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SOBRE NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOLNoticias en español es una sección de Kaiser where can i buy symbicort over the counter Health News que contiene traducciones de artículos de gran interés para la comunidad hispanohablante, y contenido original enfocado en la población hispana que vive en los Estados Unidos. Use Nuestro Contenido Este contenido puede usarse de manera gratuita where can i buy symbicort over the counter (detalles). Al menos la mitad de los votantes prefiere el enfoque de la atención médica del ex vicepresidente Joe Biden al del presidente Donald Trump, lo que sugiere que la preocupación por reducir los costos y manejar la pandemia podría influir en el resultado de esta elección, según revela una nueva encuesta.

Los hallazgos, de la encuesta mensual de KFF, indican que los votantes no confían en where can i buy symbicort over the counter las garantías del presidente de que protegerá a las personas con condiciones preexistentes de las compañías de seguros si la Corte Suprema anulara la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA).Un mes antes de que el tribunal escuche los argumentos de los fiscales generales republicanos y la administración Trump a favor de revocar la ley, la encuesta muestra que el 79% del público no quiere que el Supremo cancele las protecciones de cobertura para los estadounidenses con afecciones preexistentes. La mayoría de los republicanos, el 66%, dijo que no quiere que se anulen esas garantías.Además de dejar a unos 21 millones de estadounidenses sin seguro, revocar ACA podría permitir a las compañías de seguros cobrar más o negar cobertura a las personas porque tienen condiciones preexistentes, una práctica común antes que se estableciera la ley, y que un análisis del gobierno reveló en 2017 que podría afectar hasta a 133 millones de estadounidenses.Casi 6 de cada 10 personas dijeron que tenían un familiar con una condición preexistente o crónica, como diabetes, hipertensión, o cáncer, y aproximadamente la mitad dijo que les preocupa que un ser querido no pueda pagar la cobertura, o la pierda por completo, si se anulara la ley.La encuesta revela una preferencia sorprendente por Biden sobre Trump cuando se trata de proteger a las personas con condiciones preexistentes, un tema que el 94% de los votantes dijo que ayudaría a decidir por quién votar. Biden tiene una ventaja de where can i buy symbicort over the counter 20 puntos.

Un 56% prefiere where can i buy symbicort over the counter su enfoque, contra un 36% para Trump.De hecho, el sondeo muestra una preferencia por Biden en todos los problemas de atención médica que se plantean, incluso entre los mayores de 65 años y en temas que Trump ha dicho que eran sus prioridades mientras estuviera en el cargo, lo que indica que los votantes no están satisfechos con el trabajo del presidente para reducir los costos de la atención médica, en particular. El apoyo a los esfuerzos de Trump para reducir el precio de los medicamentos recetados ha disminuido, y los votantes ahora prefieren el enfoque de Biden, del 50% al 43%.La mayoría de los votantes dijeron que prefieren el plan de Biden para lidiar con el brote de COVID-19, 55% a 39%, y para desarrollar y distribuir una vacuna para COVID, 51% a 42%. Trump ha delegado en gran medida la gestión de la pandemia a los funcionarios estatales y locales, al tiempo que prometió que los científicos desafiarían las expectativas y producirían una vacuna antes del día de las elecciones.Cuando se les preguntó qué tema era más importante para decidir por quién votar, la mayoría de los where can i buy symbicort over the counter encuestados señaló a la atención médica.

El 18% eligió el brote de COVID-19 y el 12% mencionó el cuidado de salud en general. Casi una proporción igual, el 29%, optó por la economía.La encuesta se realizó where can i buy symbicort over the counter del 7 al 12 de octubre, después del primer debate presidencial y el anuncio de Trump de que había dado positivo para COVID-19. El margen de error es más o menos 3 puntos porcentuales para la muestra completa y 4 puntos porcentuales para los votantes.(KHN es un programa editorialmente independiente de KFF).

Emmarie where can i buy symbicort over the counter Huetteman. ehuetteman@kff.org, @emmarieDC Related Topics Courts Elections Health Care Costs Noticias En Español The Health Law COVID-19 KFF Polls Preexisting ConditionsIn March, Sue Williams-Ward where can i buy symbicort over the counter took a new job, with a $1-an-hour raise.The employer, a home health care agency called Together We Can, was paying a premium — $13 an hour — after it started losing aides when COVID-19 safety concerns mounted.Williams-Ward, a 68-year-old Indianapolis native, was a devoted caregiver who bathed, dressed and fed clients as if they were family. She was known to entertain clients with some of her own 26 grandchildren, even inviting her clients along on charitable deliveries of Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams.

Explore Our Database KHN and The Guardian are tracking health care where can i buy symbicort over the counter workers who died from COVID-19 and writing about their lives and what happened in their final days. Without her, the city’s most vulnerable would have been “lost, alone or mistreated,” said her husband, Royal Davis.Despite her husband’s fears for her health, Williams-Ward reported to work on March 16 at an apartment with three elderly women. One was blind, where can i buy symbicort over the counter one was wheelchair-bound, and the third had a severe mental illness.

None had been diagnosed with COVID-19 but, Williams-Ward confided in Davis, at least one had symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath, now associated with the virus.Even after a colleague on the night shift developed pneumonia, Williams-Ward tended to her patients — without protective equipment, which she told her husband she’d repeatedly requested from the agency. Together We Can did not respond to multiple phone and email requests for comment about the PPE available to its workers.Still, Davis said, “Sue did all the little, unseen, everyday things that allowed them to maintain their liberty, dignity and freedom.”He said that within three where can i buy symbicort over the counter days Williams-Ward was coughing, too. After six weeks in where can i buy symbicort over the counter a hospital and weeks on a ventilator, she died of COVID-19.

Hers is one of more than 1,200 health worker COVID deaths that KHN and The Guardian are investigating, including those of dozens of home health aides.During the pandemic, home health aides have buttressed the U.S. Health care system by keeping the most vulnerable patients — seniors, where can i buy symbicort over the counter the disabled, the infirm — out of hospitals. Yet even as they’ve put themselves at risk, this workforce of 2.3 million — of whom 9 in 10 are women, nearly two-thirds are minorities and almost one-third are foreign-born — has largely been overlooked.Home health providers scavenged for their own face masks and other protective equipment, blended disinfectant and fabricated sanitizing wipes amid widespread shortages.

They’ve often done it where can i buy symbicort over the counter all on poverty wages, without overtime pay, hazard pay, sick leave and health insurance. And they’ve gotten sick and died — leaving little to their survivors. Email Sign-Up Subscribe to KHN’s free where can i buy symbicort over the counter Morning Briefing.

Speaking out about their work conditions during the pandemic where can i buy symbicort over the counter has triggered retaliation by employers, according to representatives of the Service Employees International Union in Massachusetts, California and Virginia. €œIt’s been shocking, egregious and unethical,” said David Broder, president of SEIU Virginia 512.The pandemic has laid bare deeply ingrained inequities among health workers, as Broder puts it. €œThis is exactly where can i buy symbicort over the counter what structural racism looks like today in our health care system.”Every worker who spoke with KHN for this article said they felt intimidated by the prospect of voicing their concerns.

All have seen colleagues fired for doing so. They agreed to talk candidly about their work environments on the condition their full names not be used.***Tina, a home health provider, said she has where can i buy symbicort over the counter faced these challenges in Springfield, Massachusetts, one of the nation’s poorest cities.Like many of her colleagues — 82%, according to a survey by the National Domestic Workers Alliance — Tina has lacked protective equipment throughout the pandemic. Her employer is a family-owned company that gave her one surgical mask and two pairs of latex gloves a week to clean body fluids, change wound dressings and administer medications to incontinent or bedridden clients.When Tina received the company’s do-it-yourself blueprints where can i buy symbicort over the counter — to make masks from hole-punched sheets of paper towel reinforced with tongue depressors and gloves from garbage bags looped with rubber bands — she balked.

€œIt felt like I was in a Third World country,” she said.The home health agencies that Tina and others in this article work for declined to comment on work conditions during the pandemic.In other workplaces — hospitals, mines, factories — employers are responsible for the conditions in which their employees operate. Understanding the plight of home health providers begins with American labor law.The Fair Labor Standards Act, which forms the basis of protections in the American workplace, was passed in an era dually marked by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal changes and marred by the barriers of the Jim Crow era where can i buy symbicort over the counter. The act excluded domestic care workers — including maids, butlers and home health providers — from protections such as overtime pay, sick leave, hazard pay and insurance.

Likewise, standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration three decades later carved out “domestic household employment activities in private residences.”“A deliberate decision was made to discriminate against colored people — mostly women — to unburden distinguished elderly white folks from the responsibility of employment,” said Ruqaiijah Yearby, a law professor where can i buy symbicort over the counter at St. Louis University.In 2015, several of these exceptions were eliminated, and protections for health providers became “very well regulated on paper,” said Nina Kohn, a professor specializing in civil rights law at Syracuse University. €œBut the reality is, noncompliance is a where can i buy symbicort over the counter norm and the penalties for noncompliance are toothless.”Burkett McInturff, a civil rights lawyer working on behalf of home health workers, said, “The law itself is very clear.

The problem lies in the ability to hold these companies accountable.”The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has “abdicated its responsibility for protecting workers” in the pandemic, said where can i buy symbicort over the counter Debbie Berkowitz, director of the National Employment Law Project. Berkowitz is also a former OSHA chief. In her view, political where can i buy symbicort over the counter and financial decisions in recent years have hollowed out the agency.

It now has the fewest inspectors and conducts the fewest inspections per year in its history.Furthermore, some home health care agencies have classified home health providers as contractors, akin to gig workers such as Uber drivers. This loophole protects them from the responsibilities of where can i buy symbicort over the counter employers, said Seema Mohapatra, an Indiana University associate professor of law. Furthermore, she said, “these workers are rarely in a position to question, or advocate or lobby for themselves.”Should workers contract COVID-19, they are unlikely to receive remuneration or damages.Demonstrating causality — that a person caught the coronavirus on the job — for workers’ compensation has been extremely difficult, Berkowitz said.

As with other health care jobs, employers have been quick to point where can i buy symbicort over the counter out that workers might have caught the virus at the gas station, grocery store or home.Many home health providers care for multiple patients, who also bear the consequences of their work conditions. €œIf you think about perfect vectors for transmission, unprotected individuals going from house to house have to rank at the where can i buy symbicort over the counter top of list,” Kohn said. €œEven if someone didn’t care at all about these workers, we need to fix this to keep Grandma and Grandpa safe.”Nonetheless, caregivers like Samira, in Richmond, Virginia, have little choice but to work.

Samira — who makes $8.25 an hour with one client and $9.44 an hour with another, and owes tens of thousands of dollars in hospital bills from previous work injuries — has no where can i buy symbicort over the counter other option but to risk getting sick.“I can’t afford not to work. And my clients, they don’t have anybody but me,” she said. €œSo I just pray every day I where can i buy symbicort over the counter don’t get it.” Eli Cahan.

emcahan@stanford.edu, @emcahan Related Topics Aging Health Industry Public Health COVID-19 Home Health Care Lost On The FrontlineCalifornia Healthline correspondent Angela Hart discussed how the coronavirus pandemic has derailed California’s efforts to deal with homelessness on KPBS “Midday Edition” on Oct. 8. KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber discussed the difference between D.O.s and M.D.s with Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Tuesday.

KHN correspondent Anna Almendrala discussed how L.A. County’s enforcement of workplace coronavirus protocols has cut COVID-19 deaths with KPCC’s “Take Two” on Tuesday. KHN senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble discussed rural hospitals and KHN’s “Where It Hurts” podcast with Illinois Public Media’s “The 21st” on Oct.

5 and “Tradeoffs” on Oct. 8. KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner joined C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Tuesday to discuss the Affordable Care Act case before the Supreme Court next month and what else to expect in the realm of health care after the election.

KHN freelancer Priscilla Blossom discussed Halloween safety tips with KUNC’s “Colorado Edition” on Tuesday. Related Topics California Doctors Homeless Medical EducationTrombonist Jerrell Charleston loves the give-and-take of jazz, the creativity of riffing off other musicians. But as he looked toward his sophomore year at Indiana University, he feared that steps to avoid sharing the coronavirus would also keep students from sharing songs.“Me and a lot of other cats were seriously considering taking a year off and practicing at home,” lamented the 19-year-old jazz studies major from Gary, Indiana.His worries evaporated when he arrived on campus and discovered that music professor Tom Walsh had invented a special mask with a hole and a protective flap to allow musicians to play while masked.

