Week Ahead: MedPAC to report on readmissions program, Medicare Advantage ‘spillover’


September: The month is jam packed with health observances, giving stakeholders a larger platform to raise awareness. Among other things, September is: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Pain Awareness Month, National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Sepsis Awareness Month.

Sept. 5-6: It’s a highlight for every healthcare policy wonk—the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s public meeting. Focus areas for this month’s meeting include the spillover effect of Medicare Advantage into fee for service; the hospital readmissions program; indirect medical education; and Medicare’s competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies. Our regulatory reporter Michael Brady will be on hand to bring you live updates.

Sept. 6: Among the many vexing interoperability challenges facing the industry is how to work with prescription drug-monitoring programs, or PDMPs. As IT reporter Jessica Kim Cohen points out, “PDMPs often don’t integrate directly into provider workflows, raising concerns that they add to provider burden. It’s also been difficult to link patient data across state borders, given varying state-by-state regulations and lack of data-standards.” To that end, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is holding a one-day symposium on patient matching for PDMPs. A variety of stakeholders, including providers, IT developers and pharmacists, will be on hand to “discuss patient matching challenges and opportunities to support the interoperability of prescription data.” Jessica will be monitoring the event, so look for an update online and in our newsletters.

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