ACHP Media Monitoring Report: December 20, 2016

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Note: The Media Monitoring Report will not be published Monday, December 26 through Monday, January 2. We will resume publication Tuesday, January 3.

ACHP in the news: ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly discussed the issue of unsustainable drug prices in Modern Healthcare.

Trump’s choice to lead OMB could bring cuts to Medicare
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for budget chief, could bring changes to entitlement spending. The selection of Rep. Mulvaney signals a commitment to reducing the national debt. Bob Cusack of The Hill shares Mulvaney has been an advocate of cutting government spending, especially funding for Medicare and Social Security, and supports House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plans for Medicare reform.

Republicans request specifics on Medicaid expansion
Several Republican congressional representatives are asking Obama administration officials to provide details on Medicaid expansion. In a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, the lawmakers have requested information on how the agency prevents individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid from enrolling in the program. The legislators aim to avoid allotting government funds to support individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid. Mary Ellen McIntire at Morning Consult has the story.

State Medicaid directors push for voice on Medicaid reform
The National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NAMD) is requesting the incoming Trump administration consult states on potential revisions to the Medicaid program. The organization is calling for a formal process including state offices in the review of proposed regulations. NAMD also suggests a number of policy shifts, such as a revision of privacy regulation of substance-use disorder records. Inside Health Policy has the story (subscriber’s content).

Under pilot program, consumers have to prove eligibility for special enrollment
Federal officials are launching a pilot program requiring proof of eligibility for individuals who acquire health insurance on outside of open enrollment. The move addresses a major concern of insurers, who believe consumers abuse special enrollment periods, writes Michelle Andrews of Kaiser Health News. Coverage providers cite a study commissioned by America’s Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association that finds individuals who acquire coverage during special enrollment file almost 50 percent more claims. Consumer advocates assert the number reflects the fact individuals who experience a life-changing event are more likely to seek coverage during special enrollment if they need health care.

Cures Act provision could help individual market
A provision of the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act included in the 21st Cures Act could boost enrollment in the individual market and help stabilize the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The measure allows businesses with 50 employees or fewer to provide reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs and premiums on the individual market. According to advocates, using health reimbursement accounts to subsidize individual health plans could increase the number of consumers who choose to enroll in plans through the individual market. Shelby Livingston at Modern Healthcare reports.