The Blog to Transform Advanced Care

Advancing Care through Innovation, Observation and Collaboration.

Each week, C-TAC compiles the latest legislative and regulatory updates affecting the serious illness care field, combined with insider analysis from our policy experts. Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead: 

HHS to Expand Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Monday that it will provide nearly $100 million to increase vaccinations among older adults and people with disabilities. Nearly $93 million in grants will be issued to aging and disability networks in every state and territory with the goal of overcoming barriers that prevent many of the sickest and most vulnerable among us from accessing vaccines. An additional $5 million will fund national hotlines to assist older adults and those with disabilities in registering for vaccinations. Click here to learn more.

New House Bill Would Establish Audio-Only Telehealth Equal Reimbursement for MA and PACE Members Amid COVID-19

Last week, U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) introduced a new bill that aims to ensure adequate financial coverage for audio-only telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic for Medicare Advantage and PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) members. The goal of the Ensuring Parity in MA and PACE for Audio-Only Telehealth Act is to ensure that providers are adequately compensated by requiring MA plans to reimburse them for audio-only telehealth visits as if they were in-person appointments. Telehealth has been a lifeline for people with serious illness throughout the pandemic, but many people do not have access to the video conferencing technology previously needed for these visits. Click here to read the full bill.

New Analysis Reports MA Beneficiaries Save More Money on Out-of-Pocket Costs than Medicare Fee-for-Service

A new analysis released by the Better Medicare Alliance reports that Medicare Advantage plan members spend $1,640 less a year compared with traditional Medicare. The analysis also found that lower-income Medicare beneficiaries are more likely to choose MA over the traditional program. This analysis comes as the MA program is expected to continue to increase. Learn more with this report from Fierce Healthcare.

CMS Delays CHART Model ACO Transformation Track Application Release

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced yesterday that the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model ACO Transformation Track Request for Applications (RFA) release date has been delayed until spring 2022. The goal of the CHART Model is to provide support that rural communities can use to transform their healthcare delivery systems. The delay applies only to the ACO Transformation Track of the CHART Model and CMS will update stakeholders via the CHART listserv. Click here to learn more about the CHART model.

For more information about C-TAC’s legislative and regulatory efforts, visit our Policy page.

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