NHMA has supported Appropriations for medical education diversity programs as well as other key programs to advance the health of Latinos in the nation.
On December 20, 2019, President Donald Trump signed spending bills
that will fund the government until September 30, 2020. A provision included in the package raised federal tobacco buying age from 18 to 21. The spending package also includes a military and civilian federal worker pay raise, federal funding for security grants and gun research, and a repeal of three health care taxes to help pay for the Affordable Care Act.
The Labor-HHS-Education (Labor-HHS) spending bill, will provide the Title VII Health Professions and Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs with $684.5 million in FY 2020, a $42.8 million (7%) increase from FY 2019 levels.
As a reminder, the House Labor-HHS bill provided $680 million for previously funded programs, a $38.305 million (5.97%) increase from FY 2019 levels, while the Senate draft Labor-H committee report provided $633.506 million for previously funded programs in FY 2020, an $8.189 million (1.27%) decrease from FY 2019.
- $15 million for HCOP (6% increase)
- $24 million got Centers of Excellence (0% increase)
The Behavioral Health Workforce Education & Training Program received $102 million, a $27 million (36%) increase over FY 2019 enacted levels. This increased allocation includes funding dedicated to the Mental and Substance Use Disorder Training Demonstration and Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce programs, which received first-time funding.
On January 2, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration released its final guidance outlining the agency's enforcement priorities for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes and e-liquids.
The guidance would strip the market of popular fruit and mint pod-based flavors, but not tobacco and menthol. According to a
, youth are attracted to flavors such as fruit and mint, much more so than tobacco or menthol flavored e-cigarettes.
New Benefits in 2020 are supported by CMS for Medicare Advantage Health Plans:
Starting in 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) allowed MA plans to offer supplemental benefits, such as adult day care services or in-home and caregiver support services, and cost-sharing benefits for enrollees with certain conditions. CMS garnered a lot of attention when it tweaked its rules in 2019 to:
- Allow home-based palliative care, non-skilled in-home support and services, and non-opioid pain management
- Expand permissible benefits, such as by covering temporary home modifications and bathroom safety devices
For 2020, CMS Rules expanded permissible SDOH expenditures by plans for patients with chronic conditions. Plans will be able to:
- Offer non-healthcare-related benefits that can improve or maintain health or overall function
- Expand meal delivery
- Provide transportation for non-medical needs like grocery shopping
- Offer home environment services like air conditioning installation or repair
NHMA signed on to the following letters in December 2019:
- NHMA joined other Partnership for Medicaid members to request the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare to extend its comment period for its new proposed rule, "Medicaid Program; Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation." Read the letter, here.
- NHMA joined the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC) in sending a comment on the September 19 Executive Order on Modernizing Influenza Vaccines in the United States to Promote National Security and Public Health. Read more, here: