK PROBABILITY – In a bipartisan letter sent Wednesday, 46 senators – from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) – called on leaders to address impending cuts in Medicare payments to providers before the new year, when they would take effect.

“It is critical in the weeks ahead that we ensure providers have the resources they need to keep their doors open to seniors and families,” the senators wrote.

The letter comes a day after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released their final rule confirming the cuts, which are required by law.

It didn’t take long for vendors to voice their concerns about the final rule — in fact, they had been lobbying Congress to act before CMS released its final rule.

Floating Reform: The group of senators is seeking lasting changes – alongside a quick fix – to the current payment system.

“Going forward, we support long-term, bipartisan reforms to Medicare payments in a fiscally responsible manner,” the senators wrote.

The suggestion to change the system comes after a September request from House members for information on the same subject in hopes of changing the current system.

Inflation and infections: Suppliers had already sounded the alarm about their financial future for next year.

Inflation and rising labor costs have been a major concern for clinics and hospitals, especially as there are few signs that reimbursements will keep pace with increased spending .

Government injections of money from the pandemic are running out, and another Covid-19 package from Congress seems less than likely, even as some hospitals face worrying numbers of Covid, flu and coronavirus infections. RSV.

The concerns aren’t all new, however — Congress has already adjusted the payment rate to ease the cuts.

This year, a solution has already been offered, with Reps. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) and Ami Bera (D-Calif.) introducing a bill that would stop the cuts.

Whether through this legislation or another vehicle, persistent lobbying efforts by providers appear to be paying off as bipartisan consensus grows.

These groups insist that decisions made in the coming weeks will affect patients in 2023.

“Millions of seniors are at serious risk of accessing surgical care in less than two months – cuts to surgical care will affect how the surgical care team is able to care for patients across the country” , said Michael Dalsing, president of the Society for Vascular Surgery, said in a statement following the letter.

WELCOME TO PULSE THURSDAY. Afraid of needles? Researchers at the University of Tsukuba have developed a furry robot to make you feel comfortable and hopefully increase vaccination rates.

Do you have any creative ideas for easing vaccine anxieties? How about advice on what’s happening in the world of health? Write to us at [email protected] and [email protected].

TODAY ON OUR PULSE CHECK PODCAST, Krista speaks with Grace Scullion about Wednesday’s news that, in a yet-to-be-finalized settlement, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart have agreed to pay $13.8 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits for their role in the crisis. opioids.

REPRESENTATIVES CALL FOR LEADERSHIP TO BOOST ALTERNATIVE PAYMENT MODELS – In another lame victory for providers, more than 40 House lawmakers on Wednesday sent a letter to congressional leaders asking to extend a 5% payment increase to encourage alternative payment models.

The congressional push isn’t far off from Tuesday’s CMS final rules, which effectively promote accountable care organizations, or provider groups that coordinate patient care for Medicare beneficiaries. It also comes after the ACOs visited the Hill in September to push for increased payments.

FROM CYBERSECURITY TO HEALTH SECURITY – A new congressional report links cybersecurity in healthcare to patient safety, POLITICO’s Ben Leonard reports.

The new report, from the office of Senate Cybersecurity Caucus co-founder Mark Warner (D-Va.), asks Congress to consider asking HHS to establish minimum security standards for the healthcare industry. The report also suggests that HHS review patient privacy protections.

Warner’s report outlined several possible actions, including:

— Added senior HHS executive responsible for advancing cybersecurity

— Establish a “regular process” for updating HIPAA

— Establishment of minimum safety standards for health organizations

— Consideration of cybersecurity expenses in Medicare reimbursements

The healthcare industry is under constant threat from hackers as it undergoes its digital transformation, Ben previously reported, with hackers getting their hands on the sensitive health data of nearly 50 million Americans in 2021.

FRUIT BODIES, HEALED MINDS — According to a new clinical trial, a high dose of the psychoactive chemical in magic mushrooms has been shown to help people with treatment-resistant depression.

Mental health care company COMPASS Pathways funded the Phase II clinical trial, POLITICO’s Helen Collis and Sarah-Taïssir Bencharif Report, which demonstrated that synthetic psilocybin – combined with psychotherapy – led to a decrease in symptoms over three weeks.

The therapy was accompanied by some side effects, including headache, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Suicidal behavior was reported more often in the group of participants receiving the highest dose, but the researchers said it was too early to tell if psilocybin was the cause.

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, raise hope that a new class of effective treatments for depression may be on the horizon.

PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS SLAM BIDEN ON TITLE 42 – Dozens of public health experts nationwide are calling on President Joe Biden and top federal officials to end the expanded use of Title 42 to prevent growing numbers of migrants from seeking asylum in the United States.

Title 42, a CDC ordinance designed to stop the spread of communicable diseases by preventing migrants from entering the country, was enacted under the Trump administration at the start of the pandemic and has been in place ever since on the US southern border. United States. The CDC tried to end the order in April after a thorough reassessment, saying it was no longer needed given the other tools like vaccines and masks available to control Covid-19. But several states have sued to keep the order in place, and the Biden administration has since been blocked from ending it.

Last month, the United States and Mexico agreed that Venezuelan migrants fleeing their country and arriving illegally at the U.S. southern border could also be deported to Mexico under Title 42. International migration organizations, including the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Refugee Agency, said after the announcement that the CDC’s continued use of policy to prevent migrants from seeking asylum in the United States was going to against international law.

The public health expert panel, which has spoken out against using Title 42 to keep migrants out of the country throughout the pandemic, said it’s also a long-term public health threat. term.

“The continued and widespread use of the order, even when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) itself sought to end it in April of this year given its lack of public health need, is a travesty,” the signatories wrote in a letter Wednesday to Biden, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

FLORIDA REPUBLICANS QUESTION CANADIAN DRUG IMPORTS – Four members of Florida’s congressional delegation sent a letter to the FDA asking for an update on the state’s request to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, POLITICO’s Arek Sarkissian reports.

The letter raises concerns that the FDA is working faster with other states than with Florida.

Importing drugs from Canada has been a priority for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who wants the state to be the first in the country to bring in prescription drugs from the north to cut costs.

ryan walker is now Vice President of Government Relations at Heritage Action. He was previously Senior Director of PhRMA.

Ann DeFabio joins the Kaiser Family Foundation later this month as first senior vice president and group communications director. She comes from Pew Charitable Trusts, where she was senior vice president and director of communications.

irving washington will join KFF as a Principal Investigator to lead the development of a new health misinformation program area. He comes from the Online News Association, of which he was the CEO.

Osula Evadne rushes joined KFF this week as senior vice president for strategic engagement, a new position. She comes from Grantmakers In Health, where she was vice president of program and strategy.

Jason Gienthal is now associate director of media relations for the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. More recently, he was a freelance public relations consultant.

The New York Times’ Emily Baumgaertner writes about the RSV surge that reminds some hospitals of March 2020.

ABC News’ Kevin Shalvey writes about the $10 billion settlement CVS and Walgreens paid over an opioid case.

STAT’s Olivia Goldhill reports on the excitement around psilocybin as an effective treatment for depression, as well as concerns about the drug’s durability.

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