The Democratic National Committee on Tuesday officially nominated former Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential candidate, during a convention that's largely focused on health care issues, in today’s bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Delaware, Maryland, and New York.
- Delaware: During its virtual convention, the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday officially nominated former Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential candidate. Many of the convention's speakers so far have focused on President Trump's response to America's coronavirus epidemic and his administration's support of a lawsuit seeking to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, as well as Biden's health care reform and coronavirus response proposals, signifying that health care issues once again could play a key role in how Americans cast their votes in November (Jamerson/Day, Wall Street Journal, 8/19; Burns/Martin, New York Times, 8/19).
- Maryland: CMS on Monday announced that it will resume performing routine inspections of all types of Medicare and Medicaid providers and suppliers. CMS on March 23 suspended most inspections so the agency could focus on preventing the novel coronavirus' transmission and evaluating infection control at high-risk providers, such as nursing homes. In addition, CMS Administrator Seema Verma on Monday said the agency has worked with states to conduct infection control surveys at a majority of America's nursing homes and has issued a total of $15 million in fines to facilities that weren't in compliance with CMS' infection control standards and coronavirus reporting requirements (Christ, Modern Healthcare, 8/17; Reuter, MedCity News, 8/17).
- New York: Just one day before it was scheduled to take effect, U.S. District Court Judge Frederic Block in Brooklyn on Monday issued a preliminary injunction that blocks nationwide a federal rule that would roll back certain health care protections for transgender individuals. The federal rule, issued by the Trump administration, would rescind a regulation issued under former President Barack Obama that prohibits health care providers and insurance companies from discriminating against transgender individuals. However, Block's preliminary injunction bars the Trump administration from enforcing the rule until a lawsuit challenging the new policy is settled. Block also indicated that he believes the Trump administration's new rule conflicts with a decision the Supreme Court issued in June in a separate case involving similar issues. "When the Supreme Court announces a major decision, it seems a sensible thing to pause and reflect on the decision's impact," Block wrote in his order, adding, "Since HHS has been unwilling to take that path voluntarily, the court now imposes it" (Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, 8/17; Haseley, Inside Health Policy, 8/17 [subscription required]).