Category Archives: Right to know

Verma defends cuts to navigators and halting risk adjustment payments

Virgil Dickson

About Virgil Dickson

Virgil Dickson reports for Modern Healthcare from Washington, D.C., on the federal regulatory agencies. Before joining Modern Healthcare in 2013, he was the Washington-based correspondent for PRWeek and an editor/reporter for FDA News.

Photo: Jeff Porter/AHCJSeema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, spoke at a briefing on public health emergencies at the CDC in December.

Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was on defense on Thursday during a meeting with reporters who pushed her to explain a series of controversial decisions made by her agency in recent weeks.

The agency has faced accusations of sabotage by health advocates after the agency’s decisions to end risk payments to insurance companies offering plans on the individual market and to dramatically cut funding for navigators who help consumers sign up for coverage.  Continue reading

AHCJ releases recording of today’s CMS announcement

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo: Jeff Porter/AHCJSeema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaks at a past briefing.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced initiatives today intended to improve oversight and the integrity of Medicaid.

CMS will implement “stronger audit functions, enhanced oversight of state contracts with private insurance companies, increased beneficiary eligibility oversight, and stricter enforcement of state compliance with federal rules,” according to a press release. Continue reading

HHS to hire strategist to work with local reporters

Sabriya Rice

About Sabriya Rice

Sabriya Rice (@sabriyarice) is the business of health care reporter for the Dallas Morning News. She’s an AHCJ board member and vice chair of the association’s Right to Know committee.

Judy Stecker

The new assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants to improve the agency’s outreach to regional reporters and plans to hire a liaison devoted to working with journalists outside the Beltway.

Judy Stecker, appointed to the role in April, mentioned the new emphasis on reaching regional reporters in a phone call last week with the chairs of AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee. Continue reading

AHCJ releases audio of CMS announcement about new Scorecard

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced a “Scorecard” intended to increase public transparency about the performance of the agency’s programs.

The site uses data that was voluntarily submitted by states on “selected health and program indicators.” An introduction to the site says it offers information about these questions: Continue reading

Azar talks about plan to lower prescription drug prices

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Alex Azar

Last week, President Trump spoke about his plans to lower prescription drug prices by increasing competition and creating incentives for them to lower prices.

His plan includes budget proposals to reform the Medicare Part D program, curbing abuse of FDA safety rules and  continuing generic drug approvals,
Continue reading