February 3, 2023
Only What Matters In Health Information Policy
If déjà vu smelled like smoky vanilla, it would smell SO GOOD in here. Tom Brady retired, again. Real-life-recent-bride J.Lo plays the bride in yet another (9 times?!) let’s-get-married movie (she should have stopped while she was ahead with The Wedding Planner). This Sunday night we will see if Beyoncé repeats her past domination of the Grammy awards (cue her Deja Vu video with hubby Jay-Z). And, for its part, CMS is releasing rules that were released before. While we were hoping to say something nice this week about the late Cindy Williams, who was a weekly Dream Come True in the Laverne & Shirley show, we have little choice but to explain how everything just seems to be on “play, repeat” in the One Thoughtful Paragraph.
We found only three health policy announcements this week that didn't give us déjà vu:
For the first time, there is clarity on when the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) will end. This week, the White House announced the PHE will officially end on May 11, 2023, allowing 100 days’ notice to ease the transition from policies that have been in place since 2020.
For the first time since the pandemic began, the Federal Reserve announced that COVID-19 public health data will no longer be considered in its overall economic risk calculations.
For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission took action to enforce the Health Breach Notification Rule, asking a federal court to impose a $1.5M fine against GoodRx for allegedly sharing its users’ personal health information with platforms like Google and Facebook for advertising purposes. A quick way to understand why this is a big deal is by reading the rather cheeky blog post the FTC published about this first-of-its-kind settlement. Also read here, here.
One Thoughtful Paragraph
The Tom Brady retirement re-announcement saga wouldn’t even get an honorable mention here if it weren’t for it coinciding with the opening of a related and irresistible movie: 80 for Brady. We are eagerly anticipating watching a storied crew of female actors -- Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, and the (incomparable) Rita Moreno. They play four football-crazy seniors centered on (a totally fictional) Tom Brady-led New England Patriots Super Bowl adventure. Tom's re-retirement also comes in handy as we try to figure out how to explain (thank you, Avalere) the repeating-history-saga of the Medicare Risk Adjustment Data Validation (RADV) final rule. Unless you’re into actuarial calculations, maybe avoid the details of the latest final rule about the CMS-led process that checks data to make sure Medicare Advantage plans weren’t overpaid. Suffice it to say that whenever billions of dollars and data sets are involved in health care, there will be a lot of wash, rinse, repeat, before we get this right. To avoid our regulatory reading this weekend, we plan to enjoy the inevitable string of one-liners in the 80 for Brady movie. Some great quotes were leaked ahead of today’s release of the film and are weirdly appropriate: I feel like I’m just living in the past, and I can’t move on.