May 26th, 2011 | View Archive
SENATORS ASK CMS TO WITHDRAW ACO RULE
This week, Seantor John Cornyn, along with six Republican colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee, expressed their concern with the proposed accountable care organization (ACO) and asked CMS to withdraw the proposed regulation.
The letter was sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CMS Administrator Donald Berwick and cites concerns raised by several health groups that that the proposed ACO regulation will fail to accomplish its purpose.
ACCOUNTABLE CARE COMPLAINTS
CEOs from major health systems such as, Yale New Haven Health System, Adventist Health System, Catholic Health Partners, and others have laid out serious concerns with the proposed ACO rule, objecting to a system that would retroactively tell doctors and hospitals which patients are part of the ACO, and asking for lower targets when it comes to generating savings.
HHS RELEASES FY11 OPERATING PLAN
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its Fiscal Year 2011 congressionally mandated operating plans. The numbers are based on the continuing resolution (CR) that was signed into law on April 15, 2011. In total, the CR cuts $40 billion below the previous fiscal year levels. The CR required a 0.2 percent across-the-board rescission in discretionary programs that are reflected in the budget.
National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH operating plan provides a program level of $30.926 billion, a $317 million cut from FY 2010. Additionally, the operating plan contains reduced institute and center funding levels that reflect a $210 million reduction from FY10. The program levels include $30.688 billion appropriated through the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee, $150 million for Type 1 diabetes research, and $8.2 million for the National Library of Medicine.
The NIH specific FY 2011 operating plan can be viewed here: www.hhs.gov/asfr/ob/docbudget/2011operatingplan_nih.pdf (PDF File)
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): The HRSA operational plan provides a program level of $6.3 billion in FY2011, down from $7.5 billion in FY2010 (a 16.3 percent cut). The plan includes a decrease of $48.5 million to children's hospitals graduate medical education (CHGME) program, funded at $268.4 million.
Other program funding levels include $1.581 billion for the Health Centers programs, and $272.5 million (a 7.3 percent increase) for the Title VII health professions programs.
The HRSA specific FY 2011 operating plan can be viewed here: www.hhs.gov/asfr/ob/docbudget/2011operatingplan_hrsa.pdf (PDF File)
PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE FOR HISPANICS
On Thursday, members appointed to the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics were announced at the White House and later sworn-in at an official ceremony with U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The commission serves to provide advice and guidance to the Secretary of Education and the President regarding education for Hispanic Americans.
The two-day roundtable led by the Department of Education included discussions on various topics, such as furthering public-private partnerships, financial aid, and incorporating the community voice into bettering the education process. The 15 member appointed commission includes University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and University of Texas at San Antonio President Ricardo Romo.
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