Don't Miss A Story Subscribe to KHN’s free Weekly Edition newsletter. Students also got masks for the ends of their wind instruments, known as bell covers, allowing them to jam in person, albeit 6 feet apart.“It’s amazing to play together,” Charleston said. €œMusic has always been my safe space.

It’s what’s in your soul, and you’re sharing that with other people.”Of course, the very act of making music powered by human breath involves blowing air — and possibly virus particles — across a room. One infamous choral practice in Washington state earlier this year led to confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19 in more than half of the 61 attendees. Two died.So musicians around the country are taking it upon themselves to reduce the risk of COVID-19 without silencing the music.

With pantyhose, air filters, magnets, bolts of fabric and a fusion of creativity, those who play wind instruments or sing are improvising masks to keep the band together. Solomon Keim rehearses in protective gear that doesn't mask the sound.(Chris Bergin for KHN) Brayden Wisley practices safe sax-playing. Other tips for musicians.

Play in a big space with good ventilation, and break after 30 minutes to allow the air to clear.(Chris Bergin for KHN) Brendan Sullivan plays trombone while both he and the instrument are masked. It has been recommended that most instrumentalists face the same direction while playing and stay 6 feet apart — with a distance of 9 feet in front and back of trombonists.(Chris Bergin for KHN)A consortium of performing arts groups has commissioned research exploring ways for musicians to play safely. The group’s preliminary report from July recommends instrumentalists wear masks with small slits, use bell covers, face the same direction while playing and stay 6 feet apart for most instruments — with a distance of 9 feet in front and back of trombonists.

Other research has shown cotton bell covers on brass instruments reduced airborne particles by an average of 79% compared with playing without one.Jelena Srebric, a University of Maryland engineering researcher involved in the consortium’s study, said it’s also best to play in a big space with good ventilation, and musicians should break after 30 minutes to allow the air to clear. These rudimentary solutions, she said, promise at least some protection against the virus.“Nothing is 100%. Being alive is a dangerous business,” Srebric said.

This “gives some way to engage with music, which is fantastic in this day and age of despair.”Dr. Adam Schwalje, a National Institutes of Health research fellow at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, is a bassoonist who has written about the COVID risk of wind instruments. He said a combination of bell covers, social distancing and limited time playing together could be helpful, but the effectiveness of bell covers or masks for musicians to wear while playing is “completely unproven” at this point.

Schwalje’s paper said it’s not possible to quantify the risk of playing wind instruments, which involves deep breathing, sometimes forceful exhalation and possible aerosolizing of the mucus in the mouth and nose.Still, early results of research at the universities of Maryland and Colorado are helping to inspire improvisational mask-making and other safety measures, said Mark Spede, national president of the College Band Directors National Association who is helping lead the commissioned research.At Middle Tennessee State University, for example, tuba teacher Chris Combest said his students tie pillowcases over the bells of their instruments, and some wear masks that can be unbuttoned to play. At the University of Iowa, wind players in small ensembles must use bell covers and masks, but they can pull them down when playing as long as they pull them up during rests. Heather Ainsworth-Dobbins said her students at Southern Virginia University use surgical masks with slits cut in them and bell covers made of pantyhose and MERV-13 air filters, similar to what is used on a furnace.Indiana University Jacobs School of Music professor Tom Walsh distributes custom masks he designed that allow students to play their instruments safely as a group.(Chris Bergin for KHN) Skyler Floe tries out his horn's bell cover to much fanfare at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana.(Chris Bergin for KHN) Kyle Cantrell's sound carries while reducing the risk of virus transmission.(Chris Bergin for KHN) At Indiana, Walsh sought out whatever research he could find as he designed his tight-fitting cotton musical mask, reinforced with a layer of polypropylene and with adjustable ties in the back.

A flap hangs over the hole, outfitted with two magnets that allow it to close over the instrument. The professor’s mom, Julie Walsh — who made his clothes when he was a kid — has sewn more than 80 of the musical masks for free. The opera program’s costume shop makes bell covers with a layer of fabric over a layer of stiff woven material known as interfacing fabric.Bailey Cates, a freshman trumpet player, said the quality of the sound is about the same with these masks and they make her feel safer.Flutes present unique challenges, partly because flutists blow air across the mouthpiece.

Alice Dade, an associate professor of flute at the University of Missouri, said she and her students clip on device called “wind guards” usually used outdoors, then sometimes fit surgical masks over them.Alice Dade, an associate professor at the University of Missouri, recommends using clip-on devices for flutes called “wind guards,” which shield the lip plate of the flute from wind when playing outdoors. The ventilated design helps limit condensation and interference with the player’s air stream. Amid the pandemic, some flutists now use them with surgical masks on top to curb the spread of the coronavirus.(Alice Dade)Indiana flute student Nathan Rakes uses a specially designed cloth mask with a slit and slips a silk sock on the instrument’s end.

Rakes, a sophomore, said the fabric doesn’t affect the sound unless he’s playing a low B note, which he rarely plays.Walsh is a stickler for finding big practice spaces, not playing together for more than half an hour and taking 20-minute breaks. All jazz ensemble musicians, for example, also must stay at least 10 feet apart.“I carry a tape measure everywhere I go,” he said. €œI feel responsible for our students.”Some K-12 schools are trying similar strategies, said James Weaver, director of performing arts and sports for the National Federation of State High School Associations.His son Cooper, a seventh grade sax player at Plainfield Community Middle School in Indiana, uses a surgical mask with a slit.

It sometimes jerks to the side with the vibrations of playing, but Cooper said it “feels good as long as you have it in the right place.” Cooper also helped his dad make a bell cover with fabric and MERV-13 material.While many groups use homemade bell covers, McCormick’s Group in Wheeling, Illinois, has transformed its 25-year-old business of making bell covers to display school colors and insignias into one that is making musicians safer with two-ply covers made of polyester/spandex fabric. CEO Alan Yefsky said his company started reinforcing the covers with the second layer this summer. Sales of the $20 covers have soared.“It’s keeping people employed.

We’re helping keep people safe,” Yefsky said. €œAll of a sudden, we got calls from nationally known symphony organizations.”Other professional musicians take a different tack. Film and television soundtracks are often recorded in separate sessions.

Woodwinds and brass players in individual plexiglass cubicles and masked, with distanced string players recording elsewhere.The U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., practices in small, socially distanced groups, but string instrumentalists are the only ones wearing masks while playing.For both professionals and students, the pandemic has virtually eliminated live audiences in favor of virtual performances. Many musicians say they miss traditional concerts but are not focusing on what they’ve lost.“Creating that sense of community — an island to come together and play — is super important,” said Cates, the Indiana trumpet player.

€œPlaying music feels like a mental release for a lot of us. When I’m playing, my mind is off of the pandemic.”Indiana University Jacobs School of Music professor Tom Walsh works with students during rehearsal in Bloomington, Indiana. The professor’s mom, Julie Walsh — who made his clothes when he was a kid — has sewn more than 80 of the musical masks for free.(Chris Bergin for KHN) Laura Ungar.

lungar@kff.org, @laura_ungar Related Topics Public Health COVID-19Use Our Content This story can be republished for free (details). At least half of voters prefer former Vice President Joe Biden’s approach to health care over President Donald Trump’s, suggesting voter concern about lowering costs and managing the pandemic could sway the outcome of this election, a new poll shows.The findings, from KFF’s monthly tracking poll, signal that voters do not trust assurances from the president that he will protect people with preexisting conditions from being penalized by insurance companies if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act. (KHN is an editorially independent program of KFF.)Coming a month before the court will hear arguments from Republican attorneys general and the Trump administration that the health law should be overturned, the poll shows 79% of the public does not want the court to cancel coverage protections for Americans with preexisting conditions. A majority of Republicans, 66%, said they do not want those safeguards overturned.In addition to leaving about 21 million Americans uninsured, overturning the ACA could allow insurance companies to charge more or deny coverage to individuals because they have preexisting conditions — a common practice before the law was established, and one that a government analysis said in 2017 could affect as many as 133 million Americans.

Email Sign-Up Subscribe to KHN’s free Morning Briefing. Nearly 6 in 10 people said they have a family member with a preexisting or chronic condition, such as diabetes or cancer, and about half said they worry about a relative being unable to afford coverage, or lose it outright, if the law is overturned.The poll reveals a striking preference for Biden over Trump when it comes to protecting preexisting conditions, an issue that 94% of voters said would help decide who they vote for. Biden has a 20-point advantage, with voters preferring his approach 56% to 36% for Trump.In fact, it shows a preference for Biden on every health care issue posed, including among those age 65 and older and on issues that Trump has said were his priorities while in office — signaling voters are not satisfied with the president’s work to lower health care costs, in particular.

Support for Trump’s efforts to lower prescription drug costs has been slipping, with voters now preferring Biden’s approach, 50% to 43%.A majority of voters said they prefer Biden’s plan for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, 55% to 39%, and for developing and distributing a vaccine for COVID-19, 51% to 42%. Trump has largely left it up to state and local officials to manage the outbreak, while promising that scientists would defy expectations and produce a vaccine before Election Day.Asked which issue is most important to deciding whom to vote for, most pointed to health care issues, with 18% choosing the COVID-19 outbreak and 12% saying health care overall. Nearly an equal share, 29%, selected the economy.The survey was conducted Oct.

7-12, after the first presidential debate and Trump’s announcement that he had tested positive for COVID-19. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample and 4 percentage points for voters. Emmarie Huetteman.

ehuetteman@kff.org, @emmarieDC Related Topics Courts Elections Health Care Costs The Health Law COVID-19 KFF Polls Preexisting Conditions.

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ATLANTA, GA – Windsor Over Peachtree – based in Atlanta, Georgia – has paid $1,153 in back wages to an employee after the condominium company wrongly denied emergency paid sick leave to the employee, who was unable to work while caring for a where can i buy symbicort over the counter child when the family’s day care facility closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found that Windsor Over Peachtree violated the provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) by denying the paid sick leave. After WHD contacted the employer, they agreed to pay the back wages where can i buy symbicort over the counter and comply with the FFCRA’s requirements in the future. “The U.S. Department of Labor is protecting the American workforce during the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring employers comply with all of the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” said Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Juan Coria in Atlanta, Georgia.

€œWith schools operating on hybrid schedules, and access to where can i buy symbicort over the counter day care still challenging for many parents, we encourage employers to use the wide variety of tools we offer for them to completely understand their rights and responsibilities under this new law. Anyone with questions can call us directly to speak with a trained professional to get answers.” The FFCRA helps the U.S. Combat and defeat the workplace effects of the coronavirus by giving tax credits to American businesses with fewer than 500 employees either to provide employees with paid leave for the employee’s where can i buy symbicort over the counter own health needs or to care for family members. Please visit WHD’s “Quick Benefits Tips” for information about how much leave workers may qualify to use, and the wages employers must pay. The law enables employers to provide paid leave reimbursed by tax credits, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

WHD continues to provide updated information on its website and through extensive outreach efforts to ensure that workers and employers have the information they need about the benefits and protections of this new where can i buy symbicort over the counter law. Learn more about the laws enforced by WHD, or call 866-4US-WAGE. For further information about the coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of where can i buy symbicort over the counter the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Start Preamble Centers for Medicare & how many puffs in symbicort inhaler. Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Final rule how many puffs in symbicort inhaler. Correction.

In the August 4, 2020 issue of the Federal Register, we published a final rule entitled “FY 2021 Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System (IPF PPS) and Special Requirements for Psychiatric Hospitals for Fiscal Year Beginning October 1, 2020 (FY 2021)”. The August 4, 2020 final rule updates the prospective payment rates, the outlier threshold, and the wage index for Medicare inpatient hospital services provided by Inpatient Psychiatric how many puffs in symbicort inhaler Facilities (IPF), which include psychiatric hospitals and excluded psychiatric units of an Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) hospital or critical access hospital. In addition, we adopted more recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) statistical area delineations, and applied a 2-year transition for all providers negatively impacted by wage index changes. This correction document corrects the statement of economic significance in the August 4, 2020 final rule how many puffs in symbicort inhaler.

This correction is effective October 1, 2020. Start Further Info The IPF Payment Policy mailbox at IPFPaymentPolicy@cms.hhs.gov for general information. Nicolas Brock, (410) 786-5148, for information regarding how many puffs in symbicort inhaler the statement of economic significance. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information I.

