September 14, 2021
  • The CMS is proposing to pull a Trump era regulation that would have required Medicare to pay for any “breakthrough” (i.e., new technologies that attempt to improve care for people with life-threatening conditions) medical device. After receiving public feedback, CMS determined the rule was “not in the best interest of Medicare beneficiaries because the rule may provide coverage without adequate evidence that the breakthrough device would be a reasonable and necessary treatment.” (Articles here and here)
  • An updated KFF analysis found that the total preventable costs of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in August hit nearly $4 billion. Earlier estimates reflected that costs were much lower – $0.6 billion in June and $1.4 billion in July. The total preventable costs for those three months now stand at an estimated $5.7 billion. The estimates are based on HHS data about COVID-19 hospital admissions. (Analysis here)
  • Delta Air Lines said that its penalty for unvaccinated workers has led to more employees receiving a COVID-19 shot. Last month, Delta announced that, starting November 1, it would charge unvaccinated staff $200 more per month for its health insurance plan to factor in the financial risk the company incurs by having unvaccinated workers. Since then, approximately one-fifth of its 20,000 unvaccinated workers have gotten inoculated, bringing the company’s total employee vaccination rate to 78 percent. (Article here)