CMS, IRS proposed rules address ACA exemptions, essential coverage   01/30/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Internal Revenue Service today issued proposed rules for determining eligibility for exemption from the "shared responsibility" payment for not maintaining minimum essential coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Among other provisions, CMS said its proposed rule clarifies that "individuals who would be eligible for Medicaid but for a state's choice not to expand Medicaid eligibility" will qualify for a hardship exemption. The proposed rule also provides standards for determining whether certain other types of health insurance coverage constitute minimum essential coverage, and procedures for sponsors to follow for a plan to be identified as minimum essential coverage. CMS will accept comments on its proposed rule through March 18. Comments on the IRS rule are due by May 2.
Foundation releases report on Medicare policy options    01/30/2013
The Kaiser Family Foundation today released a compendium of Medicare policy options that may be discussed in upcoming budget debates, based on government reports, recent debt reduction proposals and interviews with health care and Medicare policy experts. The report, by the Foundation's Project on Medicare's Future, includes Medicare options related to eligibility, beneficiary costs and program financing; payments to providers and plans; delivery system reform and care for high-need beneficiaries; program structure; and program administration.
Davis named 2013 TRUST Award recipient   01/30/2013
Karen Davis, former president of The Commonwealth Fund and a nationally recognized economist, will receive the Health Research & Educational Trust's 2013 TRUST Award at the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit July 25 in San Diego. Davis is a professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and directs the school's Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care. She also serves on the Geisinger Health System and Geisinger Health Plan board of directors, Institute of Medicine Committee on Geographic Variations in Health Care Spending, and Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. "Karen's work improves health care for all," said Michael Rock, M.D., HRET chair and chief medical officer at Mayo Rochester Hospitals/Mayo Foundation. "People, communities, organizations and national policies are better off due to her dedication and this award reflects her years of service and passionate advocacy for quality improvement." HRET is an AHA affiliate.
AHA updates Put It In Writing campaign   01/30/2013
 The AHA has relocated and enhanced the website for its Put It In Writing campaign, which offers resources to educate and raise awareness about advanced directives and end-of-life care. The new website,, includes an updated campaign brochure, wallet card and public service announcement and new links to other key resources.