What Happened, What You Missed: July 17-21, 2023

CMS Pauses Medicaid Redeterminations in Some States

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has temporarily paused the Medicaid redetermination process in a dozen states out of concern that too many enrollees may be losing their coverage for procedural reasons. Since a number of states resumed Medicaid redeterminations on April 1, over 3 million enrollees have lost coverage. Nearly three-quarters of the disenrollments have been for procedural reasons, which include administrative or paperwork errors in the renewal process. In some states, CMS has even reinstated Medicaid coverage for tens of thousands of enrollees. CMS plans to release state-level redetermination data in the next few weeks, and the agency is working with at least a dozen other states to address issues with the redetermination process.

Study: Most Hospitals Not Fully Complying with Price Transparency Rules

Only 36% of 2,000 surveyed hospitals are in complete compliance with federal hospital price transparency rules, according to a study from Patient Rights Advocate. Additionally, 64% of hospitals reported having incomplete files, and 69% did not post usable files on their changes. However, the July study shows an improvement from the February 2023 study, which found 25% of hospitals to be in full compliance with the rule. Since January 1, 2021, hospitals have been required to make public their standard charges for items and services via a “consumer-friendly display” and a comprehensive, machine-readable format.

Majority of Americans Don’t Know about 988 Suicide Hotline

Over 85% of Americans can’t recall the new number for the national suicide hotline, according to a new YouGov poll. In contrast, 92% of Americans reportedly identified 911 as the correct number for emergency services. The polling comes just a year after the federal government revamped the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and changed the number to 988 so that it would be easier for people to remember. Despite the low memory retention on 988, the hotline has seen its use climb since last year’s rollout, with a 33% percent increase in the combined number of calls, texts, and chats since May 2022. 988 engagement is likely to continue to grow, as the administration prepares to reach new communities by adding Spanish text and chat services.

FDA Approves First RSV Shot for Infants

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nirsevimab as the first drug to protect infants and toddlers from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the leading cause of hospitalization among babies under a year old in the US. Developed by AstraZeneca and Sanofi, nisevimab is not a vaccine – meaning instead of prompting the body to make antibodies, nisevimab includes antibodies that can bind to RSV and prevent it from infecting healthy cells. A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel will meet on August 3 to discuss how the injectable antibody drug should be administered.

ICYMI: DC Native and Resident Joins “Love Island USA”

The fifth season of Love Island USA recently debuted, and one of this season’s contestants is 23-year-old Keenan Anunay, a Washington, DC native resident who still resides in the city. Currently a journalism major at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Keenan was initially paired off with Kay Kay, contestant from Texas who currently works as a travel nurse. Love Island USA season 5 airs this summer on Peacock.

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