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August 9, 2022

Around the nation: CMS requests feedback to improve MA plans

Daily Briefing

    CMS issued a request for public comments on Medicare Advantage (MA) to help achieve the agency's "collective vision of equity, access, quality and affordability," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and New York.

    • District of Columbia: In a letter released Sunday morning, White House physician Kevin O'Connor announced that President Joe Biden had tested negative for the coronavirus for the second consecutive day. On Sunday, President Biden left the White House for the first time since July 20. Biden initially tested positive for the virus on July 21. While he previously left isolation on July 27 after testing negative, he did not leave the White House. Then, he tested positive for the virus again on July 30. On Saturday, O'Connor said in a letter that the "President continues to feel very well" after he tested negative for the virus. (McDaniel, NPR, 8/7)
    • Maryland: CMS recently issued a Request for Information seeking public comments from stakeholders on ways to improve MA. CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure noted that the request is part of the agency's initiative to advance health equity and improve access to care, adding that MA plans are "essential partners in this work." According to CMS, feedback from stakeholders—including plans, providers, beneficiary advocates, states, employers, and unions—will help inform policy development. "It's important that CMS engage as many stakeholders as possible to achieve our collective vision of equity, access, quality and affordability," said CMS Deputy Administrator and director of the Center for Medicare Meena Seshamani. (Lagasse, Healthcare Finance, 7/29)
    • New York: Pfizer on Monday agreed to buy Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) for $5.4 billion dollars—a deal that will give the company access to one of just a few approved treatments for sickle-cell disease. The deal is the latest in a line of mergers and acquisitions for Pfizer, which has said it wants to bring in $25 billion in revenue from business development strategies by 2030. The acquisition of GBT will grow Pfizer's rare-diseases business while helping it achieve its longtime goal of selling drugs that treat sickle-cell disease. "The deep market knowledge and scientific and clinical capabilities we have built over three decades in rare hematology will enable us to accelerate innovation for the sickle-cell disease community and bring these treatments to patients as quickly as possible," said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. (Rockoff, Wall Street Journal, 8/8)

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