Policy

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama described the Affordable Care Act as part of the fabric of middle-class economic recovery as he spoke to a Republican-controlled Congress still working to dismantle the law, reports Clinical Innovation + Technology.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has approved recommendations to Congress to either freeze reimbursements or make them site neutral, which would save Medicare billions of dollars, according to Modern Healthcare.  

The FDA has released a draft guidance offering some clarity on how it defines a low-risk product: A general wellness product becomes a medical device when it refers to its use for a specific disease or condition, according to Medcity News. 

Marilyn Tavenner, top administrator for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has announced plans to step down in February, reports Wall Street Journal. 

An analysis from the Congressional Research Service challenges a common talking point among legislators that the medical device tax destroys jobs and encourages manufacturers to operate oversees, according to The New York Times. 

Some U.S. consumers are turning down tax credits offered through the Affordable Care Act out of principle, opting to spend more on health insurance, reports U.S. News & World Report.

Momentum is growing in Congress to repeal taxes on medical device sales, reports The Hill.

Medicare's policy not to pay for the treatment of hospital-acquired infections appears to be making an impact, according to Medscape.   

Harvard faculty are in an uproar over rising healthcare costs, even as the school's very own economists and health policy advisors had championed heathcare reform efforts, reports The New York Times. 

Accenture Federal Services has won a five-year, $563 million contract to continue its work on Healthcare.gov, reports Clinical Innovation + Technology.

The Department of Health & Human Services is awarding more than $665 million in Affordable Care Act monies to design and test healthcare payment and service delivery models. 

Data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the Health IT Policy Committee reveal only marginal gains in the numbers of eligible professionals and hospitals attesting to Meaningful Use Stage 2, reports Clinical Innovation + Technology.