Congress Reconvenes for “Lame Duck” Session; Medicare Physician Payment and NIH Funding at Top of “To Do” ListAlthough Congress reconvened on November 15 for a “lame duck” session, most of the week has been consumed with organizational meetings for the next Congress. Both the House and Senate will be recessing for the Thanksgiving holiday, meaning that few legislative matters will be dealt with before lawmakers reconvene on November 29. The session is expected to extend well into December, and congressional leaders will be faced with the need to pass legislation to prevent a 23 percent Medicare physician payment cut from going into effect December 1 and the need to finalize fiscal year (FY) 2011 funding for NIH. Read more.
NIH Addresses Potential Budget CutsNational Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins has indicated that NIH is considering ways to cut research grant funding in anticipation of possible budget restrictions. Read more.
Fiscal Commission Releases Draft Deficit Reduction Proposal; Report Recommends Cuts in Discretionary Spending and Stresses Need for Medicare Payment ReformOn November 10, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (“Fiscal Commission”) released a draft of the Co-Chairs’ proposal for deficit reduction, along with a list of proposed cuts totaling approximately $200 billion. Read more.
Final 2011 Physician Fee Schedule Rule Includes Significant CutsThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted a final rule that updates payment policies and rates under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for calendar year 2011, beginning January 1, 2011. Read ASH’s summary and analysis.
Health Reform Update: Medicare Establishes New Center for InnovationThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has unveiled the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center). Created by the health reform law, the Innovation Center will examine new ways of delivering health care and paying health care providers that can save money for Medicare and Medicaid while improving the quality of care. CMS also announced the launch of new demonstration projects that will support efforts to better coordinate care and improve health outcomes for patients. Read more.
NHLBI Releases Draft Recommendations on the Use of Hydroxyurea Therapy; ASH Solicits FeedbackThe National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released a draft guideline entitled Recommendations on the Use of Hydroxyurea Therapy in Sickle Cell Disease. The document is intended to assist primary care physicians, patients and families in assessing whether hydroxyurea might be a beneficial therapy for an adult patient. The draft is open for public review and comment until December 17, 2010. Read more.
NIH Announces New Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases ProgramThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a new program specifically targeted to the development of therapeutics for rare and neglected diseases. The congressionally mandated program, titled Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND), is designed to bridge the gap that often exists between a basic research discovery and the testing of new drugs in humans. Read more.
NIH Office of Extramural Research Releases November 2010 NewsletterThe NIH Office of Extramural Research has released its November 2010 newsletter, which includes links to information on how to help scientists secure independent positions, NIH guidance for subaward reporting, and the revised NIH grants policy statement. Read more.
ASH Annual Meeting: Policy & Practice Events You Will Want to AttendThis year's ASH annual meeting in Orlando has several events that you should plan to attend. Please join us for:
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