Current Report Articles
Federal Focus

Federal Focus (Sept. 4, 2020) – MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued updates to MLN Connects Provider eNews. eNews includes information about national provider calls, meetings, events, announcements and other MLN educational product updates. The latest issue provides updates and summaries of the following:

TJC, NQF Seek Nominations for John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards
The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum are seeking nominations for the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. The annual awards program recognizes major achievements by individuals and organizations to improve patient safety and health care quality. Submissions for the awards are encouraged for patient safety and quality challenges affecting public health including, but not limited to, COVID-19 and pandemic response efforts. The deadline to submit a nomination is Monday, Oct. 5. Additional information is available.

CMS Issues Proposed Rule Regarding Coverage of Innovation Technology, Definition of Reasonable and Necessary
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a proposed rule that would establish a Medicare coverage pathway to provide beneficiaries with faster access to new, innovative medical devices. The rule also defines what is considered "reasonable and necessary." CMS Administrator Seema Verma stated, "for new technologies, CMS coverage approval has been a chicken and egg issue. Innovators had to prove their technologies were appropriate for seniors, but that was almost impossible since the technology was not yet covered by Medicare and thus not widely used enough to demonstrate their suitability for Medicare beneficiaries. These efforts will ensure seniors get access to the latest technologies while lowering costs for innovators. Arcane bureaucratic requirements have no business preventing seniors' access to a technology that might save their lives."

AHA Releases 2021 Health Care Talent Scan
The 2021 Health Care Talent Scan report will help you better understand the latest forces and trends affecting health care human resources. Based on a review of reports, studies and other data sources from leading organizations and researchers, it provides workforce insights you can use to guide your organization forward during this time of uncertainty and continued transformation.

HHS Releases $1.5 Billion to Combat Opioid Epidemic
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration distributed the first-year funds of its two-year State Opioid Response and Tribal Opioid Response grant programs. The two programs ultimately will award nearly $3 billion to help states and tribes provide community-level resources for people in need of prevention, treatment and recovery support services.