Background In how many puffs in symbicort inhaler FR Doc. 2020-16990 (85 FR 47042), the final rule entitled “FY 2021 Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System (IPF PPS) and Special Requirements for Psychiatric Hospitals for Fiscal Year Beginning October 1, 2020 (FY 2021)” (hereinafter referred to as the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule) there was an error in the statement of economic significance and status as major under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). Based on an estimated total impact of $95 million in increased transfers from the federal government to IPF providers, we previously stated that the final rule was not economically significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, and that the how many puffs in symbicort inhaler rule was not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act.

However, the Office of Management and Budget designated this rule as economically significant under E.O. 12866 and how many puffs in symbicort inhaler major under the Congressional Review Act. We are correcting our previous statement in the August 4, 2020 final rule accordingly. This correction is effective October 1, 2020.

II. Summary of Errors On page 47064, in the third column, the third full paragraph under B. Overall Impact should be replaced entirely. The entire paragraph stating.

€œWe estimate that this rulemaking is not economically significant as measured by the $100 million threshold, and hence not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. Accordingly, we have prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis that to the best of our ability presents the costs and benefits of the rulemaking.” should be replaced with. €œWe estimate that the total impact of this final rule is close to the $100 million threshold. The Office of Management and Budget has designated this rule as economically significant under E.O.

12866 and a major rule under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). Accordingly, we have prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis that to the best of our ability presents the costs and benefits of the rulemaking.” III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delay in Effective Date We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C.

553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary of the Department of Human Services finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefore in the notice. This correction document does not constitute a rulemaking that would be subject to these requirements because it corrects only the statement of economic significance included in the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule. The corrections contained in this document are consistent with, and do not make substantive changes to, the policies and payment methodologies that were adopted and subjected to notice and comment procedures in the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule.

Rather, the corrections made through this correction document are intended to ensure that the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule accurately reflects OMB's determination about its economic significance and major status under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Executive Order 12866 and CRA determinations are functions of the Office of Management and Budget, not the Department of Health and Human Services, and are not rules as defined by the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S. Code 551(4)). We ordinarily provide a 60-day delay in the effective date of final rules after the date they are issued, in accordance with the CRA (5 U.S.C.

801(a)(3)). However, section 808(2) of the CRA provides that, if an agency finds good cause that notice and public procedure are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, the rule shall take effect at such time as the agency determines. Even if this were a rulemaking to which the delayed effective date requirement applied, we found, in the FY 2021 IPF PPS Final Rule (85 FR 47043), good cause to waive the 60-day delay in the effective date of the IPF PPS final rule. In the final rule, we explained that, due to CMS prioritizing efforts in support of containing and combatting the COVID-Start Printed Page 5292419 public health emergency by devoting significant resources to that end, the work needed on the IPF PPS final rule was not completed in accordance with our usual rulemaking schedule.

We noted that it is critical, however, to ensure that the IPF PPS payment policies are effective on the first day of the fiscal year to which they are intended to apply and therefore, it would be contrary to the public interest to not waive the 60-day delay in the effective date. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest to ensure that the policies finalized in the FY 2021 IPF PPS are effective as of the first day of the fiscal year to ensure providers and suppliers receive timely and appropriate payments. Further, such procedures would be unnecessary, because we are not altering the payment methodologies or policies. Rather, the correction we are making is only to indicate that the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule is economically significant and a major rule under the CRA.

For these reasons, we find we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements. IV. Correction of Errors in the Preamble In FR Doc. 2020-16990, appearing on page 47042 in the Federal Register of Tuesday, August 4, 2020, the following correction is made.

1. On page 47064, in the 3rd column, under B. Overall Impact, correct the third full paragraph to read as follows. We estimate that the total impact of this final rule is very close to the $100 million threshold.

The Office of Management and Budget has designated this rule as economically significant under E.O. 12866 and a major rule under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). Accordingly, we have prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis that to the best of our ability presents the costs and benefits of the rulemaking.

Start Signature Dated. August 24, 2020. Wilma M. Robinson, Deputy Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.

End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc. 2020-18902 Filed 8-26-20. 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4120-01-PBy Cyndie Shearing @CyndieShearing Americans from all walks of life are struggling to cope with an array of issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear and anxiety about this new disease and what could happen is sometimes overwhelming and can cause strong emotions in adults and children.

But long before the pandemic hit the U.S., farmers and ranchers were struggling. Years of falling commodity prices, natural disasters, declining farm income and trade disputes with China hit rural America hard, and not just financially. Farmers’ mental health is at risk, too. Long before the pandemic hit the U.S., farmers and ranchers were struggling.

Fortunately, America’s food producers have proven to be a resilient bunch. Across the country, they continue to adopt new ways to manage stress and cope with the difficult situations they’re facing. A few examples are below. In Oklahoma, Bryan Vincent and Gary Williams are part of an informal group that meets on a regular basis to share their burdens.

“It’s way past farming,” said Vincent, a local crop consultant. €œIt’s a chance to meet with like-minded people. It’s a chance for us to let some things out. We laugh, we may cry together, we may be disgusted together.

We share our emotions, whether good, bad.” Gathering with trusted friends has given them the chance to talk about what’s happening in their lives, both good and bad. €œI would encourage anybody – any group of farmers, friends, whatever – to form a group” to meet regularly, said Williams, a farmer. €œNot just in bad times. I think you should do that regardless, even in good times.

Share your victories and triumphs with one another, support one another.” James Young Credit. Nocole Zema/Virginia Farm Bureau In Michigan, dairy farmer Ashley Messing Kennedy battled postpartum depression and anxiety while also grieving over a close friend and farm employee who died by suicide. At first she coped by staying busy, fixing farm problems on her own and rarely asking for help. But six months later, she knew something wasn’t right.

Finding a meaningful activity to do away from the farm was a positive step forward. €œRunning’s been a game-changer for me,” Kennedy said. €œIt’s so important to interact with people, face-to-face, that you don’t normally engage with. Whatever that is for you, do it — take time to get off the farm and walk away for a while.

It will be there tomorrow.” Rich Baker also farms in Michigan and has found talking with others to be his stress management tactic of choice. €œYou can’t just bottle things up,” Baker said. €œIf you don’t have a built-in network of farmers, go talk to a professional. In some cases that may be even more beneficial because their opinions may be more impartial.” James Young, a beef cattle farmer in Virginia, has found that mental health issues are less stigmatized as a whole today compared to the recent past.

But there are farmers “who would throw you under the bus pretty fast” if they found out someone was seeking professional mental health, he said. €œIt’s still stigmatized here.” RFD-TV Special on Farm Stress and Farmer Mental HealthAs part of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s ongoing effort to raise awareness, reduce stigma and share resources related to mental health, the organization partnered with RFD-TV to produce a one-hour episode of “Rural America Live” on farm stress and farmer mental health. The episode features AFBF President Zippy Duvall, Farm Credit Council President Todd Van Hoose and National Farmers Union President Rob Larew, as well as two university Extension specialists, a rural pastor and the author of “Stress-Free You!. € The program aired Thursday, Aug.

27, and will be re-broadcast on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 6 a.m. Eastern/5 a.m. Central.

Cyndie Shearing is director of communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation. Quotes in this column originally appeared in state Farm Bureau publications and are reprinted with permission. Vincent, Williams (Oklahoma). Kennedy, Baker (Michigan) and Young (Virginia)..

Start Preamble where can i buy symbicort over the counter Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Final rule where can i buy symbicort over the counter.

Correction. In the August 4, 2020 issue of the Federal Register, we published a final rule entitled “FY 2021 Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System (IPF PPS) and Special Requirements for Psychiatric Hospitals for Fiscal Year Beginning October 1, 2020 (FY 2021)”. The August 4, 2020 final rule updates the prospective payment rates, the outlier threshold, and the wage index for Medicare inpatient hospital services provided by Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities (IPF), which include psychiatric hospitals and excluded where can i buy symbicort over the counter psychiatric units of an Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) hospital or critical access hospital.

In addition, we adopted more recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) statistical area delineations, and applied a 2-year transition for all providers negatively impacted by wage index changes. This correction document corrects where can i buy symbicort over the counter the statement of economic significance in the August 4, 2020 final rule. This correction is effective October 1, 2020.

Start Further Info The IPF Payment Policy mailbox at IPFPaymentPolicy@cms.hhs.gov for general information. Nicolas Brock, (410) 786-5148, for where can i buy symbicort over the counter information regarding the statement of economic significance. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information I.

Background In where can i buy symbicort over the counter FR Doc. 2020-16990 (85 FR 47042), the final rule entitled “FY 2021 Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System (IPF PPS) and Special Requirements for Psychiatric Hospitals for Fiscal Year Beginning October 1, 2020 (FY 2021)” (hereinafter referred to as the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule) there was an error in the statement of economic significance and status as major under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.).

Based on an estimated total impact of $95 million in increased transfers from the federal government to IPF providers, we previously stated that the final rule was not economically significant under where can i buy symbicort over the counter Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, and that the rule was not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. However, the Office of Management and Budget designated this rule as economically significant under E.O. 12866 and major under the Congressional where can i buy symbicort over the counter Review Act.

We are correcting our previous statement in the August 4, 2020 final rule accordingly. This correction is effective October 1, 2020. II.

Summary of Errors On page 47064, in the third column, the third full paragraph under B. Overall Impact should be replaced entirely. The entire paragraph stating.

€œWe estimate that this rulemaking is not economically significant as measured by the $100 million threshold, and hence not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. Accordingly, we have prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis that to the best of our ability presents the costs and benefits of the rulemaking.” should be replaced with. €œWe estimate that the total impact of this final rule is close to the $100 million threshold.

The Office of Management and Budget has designated this rule as economically significant under E.O. 12866 and a major rule under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.).

Accordingly, we have prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis that to the best of our ability presents the costs and benefits of the rulemaking.” III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delay in Effective Date We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)).

However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary of the Department of Human Services finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefore in the notice. This correction document does not constitute a rulemaking that would be subject to these requirements because it corrects only the statement of economic significance included in the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule. The corrections contained in this document are consistent with, and do not make substantive changes to, the policies and payment methodologies that were adopted and subjected to notice and comment procedures in the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule.

Rather, the corrections made through this correction document are intended to ensure that the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule accurately reflects OMB's determination about its economic significance and major status under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Executive Order 12866 and CRA determinations are functions of the Office of Management and Budget, not the Department of Health and Human Services, and are not rules as defined by the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S. Code 551(4)).

We ordinarily provide a 60-day delay in the effective date of final rules after the date they are issued, in accordance with the CRA (5 U.S.C. 801(a)(3)). However, section 808(2) of the CRA provides that, if an agency finds good cause that notice and public procedure are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, the rule shall take effect at such time as the agency determines.

Even if this were a rulemaking to which the delayed effective date requirement applied, we found, in the FY 2021 IPF PPS Final Rule (85 FR 47043), good cause to waive the 60-day delay in the effective date of the IPF PPS final rule. In the final rule, we explained that, due to CMS prioritizing efforts in support of containing and combatting the COVID-Start Printed Page 5292419 public health emergency by devoting significant resources to that end, the work needed on the IPF PPS final rule was not completed in accordance with our usual rulemaking schedule. We noted that it is critical, however, to ensure that the IPF PPS payment policies are effective on the first day of the fiscal year to which they are intended to apply and therefore, it would be contrary to the public interest to not waive the 60-day delay in the effective date.

Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest to ensure that the policies finalized in the FY 2021 IPF PPS are effective as of the first day of the fiscal year to ensure providers and suppliers receive timely and appropriate payments. Further, such procedures would be unnecessary, because we are not altering the payment methodologies or policies. Rather, the correction we are making is only to indicate that the FY 2021 IPF PPS final rule is economically significant and a major rule under the CRA.

For these reasons, we find we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements. IV. Correction of Errors in the Preamble In FR Doc.

2020-16990, appearing on page 47042 in the Federal Register of Tuesday, August 4, 2020, the following correction is made. 1. On page 47064, in the 3rd column, under B.

Overall Impact, correct the third full paragraph to read as follows. We estimate that the total impact of this final rule is very close to the $100 million threshold. The Office of Management and Budget has designated this rule as economically significant under E.O.

12866 and a major rule under the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). Accordingly, we have prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis that to the best of our ability presents the costs and benefits of the rulemaking.

Start Signature Dated. August 24, 2020. Wilma M.

Robinson, Deputy Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc. 2020-18902 Filed 8-26-20.

8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4120-01-PBy Cyndie Shearing @CyndieShearing Americans from all walks of life are struggling to cope with an array of issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear and anxiety about this new disease and what could happen is sometimes overwhelming and can cause strong emotions in adults and children. But long before the pandemic hit the U.S., farmers and ranchers were struggling.

