Archive | May, 2010

Capital Thinking Podcast

Congress to Consider Extenders Legislation This Week

This week, the House and Senate are expected to consider and vote on the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act” (H.R. 4213). House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sandy Levin and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released the tax extenders legislation last week, which includes several health care provisions, including a six-month extension of the temporary increase in Federal Medicaid Matching Rate and extension of COBRA premium subsidy for individuals terminated on or before December 31, 2010. The bill would also provide an update to physicians for the remainder of 2010 and 2011. Payment rates would increase in 2012 and 2013 if spending growth is within reasonable limits. The bill provides an extra allowance for primary and preventive care in 2012 and 2013.

IRS Issues Guidance on Therapeutic Discovery Project Program

The Administration continues to rollout health reform regulations. Last week, the Internal Revenue Service released guidance on the Therapeutic Discovery Project Program that was established in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The health reform law authorized a two-year tax credit designed to encourage investments in new therapies to prevent, diagnose, and treat chronic diseases. Firms with 250 employees or less could receive up to 50 percent of the cost of biomedical research up to a maximum credit of $5 million. Applications for the credit are due on July 21, 2010. The IRS will make determinations of eligibility for credits no later than October 29, 2010.

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility Reconvenes

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility will convene for its second meeting, this time on the Hill, on Wednesday. The meeting will be webcast at The Commission has issued a request for comments and ideas to address the country’s fiscal challenges. Comments can be emailed to and will be part of the public record.

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NQF Seeks Comments on Partnership for Applying Measures to Improve Quality

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has requested public and member comments on its plan to establish a Partnership for Applying Measures to Improve Quality.  If the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) assigns NQF with the responsibility to convene multi-stakeholder groups to provide input to the Secretary on the selection of new quality measures as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, NQF will proceed with establishing the Partnership.

NQF envisions that the Partnership would provide input regarding Hospital Compare, the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), the hospital readmissions reduction program, the payment adjustment for hospital acquired conditions, measures for demonstrations (medical homes, accountable care organizations, bundled payments), and public reporting websites.

Any stakeholder who is interested in the quality provisions of the health reform law should take the opportunity to provide NQF with comments, which are due to NQF by June 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm Eastern Time.


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GAO Seeks Nominations to Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

On Friday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced that it is accepting letters of nomination for the Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCOR).

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act outlines the qualifications to serve on the Board.  It requires that the Board members bring a range of perspectives and have scientific expertise in clinical health sciences research, including epidemiology, decisions  sciences, health economics, and statistics.   

Nominations are due on June 30, 2010.

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