- The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, included $140 million in funding to support one of ACEP's top advocacy priorities –the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.” This critical funding, which ACEP helped secure, will support mental and behavioral health training for health care professionals, other health care providers, and first responders. ACEP is extremely pleased to report that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has started the process of distributing a portion of this funding through grants – just a few months after the American Rescue Plan was enacted. On July 16, HRSA announced the availability of $103 million through three separate grant programs. All three grants aim to reduce burnout and promote mental health among the health workforce.
- On July 19, the HHS Secretary extended the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for another 90 days. It was currently set to expire on July 20, 2021, and the 90-day extension becomes effective on that date. Therefore, the PHE is now set to expire on October 18, 2021. Although the PHE can only be officially extended for 90 days at a time, HHS has already stated unofficially that that the PHE will likely last until the end of the calendar year. The extension of the PHE means that the waivers and flexibilities that CMS and other federal agencies have instituted to help health care practitioners and facilities respond to the pandemic will remain in place.
- ACEP has drafted a comprehensive summary of the CY 2022 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program Proposed Regulation. Read the July 15th Regs & Eggs blog post for highlights of the reg.
- On July 13, ACEP responded to a proposed reg related to the ACA Exchanges that would lengthen the annual open enrollment period and undo some of the regulatory changes finalized by the Trump Administration that allow states operating their own exchanges to circumvent certain ACA requirements.
May 20, 2021 • CMS Info • Opioids Info • Telehealth
CMS Releases Medicaid Utilization Data from the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) cover over 100 million children, pregnant women, parents, seniors, and individuals with disabilities across the country—so it’s not a surpri...
April 29, 2021 • Advocacy Info • HHS • Opioids Info
Biden Administration Finalizes Buprenorphine Practice Guidelines: A Step in the Right Direction
The “saga” of the buprenorphine practice guidelines came to pleasant conclusion earlier this week. As you may recall, the Trump Administration released draft practice guidelines on January 14. Despit...
April 15, 2021 • Opioids Info • HHS
President Biden Releases Initial Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Proposal: Will Congress listen?
Last Friday, the Biden Administration released a portion of its fiscal year (FY) 2022 “President’s Budget.” The President’s Budget, released each year, outlines the administration’s budget and policy ...
April 8, 2021 • Advocacy Info • CMS Info • Opioids Info • HHS
Biden Administration Releases Drug Policy Priorities: What’s the Potential Impact on Emergency Care?
Last week, the Biden Administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released its drug policy priorities for year one of the new administration. This list of priorities, which is requi...
February 11, 2021 • Advocacy Info • CMS Info • Medicare Info • Opioids Info • Physician Fee Schedule
The New Medicare Add-on Code for Medication-Assisted Treatment in the Emergency Department—Got Questions? ACEP’s Got Answers
When it comes to ACEP’s long-time goal of expanding the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), most of our attention recently has been spent on the ...
January 28, 2021 • Advocacy Info • HHS • Opioids Info
X-ing the X-Waiver: The Fight Continues!
As many of you know, as avid readers of Regs & Eggs, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released practice guidelines on January 14, 2021 that created a broad exemption to the curre...
January 14, 2021 • Advocacy Info • Opioids Info
Upcoming ACEP Webinar: Learn More About Upcoming Changes to the “Three-day Rule” for Administering Medications to Treat Opioid Use Disorder
Come one, come all! On January 20th at 1:00 pm EST (right after the inauguration), I will be hosting a webinar along with Dr. Eric Ketcham (chair of ACEP’s Pain Management and Addiction Medicine Sect...
December 10, 2020 • Advocacy Info • Opioids Info
ACEP Responds to Long-awaited DEA Regulation on EMS Controlled Substances Policies
In my last Regs & Eggs post, I highlighted the good, the bad, and the ugly in the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final regulation, including discussing ACEP’s response to the 6 percent Medicare pay...
December 3, 2020 • Advocacy Info • CMS Info • Physician Fee Schedule • MIPS Info • Opioids Info • Telehealth • Medicare Info
The 2021 Physician Fee Schedule Final Reg: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the calendar year 2021 physician fee schedule (PFS) final regulation. As a reminder, this is the major annual reg that im...
October 15, 2020 • Opioids Info • CMS Info
Upcoming Medicare Requirement Around Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances
The SUPPORT Act—the major law passed in 2018 that addressed the opioid crisis—requires there to be electronic prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) in the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Prog...
August 20, 2020 • Opioids Info
Increasing Access to Naloxone
As emergency physicians, you are not only on the frontlines battling COVID-19, but for years, you have been actively trying to tackle another public health crisis facing our country: the opioid use di...
May 21, 2020 • Opioids Info
Ongoing Efforts to Reduce Barriers to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
This week is EMS week, which gives all of us an opportunity to thank our frontline providers for their hard work and sacrifice as they have answered the call of duty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
January 30, 2020 • Opioids Info
Addressing Opioid Stigma in the Emergency Department
As emergency physicians, you have undoubtedly treated patients suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) in the emergency department (ED). Do you view a patient with OUD differently from your patient i...
December 19, 2019 • Opioids Info
New Guidelines Coming for Prescribing Opioids to Treat Acute Pain
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline for prescribing opioids to treat chronic pain has become a hot topic as the nation continues combating the opioid epidemic.
October 17, 2019 • Opioids Info
The Balancing Act: Addressing the Opioid Crisis vs. Exacerbating Drug Shortages
As I mentioned previously, the Trump Administration has taken numerous actions to address the opioid crisis.