Years of falling commodity prices, natural disasters, declining farm income and trade disputes with China hit rural America hard, and not just financially. Farmers’ mental health is at risk, too. Long before the pandemic hit the U.S., farmers and ranchers were struggling.

Fortunately, America’s food producers have proven to be a resilient bunch. Across the country, they continue to adopt new ways to manage stress and cope with the difficult situations they’re facing. A few examples are below.

In Oklahoma, Bryan Vincent and Gary Williams are part of an informal group that meets on a regular basis to share their burdens. “It’s way past farming,” said Vincent, a local crop consultant. €œIt’s a chance to meet with like-minded people.

It’s a chance for us to let some things out. We laugh, we may cry together, we may be disgusted together. We share our emotions, whether good, bad.” Gathering with trusted friends has given them the chance to talk about what’s happening in their lives, both good and bad.

€œI would encourage anybody – any group of farmers, friends, whatever – to form a group” to meet regularly, said Williams, a farmer. €œNot just in bad times. I think you should do that regardless, even in good times.

Share your victories and triumphs with one another, support one another.” James Young Credit. Nocole Zema/Virginia Farm Bureau In Michigan, dairy farmer Ashley Messing Kennedy battled postpartum depression and anxiety while also grieving over a close friend and farm employee who died by suicide. At first she coped by staying busy, fixing farm problems on her own and rarely asking for help.

But six months later, she knew something wasn’t right. Finding a meaningful activity to do away from the farm was a positive step forward. €œRunning’s been a game-changer for me,” Kennedy said.

€œIt’s so important to interact with people, face-to-face, that you don’t normally engage with. Whatever that is for you, do it — take time to get off the farm and walk away for a while. It will be there tomorrow.” Rich Baker also farms in Michigan and has found talking with others to be his stress management tactic of choice.

€œYou can’t just bottle things up,” Baker said. €œIf you don’t have a built-in network of farmers, go talk to a professional. In some cases that may be even more beneficial because their opinions may be more impartial.” James Young, a beef cattle farmer in Virginia, has found that mental health issues are less stigmatized as a whole today compared to the recent past.

But there are farmers “who would throw you under the bus pretty fast” if they found out someone was seeking professional mental health, he said. €œIt’s still stigmatized here.” RFD-TV Special on Farm Stress and Farmer Mental HealthAs part of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s ongoing effort to raise awareness, reduce stigma and share resources related to mental health, the organization partnered with RFD-TV to produce a one-hour episode of “Rural America Live” on farm stress and farmer mental health. The episode features AFBF President Zippy Duvall, Farm Credit Council President Todd Van Hoose and National Farmers Union President Rob Larew, as well as two university Extension specialists, a rural pastor and the author of “Stress-Free You!.

€ The program aired Thursday, Aug. 27, and will be re-broadcast on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 6 a.m.

Eastern/5 a.m. Central. Cyndie Shearing is director of communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Quotes in this column originally appeared in state Farm Bureau publications and are reprinted with permission. Vincent, Williams (Oklahoma). Kennedy, Baker (Michigan) and Young (Virginia)..

Smart inhaler symbicort

NCHS Data Brief smart inhaler symbicort No. 286, September 2017PDF Versionpdf icon (374 KB)Anjel Vahratian, Ph.D.Key findingsData from the National Health Interview Survey, 2015Among those aged 40–59, perimenopausal women (56.0%) were more likely than postmenopausal (40.5%) and premenopausal (32.5%) women to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period.Postmenopausal women aged 40–59 were more likely than premenopausal women aged 40–59 to have trouble falling asleep (27.1% compared with 16.8%, respectively), and staying asleep (35.9% compared with 23.7%), four times or more in the past week.Postmenopausal women aged 40–59 (55.1%) were more likely than premenopausal women aged 40–59 (47.0%) to not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week.Sleep duration and quality are important contributors to health and wellness. Insufficient sleep is associated with an increased risk for smart inhaler symbicort chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease (1) and diabetes (2). Women may be particularly vulnerable to sleep problems during times of reproductive hormonal change, such as after the menopausal transition. Menopause is “the smart inhaler symbicort permanent cessation of menstruation that occurs after the loss of ovarian activity” (3).

This data brief describes sleep duration and sleep quality among nonpregnant women aged 40–59 by menopausal status. The age range selected for this analysis reflects the focus on midlife sleep health. In this smart inhaler symbicort analysis, 74.2% of women are premenopausal, 3.7% are perimenopausal, and 22.1% are postmenopausal. Keywords. Insufficient sleep, menopause, National Health Interview Survey Perimenopausal women were more likely than premenopausal and postmenopausal women to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period.More than one in three nonpregnant smart inhaler symbicort women aged 40–59 slept less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period (35.1%) (Figure 1).

Perimenopausal women were most likely to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period (56.0%), compared with 32.5% of premenopausal and 40.5% of postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women were significantly more likely than premenopausal women to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period. Figure 1 smart inhaler symbicort. Percentage of nonpregnant women aged 40–59 who slept less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period, by menopausal status. United States, 2015image smart inhaler symbicort icon1Significant quadratic trend by menopausal status (p <.

0.05).NOTES. Women were postmenopausal if they had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were perimenopausal if they no longer had a menstrual smart inhaler symbicort cycle and their last menstrual cycle was 1 year ago or less. Women were premenopausal if they still had a menstrual cycle. Access data smart inhaler symbicort table for Figure 1pdf icon.SOURCE.

NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015. The percentage of women aged smart inhaler symbicort 40–59 who had trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week varied by menopausal status.Nearly one in five nonpregnant women aged 40–59 had trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week (19.4%) (Figure 2). The percentage of women in this age group who had trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week increased from 16.8% among premenopausal women to 24.7% among perimenopausal and 27.1% among postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women were significantly more likely than premenopausal women to have trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week. Figure 2 smart inhaler symbicort.

Percentage of nonpregnant women aged 40–59 who had trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week, by menopausal status. United States, smart inhaler symbicort 2015image icon1Significant linear trend by menopausal status (p <. 0.05).NOTES. Women were postmenopausal if they had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were smart inhaler symbicort perimenopausal if they no longer had a menstrual cycle and their last menstrual cycle was 1 year ago or less.

Women were premenopausal if they still had a menstrual cycle. Access data table smart inhaler symbicort for Figure 2pdf icon.SOURCE. NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015. The percentage of women aged 40–59 who had trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week varied by menopausal smart inhaler symbicort status.More than one in four nonpregnant women aged 40–59 had trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week (26.7%) (Figure 3). The percentage of women aged 40–59 who had trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week increased from 23.7% among premenopausal, to 30.8% among perimenopausal, and to 35.9% among postmenopausal women.

Postmenopausal women were significantly more likely than premenopausal women to have trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week. Figure 3 smart inhaler symbicort. Percentage of nonpregnant women aged 40–59 who had trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week, by menopausal status. United States, 2015image icon1Significant linear trend by menopausal status (p smart inhaler symbicort <. 0.05).NOTES.

Women were postmenopausal if they had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were smart inhaler symbicort perimenopausal if they no longer had a menstrual cycle and their last menstrual cycle was 1 year ago or less. Women were premenopausal if they still had a menstrual cycle. Access data smart inhaler symbicort table for Figure 3pdf icon.SOURCE. NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015.

The percentage of women aged 40–59 who did not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week varied by menopausal status.Nearly one in two nonpregnant women aged 40–59 did not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week (48.9%) (Figure 4). The percentage of women in this age group who did not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week increased from 47.0% smart inhaler symbicort among premenopausal women to 49.9% among perimenopausal and 55.1% among postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women were significantly more likely than premenopausal women to not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week. Figure 4 smart inhaler symbicort. Percentage of nonpregnant women aged 40–59 who did not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week, by menopausal status.

United States, 2015image icon1Significant linear trend by menopausal status (p <. 0.05).NOTES. Women were postmenopausal if they had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were perimenopausal if they no longer had a menstrual cycle and their last menstrual cycle was 1 year ago or less. Women were premenopausal if they still had a menstrual cycle.

Access data table for Figure 4pdf icon.SOURCE. NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015. SummaryThis report describes sleep duration and sleep quality among U.S. Nonpregnant women aged 40–59 by menopausal status. Perimenopausal women were most likely to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period compared with premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

In contrast, postmenopausal women were most likely to have poor-quality sleep. A greater percentage of postmenopausal women had frequent trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and not waking well rested compared with premenopausal women. The percentage of perimenopausal women with poor-quality sleep was between the percentages for the other two groups in all three categories. Sleep duration changes with advancing age (4), but sleep duration and quality are also influenced by concurrent changes in women’s reproductive hormone levels (5). Because sleep is critical for optimal health and well-being (6), the findings in this report highlight areas for further research and targeted health promotion.

DefinitionsMenopausal status. A three-level categorical variable was created from a series of questions that asked women. 1) “How old were you when your periods or menstrual cycles started?. €. 2) “Do you still have periods or menstrual cycles?.

€. 3) “When did you have your last period or menstrual cycle?. €. And 4) “Have you ever had both ovaries removed, either as part of a hysterectomy or as one or more separate surgeries?. € Women were postmenopausal if they a) had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or b) were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries.

Women were perimenopausal if they a) no longer had a menstrual cycle and b) their last menstrual cycle was 1 year ago or less. Premenopausal women still had a menstrual cycle.Not waking feeling well rested. Determined by respondents who answered 3 days or less on the questionnaire item asking, “In the past week, on how many days did you wake up feeling well rested?. €Short sleep duration. Determined by respondents who answered 6 hours or less on the questionnaire item asking, “On average, how many hours of sleep do you get in a 24-hour period?.

€Trouble falling asleep. Determined by respondents who answered four times or more on the questionnaire item asking, “In the past week, how many times did you have trouble falling asleep?. €Trouble staying asleep. Determined by respondents who answered four times or more on the questionnaire item asking, “In the past week, how many times did you have trouble staying asleep?. € Data source and methodsData from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were used for this analysis.

NHIS is a multipurpose health survey conducted continuously throughout the year by the National Center for Health Statistics. Interviews are conducted in person in respondents’ homes, but follow-ups to complete interviews may be conducted over the telephone. Data for this analysis came from the Sample Adult core and cancer supplement sections of the 2015 NHIS. For more information about NHIS, including the questionnaire, visit the NHIS website.All analyses used weights to produce national estimates. Estimates on sleep duration and quality in this report are nationally representative of the civilian, noninstitutionalized nonpregnant female population aged 40–59 living in households across the United States.

The sample design is described in more detail elsewhere (7). Point estimates and their estimated variances were calculated using SUDAAN software (8) to account for the complex sample design of NHIS. Linear and quadratic trend tests of the estimated proportions across menopausal status were tested in SUDAAN via PROC DESCRIPT using the POLY option. Differences between percentages were evaluated using two-sided significance tests at the 0.05 level. About the authorAnjel Vahratian is with the National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health Interview Statistics.

The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Lindsey Black in the preparation of this report. ReferencesFord ES. Habitual sleep duration and predicted 10-year cardiovascular risk using the pooled cohort risk equations among US adults. J Am Heart Assoc 3(6):e001454. 2014.Ford ES, Wheaton AG, Chapman DP, Li C, Perry GS, Croft JB.

Associations between self-reported sleep duration and sleeping disorder with concentrations of fasting and 2-h glucose, insulin, and glycosylated hemoglobin among adults without diagnosed diabetes. J Diabetes 6(4):338–50. 2014.American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 141.

Management of menopausal symptoms. Obstet Gynecol 123(1):202–16. 2014.Black LI, Nugent CN, Adams PF. Tables of adult health behaviors, sleep. National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2014pdf icon.

2016.Santoro N. Perimenopause. From research to practice. J Women’s Health (Larchmt) 25(4):332–9. 2016.Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al.

Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult. A joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. J Clin Sleep Med 11(6):591–2. 2015.Parsons VL, Moriarity C, Jonas K, et al. Design and estimation for the National Health Interview Survey, 2006–2015.

National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 2(165). 2014.RTI International. SUDAAN (Release 11.0.0) [computer software]. 2012.

Suggested citationVahratian A. Sleep duration and quality among women aged 40–59, by menopausal status. NCHS data brief, no 286. Hyattsville, MD. National Center for Health Statistics.

2017.Copyright informationAll material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated.National Center for Health StatisticsCharles J. Rothwell, M.S., M.B.A., DirectorJennifer H. Madans, Ph.D., Associate Director for ScienceDivision of Health Interview StatisticsMarcie L. Cynamon, DirectorStephen J.

Blumberg, Ph.D., Associate Director for Science.

NCHS Data where can i buy symbicort over the counter Brief No. 286, September 2017PDF Versionpdf icon (374 KB)Anjel Vahratian, Ph.D.Key findingsData from the National Health Interview Survey, 2015Among those aged 40–59, perimenopausal women (56.0%) were more likely than postmenopausal (40.5%) and premenopausal (32.5%) women to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period.Postmenopausal women aged 40–59 were more likely than premenopausal women aged 40–59 to have trouble falling asleep (27.1% compared with 16.8%, respectively), and staying asleep (35.9% compared with 23.7%), four times or more in the past week.Postmenopausal women aged 40–59 (55.1%) were more likely than premenopausal women aged 40–59 (47.0%) to not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week.Sleep duration and quality are important contributors to health and wellness. Insufficient sleep is associated with an increased risk for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease (1) and diabetes (2) where can i buy symbicort over the counter. Women may be particularly vulnerable to sleep problems during times of reproductive hormonal change, such as after the menopausal transition.

Menopause is “the permanent cessation of menstruation where can i buy symbicort over the counter that occurs after the loss of ovarian activity” (3). This data brief describes sleep duration and sleep quality among nonpregnant women aged 40–59 by menopausal status. The age range selected for this analysis reflects the focus on midlife sleep health. In this analysis, 74.2% of women are premenopausal, 3.7% are perimenopausal, and 22.1% where can i buy symbicort over the counter are postmenopausal.

Keywords. Insufficient sleep, menopause, National Health Interview Survey Perimenopausal women were more likely than premenopausal and postmenopausal women to sleep less than 7 where can i buy symbicort over the counter hours, on average, in a 24-hour period.More than one in three nonpregnant women aged 40–59 slept less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period (35.1%) (Figure 1). Perimenopausal women were most likely to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period (56.0%), compared with 32.5% of premenopausal and 40.5% of postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women were significantly more likely than premenopausal women to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period.

Figure 1 where can i buy symbicort over the counter. Percentage of nonpregnant women aged 40–59 who slept less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period, by menopausal status. United States, 2015image icon1Significant quadratic trend by menopausal status (p where can i buy symbicort over the counter <. 0.05).NOTES.

Women were postmenopausal if they had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were perimenopausal if they no longer had a menstrual cycle and their last menstrual cycle where can i buy symbicort over the counter was 1 year ago or less. Women were premenopausal if they still had a menstrual cycle. Access data table for Figure 1pdf icon.SOURCE where can i buy symbicort over the counter.

NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015. The percentage of women aged 40–59 who had trouble falling asleep four times or more in the where can i buy symbicort over the counter past week varied by menopausal status.Nearly one in five nonpregnant women aged 40–59 had trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week (19.4%) (Figure 2). The percentage of women in this age group who had trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week increased from 16.8% among premenopausal women to 24.7% among perimenopausal and 27.1% among postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women were significantly more likely than premenopausal women to have trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week.

Figure 2 where can i buy symbicort over the counter. Percentage of nonpregnant women aged 40–59 who had trouble falling asleep four times or more in the past week, by menopausal status. United States, where can i buy symbicort over the counter 2015image icon1Significant linear trend by menopausal status (p <. 0.05).NOTES.

Women were postmenopausal if they had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were perimenopausal if they no longer had a menstrual cycle and their last menstrual cycle was 1 where can i buy symbicort over the counter year ago or less. Women were premenopausal if they still had a menstrual cycle. Access data where can i buy symbicort over the counter table for Figure 2pdf icon.SOURCE.

NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015. The percentage of women aged 40–59 who had trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week varied by menopausal status.More than one in where can i buy symbicort over the counter four nonpregnant women aged 40–59 had trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week (26.7%) (Figure 3). The percentage of women aged 40–59 who had trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week increased from 23.7% among premenopausal, to 30.8% among perimenopausal, and to 35.9% among postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women were significantly more likely than premenopausal women to have trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week.

Figure 3 where can i buy symbicort over the counter. Percentage of nonpregnant women aged 40–59 who had trouble staying asleep four times or more in the past week, by menopausal status. United States, where can i buy symbicort over the counter 2015image icon1Significant linear trend by menopausal status (p <. 0.05).NOTES.

Women were postmenopausal if they had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were where can i buy symbicort over the counter perimenopausal if they no longer had a menstrual cycle and their last menstrual cycle was 1 year ago or less. Women were premenopausal if they still had a menstrual cycle. Access data table for Figure where can i buy symbicort over the counter 3pdf icon.SOURCE.

NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015. The percentage of women aged 40–59 who did not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week varied by menopausal status.Nearly one in two nonpregnant women aged 40–59 did not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week (48.9%) (Figure 4). The percentage of women in this age group who did not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week increased from 47.0% among premenopausal women to 49.9% among perimenopausal and 55.1% among postmenopausal women where can i buy symbicort over the counter. Postmenopausal women were significantly more likely than premenopausal women to not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week.

Figure 4 where can i buy symbicort over the counter. Percentage of nonpregnant women aged 40–59 who did not wake up feeling well rested 4 days or more in the past week, by menopausal status. United States, 2015image icon1Significant linear trend by menopausal status (p <. 0.05).NOTES.

Women were postmenopausal if they had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were perimenopausal if they no longer had a menstrual cycle and their last menstrual cycle was 1 year ago or less. Women were premenopausal if they still had a menstrual cycle. Access data table for Figure 4pdf icon.SOURCE.

NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 2015. SummaryThis report describes sleep duration and sleep quality among U.S. Nonpregnant women aged 40–59 by menopausal status. Perimenopausal women were most likely to sleep less than 7 hours, on average, in a 24-hour period compared with premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

In contrast, postmenopausal women were most likely to have poor-quality sleep. A greater percentage of postmenopausal women had frequent trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and not waking well rested compared with premenopausal women. The percentage of perimenopausal women with poor-quality sleep was between the percentages for the other two groups in all three categories. Sleep duration changes with advancing age (4), but sleep duration and quality are also influenced by concurrent changes in women’s reproductive hormone levels (5).

Because sleep is critical for optimal health and well-being (6), the findings in this report highlight areas for further research and targeted health promotion. DefinitionsMenopausal status. A three-level categorical variable was created from a series of questions that asked women. 1) “How old were you when your periods or menstrual cycles started?.

€. 2) “Do you still have periods or menstrual cycles?. €. 3) “When did you have your last period or menstrual cycle?.

€. And 4) “Have you ever had both ovaries removed, either as part of a hysterectomy or as one or more separate surgeries?. € Women were postmenopausal if they a) had gone without a menstrual cycle for more than 1 year or b) were in surgical menopause after the removal of their ovaries. Women were perimenopausal if they a) no longer had a menstrual cycle and b) their last menstrual cycle was 1 year ago or less.

Premenopausal women still had a menstrual cycle.Not waking feeling well rested. Determined by respondents who answered 3 days or less on the questionnaire item asking, “In the past week, on how many days did you wake up feeling well rested?. €Short sleep duration. Determined by respondents who answered 6 hours or less on the questionnaire item asking, “On average, how many hours of sleep do you get in a 24-hour period?.

€Trouble falling asleep. Determined by respondents who answered four times or more on the questionnaire item asking, “In the past week, how many times did you have trouble falling asleep?. €Trouble staying asleep. Determined by respondents who answered four times or more on the questionnaire item asking, “In the past week, how many times did you have trouble staying asleep?.

€ Data source and methodsData from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were used for this analysis. NHIS is a multipurpose health survey conducted continuously throughout the year by the National Center for Health Statistics. Interviews are conducted in person in respondents’ homes, but follow-ups to complete interviews may be conducted over the telephone. Data for this analysis came from the Sample Adult core and cancer supplement sections of the 2015 NHIS.

For more information about NHIS, including the questionnaire, visit the NHIS website.All analyses used weights to produce national estimates. Estimates on sleep duration and quality in this report are nationally representative of the civilian, noninstitutionalized nonpregnant female population aged 40–59 living in households across the United States. The sample design is described in more detail elsewhere (7). Point estimates and their estimated variances were calculated using SUDAAN software (8) to account for the complex sample design of NHIS.

Linear and quadratic trend tests of the estimated proportions across menopausal status were tested in SUDAAN via PROC DESCRIPT using the POLY option. Differences between percentages were evaluated using two-sided significance tests at the 0.05 level. About the authorAnjel Vahratian is with the National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health Interview Statistics. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Lindsey Black in the preparation of this report.

ReferencesFord ES. Habitual sleep duration and predicted 10-year cardiovascular risk using the pooled cohort risk equations among US adults. J Am Heart Assoc 3(6):e001454. 2014.Ford ES, Wheaton AG, Chapman DP, Li C, Perry GS, Croft JB.

Associations between self-reported sleep duration and sleeping disorder with concentrations of fasting and 2-h glucose, insulin, and glycosylated hemoglobin among adults without diagnosed diabetes. J Diabetes 6(4):338–50. 2014.American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. ACOG Practice Bulletin No.

141. Management of menopausal symptoms. Obstet Gynecol 123(1):202–16. 2014.Black LI, Nugent CN, Adams PF.

Tables of adult health behaviors, sleep. National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2014pdf icon. 2016.Santoro N. Perimenopause.

From research to practice. J Women’s Health (Larchmt) 25(4):332–9. 2016.Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, Bliwise DL, Buxton OM, Buysse D, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult.

A joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. J Clin Sleep Med 11(6):591–2. 2015.Parsons VL, Moriarity C, Jonas K, et al. Design and estimation for the National Health Interview Survey, 2006–2015.

National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 2(165). 2014.RTI International. SUDAAN (Release 11.0.0) [computer software].

2012. Suggested citationVahratian A. Sleep duration and quality among women aged 40–59, by menopausal status. NCHS data brief, no 286.

Hyattsville, MD. National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.Copyright informationAll material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated.National Center for Health StatisticsCharles J.

Rothwell, M.S., M.B.A., DirectorJennifer H. Madans, Ph.D., Associate Director for ScienceDivision of Health Interview StatisticsMarcie L. Cynamon, DirectorStephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., Associate Director for Science.

How can i buy symbicort

Start Preamble how can i buy symbicort Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Proposed rule how can i buy symbicort.

This proposed rule would establish a Medicare coverage pathway to provide Medicare beneficiaries nationwide with faster access to new, innovative medical devices designated as breakthrough by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After the final rule is effective, the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway would begin national Medicare coverage on the date of FDA market authorization and would continue for 4 years. We are also proposing regulatory standards to be used in making reasonable and necessary determinations under section Start Printed Page 543281862(a)(1)(A) of the how can i buy symbicort Social Security Act (the Act) for items and services that are furnished under Part A and Part B.

To be assured consideration, comments must be received at one of the addresses provided below, no later than 5 p.m. On November how can i buy symbicort 2, 2020. In commenting, please refer to file code CMS-3372-P.

Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission. You may submit comments in one of three how can i buy symbicort ways (please choose only one of the ways listed). 1.

Electronically. You may submit electronic comments on this regulation how can i buy symbicort to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the “Submit a comment” instructions.

2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address ONLY.

Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention. CMS-3372-P, P.O.

Box 8013, Baltimore, MD 21244-8013. Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period. 3.

By express or overnight mail. You may send written comments to the following address ONLY. Centers for Medicare &.

Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention. CMS-3372-P, Mail Stop C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. For information on viewing public comments, see the beginning of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

Start Further Info Linda Gousis or JoAnna Baldwin, (410) 786-2281 or CAGinquiries@cms.hhs.gov. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Inspection of Public Comments. All comments received before the close of the comment period are available for viewing by the public, including any personally identifiable or confidential business information that is included in a comment.

We post all comments received before the close of the comment period on the following website as soon as possible after they have been received. Http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the search instructions on that website to view public comments.

Comments received timely will also be available for public inspection as they are received, generally beginning approximately 3 weeks after publication of a document, at the headquarters of the Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244, Monday through Friday of each week from 8:30 a.m. To 4 p.m.

To schedule an appointment to view public comments, phone 1-800-743-3951. I. Background The Administration is committed to ensuring Medicare beneficiaries have access to new cures and technologies that improve health outcomes.

Section 6 of the October 3, 2019 Executive Order 13890 (E.O. 13890) “Executive Order on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation's Seniors,” [] directs the Secretary to “propose regulatory and sub-regulatory changes to the Medicare program to encourage innovation for patients” including by “streamlining the approval, coverage, and coding process”.[] The E.O. 13890 explicitly includes making coverage of breakthrough medical devices “widely available, consistent with the principles of patient safety, market-based policies, and value for patients.” [] The E.O.

