Washington Health Policy Week in Review

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

No Sign of Exchange Rule as Some States Hit the Pause Button on Legislation

An anxiously awaited final rule on the structure of health benefits exchanges remained stuck in regulatory limbo last week, after an abrupt cancellation of a press call featuring top Health and Human Services officials.

Tavenner: Dry Run Will Let Hospitals See Impact of 'Value-Based Purchasing'

The acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told an audience of hospital executives early last week that in fiscal 2012 her agency will conduct a dry run of payments under the "Value-Based Purchasing" program.

Draft MedPAC Language Calls for Medicare Benefit Redesign

The Medicare benefits package would be redesigned to cap enrollee out-of-pocket costs, under a draft recommendation unveiled recently at a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) meeting.

Medicare Statements Redesigned for Clarity, Ease of Use

Federal officials have redesigned the notice that Medicare beneficiaries get every quarter that explains their benefits and claims and enables them to appeal any decisions the agency has made.

Internists Launch Physician Payment Reform Commission

Physicians are attempting to take charge of how they are paid through a new commission that will make recommendations next year for how compensations should be restructured to slow costs but optimize outcomes, the Society of General Internal Medicine recently announced.

HHS Official Named New White House Technology Chief

President Obama appointed Todd Park assistant to the president and U.S. chief technology officer. Park has been head of technology for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since 2009.