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Bipartisan Group of Senate Health Committee Members Introduce Bill to Spur Development of New Non-Addictive Painkiller
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There's a New Bipartisan Budget & Most Healthcare Organizations are Happy
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AHA Supportive of Bill Addressing Community Rights to Set Smoking Policy

Preemption Repeal a Breath of Fresh Air for Tennessee: The fate of local smoking ordinances impacting the secondhand smoke Tennesseans breathe may finally be given to communities at the local level. Municipalities throughout Tennessee would be allowed to craft their own local smoking policies protecting the health of citizens through a bill making its way through the Tennessee Legislature.

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Healthcare Collaboration

Key healthcare associations and payer organizations look to simplify the pre-authorization process with a recently released consensus statement outlining key areas for improvement.

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2018 Legislative Session Brings Opportunities, Challenges for Hospitals
2018 Legislative Session Brings Opportunities, Challenges for Hospitals

A busy legislative session is in store for the Tennessee Hospital Association as the organization works to ensure the delivery of high quality care to patients and the communities served across the state.

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DOJ Signals New Approach to Frivolous Qui Tam Actions
DOJ Signals New Approach to Frivolous Qui Tam Actions

The Department of Justice recently signaled a possible move toward dismissing more qui tam cases deemed to be meritless.

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Doctors Aim for Another Big Year on Capitol Hill
Doctors Aim for Another Big Year on Capitol Hill

With the 2018 legislative session in full swing, TMA is ready to advocate on behalf of its more than 9,000 physician members.

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CDC Director Resigns

CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, has resigned over financial conflicts of interest.

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New Suicide Reconsideration Law Addresses Opioid Crisis
New Suicide Reconsideration Law Addresses Opioid Crisis

The opioid abuse epidemic in Tennessee is tragically leaving Tennessee medical examiners with a tough call in determining manner of death.

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CMS proposes policies to lower the cost of prescription drugs and combat the opioid crisis

The proposed rule eliminates administrative hurdles to providing more affordable prescription drugs and will allow Medicare to combat opioid overprescribing and abuse.

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Hospital Groups File Lawsuit To Stop Significant Payment Cuts For 340B Hospitals
Hospital Groups File Lawsuit To Stop Significant Payment Cuts For 340B Hospitals

Today, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and America's Essential Hospitals filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent significant Medicare payment cuts for hospitals that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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AMA Urges Congress to Take Swift Action to Retain DACA Program Protections

The American Medical Association sent a letter to Congress on Sept. 5 outlining why DACA is an American healthcare issue and urging legislators to take prompt action to ensure individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status are able to remain in the United States.

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President Signs FDA User Fee Legislation
President Signs FDA User Fee Legislation

On Aug. 18, President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation authored by Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) intended to speed safe drugs and medical devices into patients' medicine cabinets and doctors' offices, while maintaining safety and effectiveness standards.

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Alexander Leads Bipartisan Support for Accelerated FDA Reviews
Alexander Leads Bipartisan Support for Accelerated FDA Reviews

By a vote of 94-1, the U.S. Senate has sent President Trump a bill addressing FDA user fee agreements meant to speed up the Food & Drug Administration's review of new drugs and devices.

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Chairman Alexander on Announcing Bipartisan Health Care Hearings: Unless Congress Acts, Millions May Not Have Insurance to Buy in 2018
Chairman Alexander on Announcing Bipartisan Health Care Hearings: Unless Congress Acts, Millions May Not Have Insurance to Buy in 2018

"There are a number of issues with the American health care system, but if your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market."

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Attention Now Turns to the Senate for Healthcare Reform

On May 15, the American Medical Association (AMA) urged Senate leaders to keep in mind patients at risk of losing their insurance coverage. "Significant changes to the ACA or Medicaid program potentially threaten the ability for millions of Americans to obtain and retain coverage. It is these citizens, constituents, and patients who should be at the center of this debate," wrote AMA CEO James L. Madara, MD.

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Tennessee Patient Stability Coalition Applauds Proposed Rx Benefits Legislation

The Tennessee Patient Stability Coalition, a coalition of 17 leading patient and provider groups is voicing support for a bill that would require commercial health plans honor the terms of their prescription coverage plans for the duration of the contract year. The group said the legislation, known as the "Reliable Coverage Act" (SB 991/HB 960), would protect consumers by preventing prescription coverage reductions outside of the open enrollment period.

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21st Century Cures
21st Century Cures

Calling it a 'Christmas miracle,' U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander discusses the importance of the 21st Century Cures Act.

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Legislative Priorities of Key Health Associations
Legislative Priorities of Key Health Associations

Despite the uncertainty that comes with a changing administration at the federal level, work moves forward at the state level for the Tennessee Hospital Association, Tennessee Medical Association and Tennessee Nurses Association. Below is a snapshot of priorities and plans for 2017. Additional information is available on each of the statewide organizations' websites.

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Physicians, APRNs Having Varying Views on Scope of Practice Issue

The Healing Arts Scope of Practice Task Force, which was convened by Public Chapter 1046 to discuss access to care including delivery by the appropriate healthcare professional, often found Tennessee's advanced practice nurses and physicians on opposite sides of the issue.

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Keys to Unlocking Better Patient Outcomes
Keys to Unlocking Better Patient Outcomes

Former Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell commissioned a Scope of Practice Task Force to change the conversation and the players in the ongoing debate about the need for and value of physician supervision of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in the state. The 12,612 APRNs in Tennessee include 9,717 Nurse Practitioners (77.0 percent of the total), 2,564 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (20.3 percent), 193 Certified Nurse Midwives (1.5 percent), and 138 Clinical Nurse Specialists (1.1 percent).

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We Need More Collaboration in Healthcare, Not Less
We Need More Collaboration in Healthcare, Not Less

Tennessee Public Chapter 1046 created an equally balanced task force of advanced practice nurses and practicing physicians to "make recommendations to the general assembly for the improvement of Tennessee residents' health by providing access to quality and cost effective care." The group first met in June 2016 and, after several meetings and other deliberations, will issue a few recommendations to the General Assembly for legislators to consider in 2017.

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Sen. Alexander Statement on Senate Passage of ECHO
Sen. Alexander Statement on Senate Passage of ECHO

Legislation cosponsored by Alexander designed to help improve collaboration among rural doctors and specialists in other areas so doctors can better serve their patients.

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