Also directs the Secretary to “clarify the application of coverage standards.” [] We are responding directly to these directives by proposing a definition of the term “reasonable and necessary” to clarify coverage standards and proposing the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway to accelerate the coverage of new, innovative breakthrough devices to Medicare beneficiaries. To date, the factors used in making “reasonable and necessary” determinations based on section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act have not been established in regulations for Medicare coverage purposes. The Secretary has authority to determine whether a particular medical item or service is “reasonable and necessary” under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act.

(See Heckler v. Ringer, 466 U.S. 602, 617 (1984).) When making coverage determinations, our policies have long considered whether the item or service is safe and effective, not experimental or investigational, and appropriate.

(For more information see the January 30, 1989 notice of proposed rulemaking (54 FR 4307)). These factors are found in Chapter 13 of the Medicare Program Integrity Manual (PIM) at section 13.5.4—Reasonable and Necessary Provisions in LCDs as instructions for Medicare contractors. We are proposing to codify in regulations the Program Integrity Manual definition of “reasonable and necessary” with modifications, including to add a reference to Medicare patients and a reference to commercial health insurer coverage policies.

We propose that an item or service would be considered “reasonable and necessary” if it is—(1) safe and effective. (2) not experimental or investigational. And (3) appropriate for Medicare patients, including the duration and frequency that is considered appropriate for the item or service, in terms of whether it is— Furnished in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient's condition or to improve the function of a malformed body member.

Furnished in a setting appropriate to the patient's medical needs and condition. Ordered and furnished by qualified personnel. One that meets, but does not exceed, the patient's medical need.

And At least as beneficial as an existing and available medically appropriate alternative. We also propose that an item or service would be “appropriate for Medicare patients” under (3) if it is covered in the commercial insurance market, except where evidence supports that there are clinically relevant differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals. An item or service deemed appropriate for Medicare coverage based on commercial coverage would be covered on that basis without also having to satisfy the bullets listed above.

We believe this definition is a significant step in meeting the E.O.'s directive to bring clarity to coverage standards. Stakeholders have expressed interest in codifying a definition of “reasonable and necessary” for many years. This proposed definition is familiar and functional, can satisfy that interest and meet the E.O.'s ask, while also aligning with the goals of MCIT by providing clarity and predictability for innovation, including for beneficiaries and innovators.

The proposed MCIT coverage pathway is specifically for Medicare coverage of devices that are designated as part of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Breakthrough Devices Program (hereafter referred to as “breakthrough devices”) and are FDA market authorized. The MCIT pathway would be voluntary and device manufacturers would notify CMS if they want to utilize this coverage option. We propose that national Medicare coverage under the MCIT pathway would begin immediately upon the date of FDA market authorization (that is, the Start Printed Page 54329date the medical device receives Premarket Approval (PMA).

510(k) clearance. Or the granting of a De Novo classification request) for the breakthrough device. This coverage would occur unless the device does not have a Medicare benefit category or is otherwise excluded from coverage by statute (that is, the Medicare statute does not allow for coverage of the particular device.) This coverage pathway delivers on the Administration's commitment to give Medicare beneficiaries access to the newest innovations on the market, consistent with the statutory definitions of Medicare benefits.

Because Medicare is a defined benefit program, devices that do not fit within the statutory definitions may not be considered for MCIT. As an example, medical equipment for home use by the beneficiary must be durable (that is, withstand repeated use) for it to be coverable by Medicare (as defined in statutes and regulations by the Secretary). At this time, we are limiting MCIT to medical devices because that is a category of products explicitly identified in E.O.

13890, and we have identified that breakthrough devices can experience variable coverage across the nation shortly after market authorization. We propose this MCIT pathway because the prescribed statutory timeframes for the National Coverage Determination (NCD) process limit CMS' ability to institute immediate national coverage policies for new, innovative medical devices. NCDs and Local Coverage Determinations (LCD) take, on average, 9 to 12 months to finalize.

Because of this length of time, there may be coverage uncertainty between the period of FDA market authorization and CMS finalization of an NCD or a Medicare Administrative Contractor's (MACs) finalization of an LCD. During this time period shortly after market authorization, MACs make coverage determinations on a case-by-case (individual beneficiary) basis, but those decisions do not usually establish agency policies for future claims because a case-by-case decision is for a particular beneficiary and their health circumstances. Over the past few years, CMS has heard concerns from stakeholders that breakthrough devices are not automatically covered nationally by Medicare once they are FDA market authorized.

Variation in coverage from one jurisdiction to another is also a concern. To date, 16 breakthrough devices have also been market authorized. The majority of these breakthrough devices (10 devices) experience variability in coverage for two reasons.

One reason is because the breakthrough devices are coverable at MAC discretion, like many other item and services, on a case-by-case basis (that is, the breakthrough device may be covered for one patient, but not for another within the same jurisdiction). The other reason is because breakthrough devices are used by a hospital or other provider that operates under a bundled payment system (such as a diagnosis related group (DRG) system), so there may be no separate coverage policy for each item or service that may be included in the bundled payment. Another example of variable coverage is for one breakthrough device that is non-covered by a local policy in Florida, but coverable at MAC discretion on a case-by-case basis in other jurisdictions.

One breakthrough device has national coverage through an NCD. One breakthrough device has uniform coverage because the same LCD has been adopted in all jurisdictions. There are three breakthrough devices that do not have a Medicare benefit category (for example, certain wearable devices).

Therefore, those breakthrough devices cannot be covered by the Medicare program. In contrast to varied local coverage, the proposed MCIT would create a pathway for immediate national Medicare coverage of any FDA-market authorized breakthrough device if the device meets criteria outlined in this proposal. A.

Statutory Authority We are also proposing to establish in regulations the factors we have historically used in making “reasonable and necessary” determinations under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act, with some modification. To summarize, this section explains that Medicare payment may be made under part A or part B for any expenses incurred for items or services that are reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member. Thus, with some exceptions, section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act requires that an item or service be “reasonable and necessary” to be covered by Medicare.

The courts have recognized that the Secretary has significant authority to determine whether a particular item or service is “reasonable and necessary.” (Heckler v. Ringer, 466 U.S. 602, 617 (1984).

See also, Yale-New Haven Hospital v. Leavitt, 470 F.3d 71, 84 (2d Cir. 2006).

3d 98, 110 (D.C. 2016) (The statute vests substantial authority in the Secretary.)) So even though section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act limits the scope of Medicare coverage, the Secretary has discretion to revise his/her interpretation of the statute in order to ensure adequate coverage for items and services under Part A and Part B. This proposal would provide national Medicare coverage for breakthrough devices that are FDA market-authorized and used consistent with the FDA approved or cleared indication for use (also referred to as the “FDA-required labeling”).[] This device coverage under the MCIT pathway is reasonable and necessary under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act because the device has met the unique criteria of the FDA Breakthrough Devices Program.

B. FDA Breakthrough Devices Program Under the proposed MCIT coverage pathway, CMS would coordinate with FDA and manufacturers as medical devices move through the FDA regulatory process for Breakthrough Devices to ensure seamless Medicare coverage on the date of FDA market authorization unless CMS determines those devices do not have a Medicare benefit category. The Breakthrough Devices Program is an evolution of the Expedited Access Pathway Program and the Priority Review Program (section 515B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act)), 21 U.S.C.

360e-3. See also final guidance for industry entitled, “Breakthrough Devices Program,” https://www.fda.gov/​downloads/​MedicalDevices/​DeviceRegulationandGuidance/​GuidanceDocuments/​UCM581664.pdf). The FDA's Breakthrough Devices Program is not for all new medical devices.

Rather, it is only for those that the FDA determines meet the standards for breakthrough device designation. In accordance with section 3051 of the 21st Century Cures Act (21 U.S.C. 360e-3),[] the Breakthrough Devices Program is for medical devices and device-led combination products that meet two criteria.

The first criterion is that the device provide for more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating human disease or conditions. The second criterion is that the device must satisfy one of the following elements. It Start Printed Page 54330represents a breakthrough technology.

No approved or cleared alternatives exist. It offers significant advantages over existing approved or cleared alternatives, including additional considerations outlined in the statute. Or device availability is in the best interest of patients (for more information see 21 U.S.C.

360e-3(b)(2)). These criteria make breakthrough designated devices unique among all other medical devices.[] The parameters of the breakthrough devices program focus on innovations for patients, in turn, MCIT, focuses on these breakthrough devices consistent with E.O. 13890 and in order to streamline coverage of innovative medical devices.

C. Current Medicare Coverage Pathways Currently, we utilize several coverage pathways for items and services, which includes medical devices. None of the coverage pathways described in this section offer immediate, predictable coverage concurrently with FDA market authorization like the proposed MCIT pathway would do.

We summarize the other coverage pathways here to provide context for MCIT. National Coverage Determinations (NCDs). Section 1862(l)(6)(A) of the Act defines the term national coverage determination as “a determination by the Secretary with respect to whether or not a particular item or service is covered nationally under this title.” In general, NCDs are national policy statements published to identify the circumstances under which particular items and services will be considered covered by Medicare.

Traditionally, CMS relies heavily on health outcomes data to make NCDs. Most NCDs have involved determinations under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act, but NCDs can be made based on other provisions of the Act, and includes a determination that the item or service under consideration has a Medicare benefit category. The NCD pathway, which has statutorily prescribed timeframes, generally takes 9 to 12 months to complete.[] Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs).

Medicare contractors develop LCDs based on section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act that apply only within their geographic jurisdictions. (Sections 1862(l)(6)(B) and 1869(f)(2)(B) of the Act.) MACs will not need to develop LCDs for breakthrough devices when they are nationally covered through MCIT. The MACs follow specific guidance for developing LCDs for Medicare coverage in the CMS Program Integrity Manual, and in some instances, an LCD can also take 9 to12 months to develop (MACs must finalize proposed LCDs within 365 days from opening per Chapter 13—Local Coverage Determinations of the (PIM) 13.5.1).

We note that the MCIT pathway will not alter the existing coverage standards in Chapter 13—Local Coverage Determinations of the PIM.[] That chapter will continue to be used in making determinations under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act for other items and services at the local level. Claim-by-claim Adjudication. In the absence of an NCD or LCD, MACs would make coverage decisions under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act and may cover or not cover items and services on a claim-by-claim basis.

The majority of claims are handled through the claim adjudication process. Clinical Trial Policy (CTP) NCD 310.1. The CTP pathway can be used for coverage of routine care items and services (but generally not the technology under investigation) in a clinical study that is supported by certain Federal agencies.

The CTP coverage pathway was developed in 2000.[] This coverage pathway has not generally been utilized by device manufacturers because they usually seek coverage of the device, which is not included in this pathway. Parallel Review. Parallel Review is a mechanism for FDA and CMS to simultaneously review the submitted clinical data to help decrease the time between FDA's approval of a premarket application or granting of a de novo classification and the subsequent CMS NCD.

Parallel Review has two stages. (1) FDA and CMS meet with the manufacturer to provide feedback on the proposed pivotal clinical trial within the FDA pre-submission process. And (2) FDA and CMS concurrently review (“in parallel”) the clinical trial results submitted in the PMA, or De Novo request.

FDA and CMS independently review the data to determine whether it meets their respective Agency's standards and communicate with the manufacturer during their respective reviews. This program is most successful for devices that have a significant amount of clinical evidence. (Candidates for parallel review would not be appropriate for simultaneous MCIT consideration.) Even though CMS has multiple coverage pathways, at this time none are readily available to provide immediate national coverage for new breakthrough devices with a Medicare benefit category at the same time as FDA market authorization.

Further, some of these new breakthrough devices are likely to have limited or developing bodies of clinical evidence because of the newness of the device. Therefore, the MCIT pathway can support manufacturers that are interested in combining coverage with their own clinical study to augment clinical evidence of improved health outcomes, particularly for Medicare patients. Given this summary of existing coverage pathways, we seek comment from the public regarding if any of these existing pathways should be modified to achieve the goals set out by E.O.

13890. D. MCIT Pathway We propose that the MCIT pathway would provide immediate national coverage for breakthrough devices beginning on the date of FDA market authorization and continue for up to 4 years, unless we determine the device does not have a Medicare benefit category as determined by us as part of the MCIT pathway process.

The MCIT pathway is voluntary (that is, manufacturers would affirmatively opt-in), and would be initiated when a manufacturer notifies CMS of its intention to utilize the MCIT pathway. (This notification process is described further in section III. Of this proposed rule.) We would subsequently coordinate with the manufacturer regarding steps that need to be taken for MCIT implementation purposes.

The frequency of subsequent engagement will be largely driven by whether the manufacturer has questions for CMS, or CMS and FDA. The timing of coverage will depend upon the timing of the FDA's market authorization decision. Engagements can take place in the form of in-person meetings, phone calls, emails, etc.

We intend to put devices that are covered through the MCIT pathway on the CMS website so that all stakeholders will be aware of what is covered through the MCIT pathway. Manufacturers of breakthrough devices will not be obligated or mandated by CMS to conduct clinical studies during Start Printed Page 54331coverage under the proposed MCIT pathway. However, we seek comment as to whether CMS should require or incentivize manufacturers to provide data about outcomes or should be obligated to enter into a clinical study similar to CMS's Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) paradigm.[] We are aware some manufacturers may be required by the FDA to conduct post market data collection as a condition of market authorization, and nothing in this proposed rule would alter that FDA requirement.

Manufacturers are encouraged to develop the clinical evidence base needed for one of the other coverage pathways after the MCIT pathway ends. This evidence is encouraged not only for CMS and private commercial health insurer coverage policies but also to better inform the clinical community and the public generally about the risks and benefits of treatment. CMS encourages early manufacturer engagement, both before and after FDA market authorization, for manufacturers to receive feedback from CMS on potential clinical study designs and clinical endpoints that may produce the evidence needed for a definitive coverage determination after MCIT.

This feedback would not involve CMS predicting specific coverage or non-coverage. In order to further the goals of E.O. 13890, CMS proposes to rely on FDA's breakthrough device designation and market authorization of those devices to define the universe of devices eligible for MCIT, except for those particular devices CMS determines do not have a Medicare benefit category or are statutorily excluded from coverage under Part A or Part B.

In order to provide immediate national coverage to innovative medical devices, we propose to establish a time limit on how long a breakthrough device can be eligible for MCIT (that is, considered a breakthrough device for coverage purposes). MCIT has a time limit on newness similar to our New Technology Add-on Payment (NTAP) policy. Eligibility for the NTAP is also time limited and this time limit applies to all new technologies, including breakthrough devices, for which an application for additional payment is submitted.

Additionally, the time-limited characteristic of MCIT will drive some manufacturers to leverage this period of coverage to demonstrate the value of their device in the competitive marketplace. The 4-year coverage period is particularly important for manufacturers of breakthrough devices that choose to further develop the clinical evidence basis on which the FDA granted marketing authorization. From our experience with clinical studies conducted as part of an NCD, 4 years is approximately the amount of time it takes to complete a study.

At the end of the 4-year MCIT pathway, coverage of the breakthrough device would be subject to one of these possible outcomes. (1) NCD (affirmative coverage, which may include facility or patient criteria). (2) NCD (non-coverage).

Or (3) MAC discretion (claim-by-claim adjudication or LCD). Manufacturers that are interested in a NCD are encouraged to submit a NCD request during the third year of MCIT to allow for sufficient time for NCD development. We seek public comment on whether CMS should open a national coverage analysis if a MAC has not issued an LCD for a breakthrough device within 6 months of the expiration date of the 4-year MCIT period.

In our analysis of the current coverage landscape to determine opportunities for innovation and efficiencies, we also considered modifying the coverage process for non-breakthrough devices (for example, PMAs because they are also new to the market), but ultimately determined that it was the unique characteristics of FDA designated breakthrough devices and their ability to serve unmet needs that resonated most with the E.O.'s direction to encourage innovation for patients. We also considered expedited coverage of newly market authorized and breakthrough devices when used in a clinical study. We seek public comment on the proposed MCIT pathway, the considerations described, whether any of the existing coverage pathways should be modified to achieve the goals set out by the E.O., and alternatives to these proposals.

We specifically seek public comment on whether the MCIT pathway should also include diagnostics, drugs and/or biologics that utilize breakthrough or expedited approaches at the FDA (for example, Breakthrough Therapy, Fast Track, Priority Review, Accelerated Approval) [] or all diagnostics, drugs and/or biologics. We seek data to support including these additional item categories in the MCIT pathway. Also, we specifically seek manufacturer input on whether an opt-in or opt-out approach would work best for utilizing the MCIT pathway.

We believe manufactures will welcome this new coverage pathway. We want to preserve manufacturers' business judgment and not assume which Medicare coverage pathway a given manufacturer of a breakthrough device would prefer (if any). Therefore, we have proposed an opt-in approach with an email to CMS to indicate affirmative interest in coverage.

We are interested in whether an opt-out approach would be less burdensome for stakeholders. If so, we encourage public comment on a process for stakeholders to opt-out of MCIT that would not be burdensome. Also, we seek public comment on whether, once a manufacturer has opted-out of coverage, it can subsequently opt-in to MCIT.

II. Provision of Proposed Regulations A. Defining “Reasonable and Necessary” As described in section I.

Of this proposed rule, the Secretary has authority to determine the meaning of “reasonable and necessary” under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. We are proposing to codify the longstanding Program Integrity Manual definition of “reasonable and necessary” into our regulations at 42 CFR 405.201(b), with modification. Under the current definition, an item or service is considered “reasonable and necessary” if it is (1) safe and effective.

(2) not experimental or investigational. And (3) appropriate, including the duration and frequency that is considered appropriate for the item or service, in terms of whether it is— Furnished in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient's condition or to improve the function of a malformed body member. Furnished in a setting appropriate to the patient's medical needs and condition.

Ordered and furnished by qualified personnel. One that meets, but does not exceed, the patient's medical need. And At least as beneficial as an existing and available medically appropriate alternative.

In addition to codifying the above criteria, we propose to include a separate basis under which an item or service would be appropriate under (3) above that is based on commercial health insurers' coverage policies (that is, non-governmental entities that sponsor health insurance plans). The Start Printed Page 54332commercial market analysis would be initiated if an item/service fails to fulfill the existing factor (3) criteria defining appropriate for Medicare patients but fulfills (1) safe and effective and (2) not experimental or investigational. By considering commercial health insurer coverage policies, CMS would bring together the expertise of private payers and CMS.

For example, in a recent NCD on acupuncture for chronic low back pain, CMS considered the technology assessments and coverage criteria among commercial health insurer coverage policies.[] We believe that this approach would be in line with E.O. 13890 that directs us to make technologies “widely available, consistent with the principles of patient safety, market-based policies, and value for patients.” Under this separate basis, we propose that an item or service would satisfy factor (3) if it is covered under a plan(s) coverage policy if offered in the commercial insurance market, unless evidence supports that differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals are clinically relevant. Under our proposal, we would exclude Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, and other government administered healthcare coverage programs from the types of coverage CMS would consider, as these enrollees are not in the commercial market.

In the following paragraphs, we seek comment on this proposal and on how best to implement this mechanism. We solicit comments on sources of data that could be used to implement this policy, and whether CMS should make this information public and transparent. We seek public comment on the most appropriate source(s) for these coverage policies and the best way to determine which commercial plan(s) we would rely on for Medicare coverage.

We seek comment on whether beneficiaries, providers, innovators, or others wishing to gain coverage for an item or service demonstrate that the item or service is covered by at least one commercial insurance plan policy. If they can provide CMS with evidence of commercial coverage or if CMS or its MACs identify such coverage from its review of compilations of health insurance offerings or data from other sources, CMS would consider factor (3) to be satisfied. We solicit comment on whether we should limit our consideration of commercial plan offerings or covered lives to a subset of the commercial market in the interest of simplicity, including looking at geographic subsets, subsets based on number of enrollees, subsets based on plan type (HMO, PPO, etc.), or other subsets of plans—including utilizing a singular plan.

We also seek comment on whether, given considerations such the variation and distribution of coverage policies and access to innovations, we should only cover an item or service if it is covered for a majority, or a different proportion such as a plurality, of covered lives amongst plans or a majority, plurality, or some other proportion of plan offerings in the commercial market. (A plan offering is a contract an insurer offers to its enrollees, and a single insurance company may provide many different offerings.) We also recognize that plan offerings may impose certain coverage restrictions on an item or service, e.g. Related to clinical criteria, disease stage, or number and frequency of treatment.

As greater access to innovative treatments provides beneficiaries with more opportunity to improve health and drive decisions, we would, when coverage is afforded on the basis of commercial coverage, adopt the least restrictive coverage policy for the item or service amongst the offerings we examine. However, given potential unreasonable or unnecessary utilization, we also solicit comment on whether we should instead adopt the most restrictive coverage policy. We are further considering, as another variation, that if coverage restrictions are largely similar and present across the majority of offerings, CMS would adopt these in its coverage policies.

We note that such coverage restrictions include the basic requirement for medical necessity at the level of individual patients. Medicare will still only pay for an item or service received by a beneficiary if it is medically necessary for the beneficiary. We seek comment on whether, if we were to take this approach, we should instead use a proportion other than a majority, as low as any offering and as high as all offerings, as a sufficient threshold.

As a final variation, we could defer, in the absence of an NCD or national policy, to the MACs to tailor the restrictions on coverage based on what they observe in the commercial market, just as we rely on MACs with regards to the current definition. We further solicit comment on whether to grant coverage for an item or service to the extent it meets the first and second factors and the commercial coverage basis for the third factor. Under this approach, we would only use the current definition of “appropriate” from the current PIM when the exception for clinically relevant differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals applies (or if the commercial coverage basis is determined by a proportion like a majority and there is insufficient commercial coverage information available).

We note that referring to commercial coverage in this way may expand or narrow the circumstances under which we will cover a particular item or service and therefore solicit comment on whether, under such an approach, we should grandfather our current coverage policies for items and services. We also emphasize that the MACs will continue to make judgements in evaluating individual claims for reimbursement, such that a decision by CMS that an item or service is reasonable and necessary in general does not mean that it is reasonable and necessary in all circumstances with respect to individual claims for reimbursement. We seek public comment on the most appropriate source(s) for these coverage policies.

Further, under our proposal, each MAC would be responsible for reviewing commercial offerings to inform their LCDs or claim by claim decisions, which would include individual medical necessity decisions. We may also allow the MACs to develop approaches to address any or all of the considerations outlined above, parallel to their current practice of making coverage decisions in the absence of an NCD or national policy. We solicit comment on the best role of the MACs, along these lines or otherwise.

We also solicit comment on whether the discretion to use the current criteria in the PIM when there is evidence to believe Medicare beneficiaries have different clinical needs should be exercised through the NCD process or in other ways, as well as what quantum of evidence should be sufficient. In sum, we are proposing to define the term “reasonable and necessary” based on the factors currently found in the PIM, plus an alternative basis for meeting factor (3) based on any coverage in the commercial market. We are also soliciting comment on an alternative under whether an item or service satisfies the commercial coverage basis for factor (3) is determined by how it is treated across a majority of covered lives amongst commercial plan offerings, as well as an alternative whereby an item or service would be appropriate for Medicare patients to the extent it is covered in the commercial market.

Start Printed Page 54333When evidence supports that differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals are clinically relevant, we would rely on the criteria in the current PIM. We would continue relying on local administration of the program by MACs (including coverage on a claim by claim basis and LCDs) and maintain our discretion to issue NCDs based on the final rule. We solicit comment on this proposed definition of reasonable and necessary, and alternatives outlined above, as well as other mechanisms or definitions we could establish for the term “reasonable and necessary”, and the merits and drawbacks associated with each, including the potential impact on Medicare program expenses or complexity.

We may finalize any variation or outgrowth of the policies described in this proposal, or some combination of these options in lieu of or in conjunction with our proposed definition. B. Application of the “Reasonable and Necessary” Standard to the MCIT Pathway We are proposing that, under the proposed MCIT pathway, an item or service that receives a breakthrough device designation from the FDA would be considered “reasonable and necessary” under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act because breakthrough devices have met the FDA's unique breakthrough devices criteria, and they are innovations that serve unmet needs.

While other devices are still considered new to the market, for example, PMAs and even some 510(k)s, the devices designated by the FDA as breakthrough are representative of true innovations in the marketplace. This application of the “reasonable and necessary” standard in this way would ensure that the MCIT pathway can provide a fast-track to Medicare coverage of innovative devices that may more effectively treat or diagnose life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating human disease or conditions. MCIT would improve healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries by providing national Medicare coverage for devices receiving the FDA breakthrough device designation, which are FDA market-authorized and used consistent with the FDA approved or cleared indication for use (also referred to as the “FDA required labeling”),[] so long as the breakthrough device is described in an appropriate Medicare benefit category under Part A or Part B and is not specifically excluded by statute.

