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 Post subject: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services Office Tweet of week
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:43 pm 
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HHS Region IX Weekly Message Week of October 31-November 4, 2016
HHS Region 9 ORD (HHS) <>
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Today, 2:59 PM

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Regional Director
Tweet of the Week

Items of Greatest Interest from this Past Week

1. Open Enrollment HHS Press Release

2. Affordable Care Act Myths: Busted!

3. New Risk Assessment Tool May Better Predict Dynamic Risk of Heart Disease

4. The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research Listening Sessions

5. HHS Weekly Bulletin

Item 1: Open Enrollment HHS Press Release
On November 1st, the Department officially kicked off the fourth Open Enrollment.
“This Open Enrollment, we’re encouraging every American who might need coverage to visit, where they’ll find options for affordable health insurance. This year, the vast majority of consumers will qualify for tax credits that help keep coverage affordable, and it’s easier than ever to shop around and compare options,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “As we sound the opening bell, let’s also take stock of the historic gains in coverage we’ve made as a country, and work together to continue that progress.”

“We want to make sure everyone knows it’s easier than ever to visit the Marketplace, compare your options, see if you qualify for lower costs, and sign up for the plan that best meets your needs and budget,” said CEO Kevin Counihan. “That’s why we’re going all-out for Open Enrollment this year, with a top-tier public education campaign and on-the-ground partnerships to reach people where they are and spread the word about the opportunity to enroll in affordable coverage.”

Full press release can be found here: ... e-gov.html

Please see the below tweet, post, and video from the First Lady. And feel free to share as you build excitement for open enrollment!

Click here,

Click here, ... 320359238/

Good news: You can sign up to #GetCovered starting November 1st! This year, most folks who get coverage on will be able to find a plan for $75 or less a month. Check out your options, share your story with the First Lady, and then spread the word to loved ones for peace of mind ahead of the December 15 deadline for coverage beginning January 1.

Item 2: Affordable Care Act Myths: Busted!
For years now, Americans have heard more than a few scary stories about the Affordable Care Act and the Marketplace. To put a few of those ghoulish tales to rest, we’re spending this Halloween busting some myths ourselves.
Unfortunately, federal regulations and secret service protection kept us from testing anything with explosives or car crashes. But we managed to bust some myths all the same.

READ MORE: Affordable Care Act Myths: Busted!

Item 3: New Risk Assessment Tool May Better Predict Dynamic Risk of Heart Disease
The new tool is an extension of the ACC/AHA ASCVD Risk Estimator
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association issued a press release on the Million Hearts® longitudinal atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASVCD) risk assessment tool, which was funded by the Centers for Medicare and & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center (CMMI) in collaboration with the two organizations. The tool will be utilized by participants in the Million Hearts® Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model. It is designed to help predict the 10-year risk of developing ASVCD and how that risk may change over time as preventive treatments are initiated. The tool is an extension of the ASCVD Pooled Cohort Equation first published in the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

To read more click here: ... t-cvd-risk

AHA Press Release (WORD) or click here: ... t-cvd-risk

Item 4: The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research Listening Sessions
The Department of Health & Human Services’ National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is conducting 5 stakeholder listening sessions around the country, with the second starting Oct. 28th through December. These meetings will be hosted by John Tschida, the Director of NIDILRR, with the goal of receiving community input to inform the development of the agency’s 2018-2023 Long-Range Plan. This plan will inform research and development activities, with the broad purpose of improving the community inclusion and independent living of individuals with disabilities. We are inviting you to attend this meeting, and asking you to distribute the below registration information to your networks. This is a unique opportunity to share your perspectives on disability inclusion and accessibility with NIDILRR and influencing their future investments in research and development.
The following thematic topics will be discussed.

· What issues (barriers) make it challenging for you to be an active member of your community?

· What improvements (name the top one or two) would make your daily life better?

· What has changed, for better or worse, in the last five years that as affected your ability to achieve your goals?

Please consider joining one of these remaining sessions:

November 18, 2016 – Time 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Eastern Time
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA 02203
Conference Room 900A

December 5, 2016 – Time 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Central Standard Time
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
1301 Young Street
Dallas, TX 75201
Rooms 914, 915 and 916
Event Website and Registration: ... ng-session

Register Online. You can also register by fax at 703-356-8314 or by phone at 703-356-8035 ext. 105. Please register today!

For questions or assistance with registration, contact Robin Toliver, New Editions Consulting, Inc., 703-356-8035 ext. 105.

If you are unable to attend in-person, we invite you to join by phone using the conference line number below, or submit your views by email to

Phone Number: 1-866-952-7534
Pass Code: 78632

If you require participation by CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) service, please let us know by checking the box on the registration page. A web-link to the real-time CART transcript will be emailed to you prior to the meeting date.

Item 5: HHS Weekly Bulletin
Friday, November 4, 2016

Visit and CuidadodeSalud.Gov, two consumer-focused health care websites to: find insurance options, compare care quality, and learn about the law.

