MONDAY CALL — The next Public Policy Update Call will be held on Monday, Jan. 28, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Please register in advance.
CONGRESSIONAL SCHEDULE — The Senate will be in session all next week, and the House will join them through Wednesday.
HRSA announces additional Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program funding opportunity
On Jan. 8, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau released a notice of funding opportunity for three additional Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program grants. The program promotes behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care by supporting the development or improvement of statewide or regional telehealth access programs. These programs aim to help facilitate and increase access to telehealth psychiatric consultation and care coordination resources for pediatric primary care providers. Alongside pediatric mental health groups, we advocated for inclusion of this program within the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Reform Act of 2016. Each of the grantees will be awarded up to $445,000. The deadline for states to apply to participate is March 11. Existing recipients of program funding or other entities within funded states are not eligible to apply. Rachel Bonesteel
Join new CHA web-based State Health Policy Discussion Group
Government relations (GRs) professionals now have a way to share information and ask questions among themselves related to state health policy challenges, opportunities and strategies in our new web-based State Health Policy Discussion Group. This group is being established in response to requests by GRs for a forum specifically focused on state policy actions and strategies.
Registration is required to participate in this GR-led group. Registrants may choose whether they wish to receive real time, daily or weekly emails and will be given instructions on appropriate participation and the posting of emails. Discussion group emails will be shared with registered group members only and will be monitored by CHA staff. We thank the State Outreach Work Group for its input on innovative state policy communication strategies. Jan Kaplan
Recording of ACE Kids Act webinar now available
On Jan. 22, we hosted a webinar to discuss next steps related to the ACE Kids Act in the 116th Congress. Members can now explore both a recording of the webinar and presentation slides on our website. Aimee Ossman
CHA joins with allied hospital associations to outline national interoperability agenda
On Jan. 22, CHA joined with six leading national hospital associations to release a report outlining a national agenda for improving interoperability among health information technology (IT) systems. “Sharing Data, Saving Lives: The Hospital Agenda for Interoperability” highlights the benefits of fully interoperable data for patient, family and provider. It also outlines current challenges in the implementation of fully interoperable health systems and asks policymakers and other stakeholders to work with hospitals and health systems on the pathway to interoperability.
Contributors to the report include: America's Essential Hospitals, American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Children's Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals and the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare. Jan Kaplan
2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule summary available
A new CHA summary highlights key Medicare policy changes, included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule, with potential implications for children’s hospitals and children’s health. The final rule changes some outpatient payment policies to reduce documentation burden but does not make other proposed changes to payment for certain evaluation and management codes; along with allied provider groups, we opposed these evaluation and management code payment changes because they would have disproportionately penalized providers who see high volumes of complex patients. The rule also expands coverage of telehealth and virtual care, updates the Quality Payment Program to improve alignment among payers, and changes electronic health record and interoperability requirements to align with inpatient and outpatient hospital requirements. Jan Kaplan
New community benefit resources available
You can now explore a recorded webinar, and some helpful accompanying resources, on current trends and issues within community benefit reporting. The webinar was originally shared live with attendees of the GR Planning Meeting, and we encourage all interested members to explore these new web-resources. Topics covered include:
- Schedule H instructions and concerns
- Differences between Schedule H, the Medicare Cost Report, and GAAP in terms of valuing charity care, Medicaid losses and other uncompensated care
- Common trends in over-reporting and under-reporting
Executive Health Policy Summit agenda available
The 2019 Executive Health Policy Summit agenda is now available. The event will take place Feb. 5-6, 2019, at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The summit offers speakers focused on how federal and state policymakers may advance health policy impacting children. Attendees are strongly encouraged to schedule visits with their elected officials in Congress — as well as their governors’ Washington, D.C., offices — during the event. Lauren Moeggenberg