Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are denying care while overcharging the government, watchdogs said at a Congressional hearing; overturn of Roe v Wade will not change how military treatment facilities provide abortions; the CDC activates the Emergency Operations Center in response to monkeypox.
As reported by Kaiser Health News, government watchdogs said Congress needs to crack down on Medicare Advantage plans that sometimes deny older patients essential medical care while simultaneously overcharging the government billions each year. Officials from the HHS Office of the Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, and Medicare Payment Advisory Commission spoke at a hearing held by an Energy and Commerce subcommittee, but CMS officials did not appear. Recommendations included setting limits on home health assessments and reinstating an audit program that is now more than 10 years behind on regaining billions of dollars in suspected overpayments to health plans.
In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, the Pentagon said the decision will not change how military treatment facilities operate because they are federal facilities. As reported by NBC News, the military will continue to provide abortions to military service members, spouses, and dependents in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk. However, federal law prohibits the Pentagon from providing or paying for abortion care in other situations.
The CDC announced Tuesday it is activating its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in response to the monkeypox outbreak, allowing the agency to further increase its operational support as the outbreak evolves. The EOC works alongside both government and non-government organizations to outline an emergency response structure, and serves as a supplement to ongoing efforts by CDC staff. While the World Health Organization decided monkeypox is not yet considered a public health emergency, the CDC already began shipping orthopoxvirus tests to 5 commercial laboratory companies and expanded the monkeypox case definition.