ACHP Media Monitoring Report: March 21, 2017

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Trump’s First 100 Days: President Trump plans to address Republicans in the House of Representatives on March 21. Republican leadership hopes the president’s background in dealmaking can help garner support for the Republican health care bill before the legislation heads to the floor this week. Mary Ellen McIntire at Morning Consult reports.

GOP leadership tweaks bill, may not be enough to pass
In an attempt to secure votes from New York Republicans, House leadership has added a special provision to the Affordable Care Act replacement bill that would put the financial burden of Medicaid costs on New York’s state government instead of counties. Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear of The New York Times share the provision would only affect New York state.

Several other changes have been made to the bill to shore up support. Jennifer Haberkorn, Rachael Bade and Josh Dawsey of Politico explain that amendments include allowing work requirements and optional block grants for state Medicaid programs and setting aside funding for tax credits to help Americans between 50 and 64 offset increases to their health care premiums.

Despite the dealings, some lawmakers are skeptical the bill will pass the House. The chairman of the Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), has told reporters that negotiations are over and that the amendments to the bill may not be enough to garner the needed support. Jessie Hellmann at The Hill has the story.

Medicaid overhaul may roll back substance abuse coverage
The GOP plan to overhaul Medicaid could severely impact access to substance abuse medication for people enrolled in the program. Medicaid pays for 1 out of every 4 prescriptions for the addiction treatment medication buprenorphine, but there is a lot of variation across states. In Ohio, Medicaid pays for nearly half of addiction recovery medication. Dylan Scott of STAT News+ reports that the Republican health care bill may lead to enrollment cuts and fewer benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries.

CMS expansion of bundled payment programs delayed
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is delaying the implementation of its bundled payment initiative for cardiac care. CMS says the delay is necessary to ensure participants understand the program and to gather additional feedback and comments, reports Elizabeth Whitman of Modern Healthcare. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has been critical of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation mandatory initiatives in the past, and some experts speculate the delay may presage a shift away from required participation in bundled payment programs.

GOP Medicaid provisions could burden beneficiaries with hospital bills
Health care advocates worry two little-noticed provisions of the Republican health care plan could have drastic effects on Medicaid recipients. Experts are concerned that a provision requiring Medicaid patients to renew their coverage every six months instead of annually could hurt efforts to keep coverage. Advocates are also worried about a provision that prevents Medicaid beneficiaries from requesting retroactive coverage could result in higher out of pocket costs for enrollees. Emily Bazar of California Healthline has the story.