Payer Roundup—Judge orders DOJ to continue CVS-Aetna review; CMS considering Medicaid block grants

CMS Administrator Seema Verma speaking at a podium at the Commonwealth Fund on July 25, 2018
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is considering giving block grants to states for Medicaid. (Commonwealth Fund)

Judge orders DOJ to continue CVS-Aetna review despite shutdown

A federal court's review of CVS Health's $69 billion purchase of Aetna won't be held up by the federal shutdown after a judge rejected a request by the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ordered the agency to file public comments and its response by Feb. 15. (Hartford Courant)

Report: CMS examining block grants for Medicaid

The Trump Administration is considering giving block grants to states for Medicaid, a move that would bypass Congress and could be a major overhaul of the low-income health program, Politico reported

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Specifically, officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are examining changes that would cap state spending but also offer more flexibility to administer the program. Such a move is certain to draw opposition from the Democrat-led House. (Politico)

VA seeking to shift billions of dollars into private care

The Department of Veterans Affairs may redirect billions of dollars from its hospitals to private healthcare providers, The New York Times reported.

The guidelines would make it easier for veterans to receive care in private hospitals while getting coverage from the government for those services. They would also have access to a system of proposed walk-in clinics. The move represents one of the most significant changes to the VA medical center. (The New York Times)

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