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What We're Reading: New FDA Regulation; Calif. Health Plan Surcharge; Cost of Value Departure


FDA May Gain New Regulation Powers

Congress is considering expanding FDA’s regulatory powers to give it oversight over beauty products. According to The Wall Street Journal, the potential to give the FDA the power to regulate these products is a result of litigation, reports of treatments sickening salon workers and customers, and even support from the cosmetics industry itself. There are at least 10 cosmetic makers who back a bipartisan Senate bill that would require the FDA to evaluate at least 5 cosmetic ingredients a year to determine safety.

ACA Health Plan Surcharge Approved

California has approved allowing health plans to combat the uncertainty of the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by enacting a surcharge. Health insurers will have the ability until September 30 to add a 12.4% surcharge to the silver ACA plans, reported the Washington Examiner. The surcharge would be used to offset the possibility that President Donald Trump ends the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers. Another change in California could have the state pay for some unanticipated losses due to changes in existing federal policies from 2019 to 2021.

Shifting From Value-Based Care Could Cost Taxpayers

CMS recently announced it would end 2 mandatory bundled payment programs and leave these payment reform programs voluntary—a move that could cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Forbes reported that slowing the movement toward value-based care could damage the solvency of Medicare’s Hospital Trust Fund and cause it to run out sooner. For example, the joint replacement payment program was slated to save Medicare $294 million from 2018 to 2020, but making it voluntary means it is now expected to only save $204 million.

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