Hoping for Revived SGR Reform; Progress on Federal Opioid Addiction Bills

Alex Calcagno
Contact Alex
at (781) 434-7214 or
acalcagno@mms.org

After the disappointing failure of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate reform bill earlier this spring, efforts are underway to resurrect consideration of permanent reform during the so-called "lame duck" session. The hope is that some members who will not be returning to Congress in January 2015 will be willing to vote on permanent SGR reform, even if they did not support it previously. The question of funding for SGR reform has yet to be solved, but Congress seems to understand the clear financial folly of doing nothing. Stay tuned.

The TREAT Act and CRIB Act

The MMS has been working closely with members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation on two bills designed to address problems cause by the surge in opioid addictions. The TREAT Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey would increase the number of these patients qualified providers could treat with opioid medications in approved settings.

U.S. Rep. Katherine Clarke recently introduced the CRIB Act, which will direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to gather more data on the number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome and to provide physicians with the best practices for treatment.

Finally, the MMS and AMA have been very involved with a number of regulations emanating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, including those impacting the Sunshine Act, medical staff in large health care systems, and release Medicare claims data. We'll have an update for you on those in a future issue of Vital Signs.

— Alex Calcagno
MMS Director of Federal Relations

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