HHS News
Medicaid & CHIP: August 2016 Monthly Applications, Eligibility Determinations and Enrollment Report
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a monthly report on state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) data represents state Medicaid and CHIP agencies’ eligibility activity for the calendar month of August 2016.

Click here to view the report (PDF): ... report.pdf

Medicare finalizes substantial improvements that focus on primary care, mental health, and diabetes prevention
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the 2017 Physician Fee Schedule final rule that recognizes the importance of primary care by improving payment for chronic care management and behavioral health. The rule also finalizes many of the policies to expand the Diabetes Prevention Program model test to eligible Medicare beneficiaries, the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) expanded model, starting January 1, 2018. This is the first time a prevention model from the CMS Innovation Center will be adopted under the CMS authority to expand successful payment and service delivery models to reach all eligible beneficiaries.
For more information, please visit: ... 11-02.html

CMS Awards Contracts for the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program Round 1 2017
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the Round 1 2017 contract suppliers for Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. This program has been in effect since 2011 and is an essential tool to help Medicare set appropriate payment rates for DMEPOS items, save money for beneficiaries and taxpayers, while ensuring access to quality items. ... -01-2.html

CMS Announces Final Payment Changes for Medicare Home Health Agencies for 2017
Monday, October 31, 2016

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced final changes to the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2017 that would foster greater efficiency, flexibility, payment accuracy, and improved quality. Approximately 3.4 million beneficiaries received home health services from approximately 11,400 home health agencies, costing Medicare approximately $18.2 billion in 2015.

For additional information about the Home Health Prospective Payment System, visit ... index.html.

For additional information about the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model, visit ... sing-model.

Phased Enforcement of Part D Prescriber Enrollment
Monday, October 31, 2016

CMS published a final rule in May 2014 and an interim final rule in May 2015 addressing prescriber enrollment requirements in Medicare. Prescribers must be enrolled in an active status or validly opted out, except in very limited circumstances, in order for their written prescriptions to be covered under Part D. CMS previously announced that enforcement of the prescriber enrollment requirement would begin on February 1, 2017. While CMS is committed to the implementation of the prescriber enrollment requirements, CMS also recognizes the need to minimize the impact on the beneficiary population and ensure beneficiaries have access to the care they need.

For more information, please visit: ... About.html

Health Insurance Enforcement and Consumer Protections Cycle I Grant Awards
Monday, October 31, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded approximately $25.5 million to 22 states and the District of Columbia to use for enforcement and oversight of issuer compliance with select Affordable Care Act (ACA) key consumer protections. These awards allow states to use the funding for activities related to planning and implementing selected Federal market reforms and consumer protections including: essential health benefits, preventive services, parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits, appeals processes, and bringing down the cost of health care coverage (also known as medical loss ratio (MLR) provision). ... 10-31.html

Joint Policy Statement on Meeting the Needs of Families with Young Children Experiencing and At Risk of Homelessness Released
Monday, October 31, 2016

Today, U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Education released an interagency policy statement on early childhood homelessness. As this new infographic shows, in the United States, infancy is the age at which individuals are most likely to enter shelter or transitional housing, followed by ages one to five, and homelessness during pregnancy and in the early years is harmful to children’s development.

Here is a link to the Joint Policy

Statement: ... tement.pdf

CMS Updates to Policies and Payment Rates for End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System
Friday, October 28, 2016

On October 28, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that updates payment policies and rates under the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for renal dialysis services furnished to beneficiaries on or after January 1, 2017. This rule also finalizes new quality measures to improve the quality of care by dialysis facilities treating patients with ESRD.

Click here: ... -28-2.html

HHS Blogs
Open for Business: Visit to Enroll for 2017

By: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, HHS Secretary

November 1, 2016

The Health Insurance Marketplace is open for business! From now until January 31, people in every state can visit to shop for affordable, quality health coverage.

At HHS, we think everyone should be able to shop for the health coverage that works best for them. So this Open Enrollment, we’ve streamlined the process – making it easier to shop on a smartphone or a tablet, and simpler to compare plans.

To read the entire blog, click here: ... 2017.html#

Educational Materials
Below you’ll find materials related to the HHS priority areas.

Zika Virus: What You Need To Know
For up-to-date information on the Zika Virus and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones, visit

The Opioids Epidemic
For information about the prescription drug and heroin overdose epidemic, and to learn what HHS is doing about it, visit

View our Flickr Info-Graphs page here.

Health Insurance Marketplace
For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace including official resources, research, news, and events visit

#GetCovered: Share your story
Whether you've just enrolled in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace or you're benefiting from the myriad of new protections under the Affordable Care Act, tell us your story below - then ask your friends to do the same by visiting this page.

Marketplace Updates
For information on how to sign up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, including text message and email updates visit

State by State Fact Sheets
Choose your state to learn more about the immediate benefits of the Affordable Care Act,
The ACA state by state fact sheets have been updated with the most current stats available.
They can be found here: ... state.html
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us by phone at 415-437-8500 or by email.

The Region IX Team






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