We believe the criteria for qualification as a breakthrough device, as defined in section 515B(b) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360e-3(b)) is sufficient to satisfy the elements of the “reasonable and necessary” standard. The first breakthrough device designation criterion is that a device must “provide for more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating human disease or conditions” (21 U.S.C.

360e-3(b)(1)). The second criterion is that the device must satisfy one of the following elements. It represents a breakthrough technology.

There are no approved or cleared alternatives. It offers significant advantages over existing approved or cleared alternatives, including additional considerations outlined in the statute. Or availability of the device is in the best interest of patients (21 U.S.C.

360e-3(b)(2)). Thus, breakthrough devices are those that HHS has determined may provide better health outcomes for patients facing life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating human disease or conditions. We believe that a device meeting these criteria, once also FDA market authorized, is “reasonable and necessary” for purposes of Medicare coverage.

This proposed rule recognizes that the FDA market authorization of breakthrough devices warrants immediate coverage under the “reasonable and necessary” clause in section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. We previously stated that FDA determinations were not controlling determinations for Medicare coverage purposes under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. (For more information see the January 30, 1989 Federal Register (54 FR 4307) (“FDA approval for the marketing of a medical device will not necessarily lead to a favorable coverage recommendation.

. . €) and the August 7, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 48165) (“However, FDA approval or clearance alone does not entitle that technology to Medicare coverage.”) Under the Secretary's broad authority to interpret section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act (supra section I.A.), we are revising our interpretation of the statute because of the practical concerns that our current standards have delayed access to a unique set of innovative devices that FDA has found to be safe and effective, and we believe are “reasonable and necessary” for purposes of Medicare coverage.

In light of E.O. 13890, the Secretary has determined that application of the current standards for making “reasonable and necessary” determinations may take too long following FDA market authorization of breakthrough devices. More importantly, the existing standard has not always provided Medicare beneficiaries adequate access to certain breakthrough medical devices when needed to improve health outcomes.

We are proposing that breakthrough devices per se meet the reasonable and necessary standard in order to increase access and to reduce the delay from FDA market authorization to Medicare coverage. C. MCIT Pathway We are proposing the MCIT pathway to deliver on the Administration's commitment to provide access to breakthrough devices to Medicare beneficiaries.

The MCIT pathway provides up to 4 years of national coverage to newly FDA market authorized breakthrough devices. We are aware that this coverage may also facilitate evidence development on devices for the Medicare population because manufacturers can gather additional data on utilization of the device during the MCIT coverage period. 1.

Definitions In § 405.601(a) we are proposing that the MCIT pathway is voluntary. Operationally, we propose that manufacturers of breakthrough devices notify CMS of their intention to elect MCIT shortly after receiving notice from the FDA of being granted the breakthrough device designation. Ideally, this notification would be sent to CMS within 2 weeks of receiving breakthrough designation.

However, entities would not be penalized for notifying CMS after that time. Alternatively, submitting a notification to CMS shortly before or concurrently with the date of the FDA marketing submission should also afford CMS sufficient time to operationalize MCIT for the device. The CMS Coverage and Analysis Group would establish an email box for these inquires.

This notification alerts CMS to offer guidance to manufacturers about the MCIT pathway and point to resources for coding and payment, which are key conversations to effectuate coverage upon FDA market authorization. We intend to utilize the existing coverage implementation processes to be prepared to offer coverage immediately upon the FDA market authorization. In § 405.601(b), we propose the following definitions for the purposes of 42 CFR part 405.

We propose to define Start Printed Page 54334“breakthrough device” as a medical device that receives such designation by the FDA (section 515B(d)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360e-3(d)(1))). We also propose to define, for the sake of clarity in the rule, that the acronym MCIT stands for Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology.

2. MCIT Pathway Device Eligibility In § 405.603(a) we propose that the pathway is available to devices that meet the definitions proposed in § 405.601. Based on the explicit mention of devices in E.O.

13890 and our interaction and feedback from stakeholders who expressed their concern that there is more uncertainty of coverage for devices than for other items and services (for example, diagnostics, drugs and biologics), this proposed policy is for devices only. We propose in § 405.603(b) that the breakthrough devices that received FDA market authorization no more than 2 calendar years prior to the effective date of this subpart (the date the final rule is finalized) and thereafter will be eligible for coverage for claims submitted on or after the effective date of this rule. Claims for breakthrough devices with dates of service that occurred before the effective date of this rule would not be covered through MCIT.

For example, a hypothetical breakthrough device that was FDA market authorized on October 1, 2018, and utilized on January 1, 2020 would not be eligible for coverage under MCIT because on January 1, 2020, the date of service, the final MCIT rule was not yet legally in effect. In contrast, a claim for utilization of the same hypothetical breakthrough device with a date of service on January 1, 2021 might be eligible for coverage if the claim occurred after the effective date of the rule (assuming that the effective date of the rule was prior to January 1, 2021). Breakthrough devices market authorized prior to the effective date of this rule will not be eligible for all 4 years of coverage.

The 4-year period starts on the date of FDA market authorization. For example, a breakthrough device market authorized on October 1, 2018 would have claims covered through MCIT from the effective date of the final rule until October 1, 2022. If a manufacturer initially chooses to not utilize the MCIT pathway, and then chooses to do so some time after the breakthrough device's market authorization, coverage still only lasts 4 years from the date of FDA market authorization.

We seek comment on this eligibility criterion for devices and specifically the 2 year lookback. We propose in § 405.603(c) that to be part of the MCIT pathway, the device must be used according to its FDA approved or cleared indication for use. We propose that the device is only covered for use consistent with its FDA approved or cleared indication for use because that is the indication and conditions for use that were reviewed by the FDA and authorized for marketing.

Data are unlikely to be available to support extending beyond the FDA required labeling for breakthrough devices on the date of marketing authorization. Use of the device for a condition or population that is not labeled (“off-label”) will not be covered as that use would not be FDA authorized. We specifically seek comment on whether off-label use of breakthrough devices should be covered and, if so, under what specific circumstances and/or evidentiary support.

In § 405.603(d) and (e), we additionally propose limitations to what is coverable under the Act. In § 405.603(e), we are proposing that if CMS has issued an NCD on a particular breakthrough device, that breakthrough device is not eligible for MCIT. We are proposing this because, once the device has been reviewed by CMS for the FDA required approved or cleared indication for use.

CMS has made a coverage determination based on the available evidence for that technology. We believe this would happen rarely because breakthrough devices are new technologies that are not likely to have been previously reviewed through the NCD process. In § 405.603(f), we acknowledge that devices in the MCIT pathway may be excluded due to statute or regulation (for example, 42 CFR 411.15, Particular services excluded from coverage) and, like other items and services coverable by Medicare, the device must fall within the scope of a Medicare benefit category under section 1861 of the Act and the implementing regulations.

If the device does not fall within a Medicare benefit category as outlined in the statute and implementing regulations, the device is not eligible for Medicare coverage. Therefore, the device would not be eligible for the MCIT pathway. 3.

General Coverage of Items and Services under the MCIT Pathway We propose in § 405.605 that devices covered under the MCIT pathway are covered no differently from devices that are covered outside of MCIT. In other words, provided the items and services are otherwise coverable (that is, not specifically excluded and not found by CMS to be outside the scope of a Medicare benefit category), covered items and services could include the device, reasonable and necessary surgery to implant the device, if implantable, related care and services costs of the device (for example, replacing reasonable and necessary parts of the device such as a battery), and coverage of any reasonable and necessary treatments due to complications arising from use of the device. What the MCIT pathway offers compared to other pathways is predictable national coverage simultaneous with FDA market authorization that will generally last for a set time period.

The proposed MCIT pathway would support and accelerate beneficiary access to certain innovative devices. CMS encourages manufacturers that have breakthrough devices covered under MCIT to develop additional data for the healthcare community. 4.

MCIT Pathway for Breakthrough Devices. 4 Years of Coverage In § 405.607(a), we propose that the MCIT pathway for coverage would begin on the same date the device receives FDA market authorization. We propose this point in time to ensure there is no gap between Medicare coverage and FDA market authorization.

This supports the MCIT pathway's focus of ensuring beneficiaries have a predictable access to new devices. We propose in § 405.607(b)(1) that the MCIT pathway for breakthrough devices ends 4 years from the date the device received FDA market authorization. We propose this 4 year time period because it could allow manufacturers to develop clinical evidence and data regarding the benefit of the use of their device in a real world setting.

For example, we believe 4 years would allow most manufacturers sufficient time to complete FDA required post-approval or other real-world data collection studies that may have been a condition of FDA market authorization. This assumption is based upon our historical experience with studies conducted through coverage with evidence development (CED). Further, this time period allows Medicare to support manufacturers that, whether required by the FDA or not, have an interest in better understanding the health outcomes of their device in the Medicare population, including impacts on patient-reported and longer-term outcomes.

Further, § 405.607(b) proposes reasons that the MCIT pathway may end prior to 4 years. This includes circumstances whereby the device becomes subject to an NCD, regulation, statute, or if the device can no longer be lawfully marketed.Start Printed Page 54335 D. Summary In summary, the MCIT pathway would provide immediate Medicare coverage of newly FDA market authorized breakthrough devices for 4 years.

We seek public comment on all of our proposals. In particular, we seek feedback on whether the proposed 4 year coverage period is sufficient. We also look to stakeholders and the public to determine the level of interest and expected use of the proposed MCIT pathway so the agency can begin to estimate the level of needed resources to support successful implementation.

We are also seeking public comments on our proposal to codify in regulations the standards we have historically used in making reasonable and necessary decisions under Part A and Part B under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. After considering public comments we would prepare a final rule that we expect would be effective 60 days after publication of the final rule. III.

Collection of Information Requirements Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are required to provide 60-day notice in the Federal Register and solicit public comment before a collection of information requirement is submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. In order to fairly evaluate whether an information collection should be approved by OMB, section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires that we solicit comment on the following issues. The need for the information collection and its usefulness in carrying out the proper functions of our agency.

The accuracy of our estimate of the information collection burden. The quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. Recommendations to minimize the information collection burden on the affected public, including automated collection techniques.

We are soliciting public comment on each of the section 3506(c)(2)(A)-required issues for the following sections of this document that contain information collection requirements (ICRs). To derive average costs, we used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2018 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for all salary estimates (https://www.bls.gov/​oes/​current/​oes131041.htm, released May 2019).

In this regard, the table that follows presents the mean hourly wage, the cost of fringe benefits (calculated at 100 percent of salary), and the adjusted hourly wage. Table 1—National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for MCITOccupation titleOccupation codeMean hourly wage ($/hr)Fringe benefit ($/hr)Adjusted hourly wage ($/hr)Compliance Officer13-104134.8634.8669.72 As indicated, we are adjusting our employee hourly wage estimates by a factor of 100 percent. This is necessarily a rough adjustment, both because fringe benefits and overhead costs vary significantly from employer to employer.

Nonetheless, there is no practical alternative and we believe that doubling the hourly wage to estimate total cost is a reasonably accurate estimation method. This proposed coverage pathway allows for a voluntary participation and therefore necessitates that manufacturers of breakthrough devices notify CMS of their intent to enter the MCIT pathway. Therefore, the burden associated with notifying CMS is the time and effort it would take for each of the organizations to send CMS an email or letter.

We anticipate two MCIT pathway participants in the first year based upon the number of medical devices that received FY2020 NTAP and were non-covered in at least one MAC jurisdiction by LCDs and related articles. We estimate notifying CMS of intent to participate in MCIT would involve 15 minutes at $69.72 per hour by a compliance officer. In this regard, we estimate 15 mins per notification at a cost of $17.43 per organization (0.25 hours × $69.72).

In aggregate, we estimate 0.5 hours (0.25 hours × 2 submissions) at $34.86 ($17.43 × 2 submissions). After the anticipated initial 2 submitters, over the next 3 years we expect 3 submitters in year 2, 4 submitters in year 3, and 5 submitters in year 4 to notify CMS of interested in the MCIT pathway. We expect this increase in submitters each year to level off at this point.

In this regard, we estimate the same 0.25 hours per submission at a cost of $17.43 per organization. Similarly, in aggregate, we estimate, for year 2 (0.75 hours at $52.29 an hour), for year 3 (1.0 hour at $69.72 an hour), and for year 4 (1.25 hours at $87.15 an hour). The proposed requirements and burden will be submitted to OMB under control number 0938-NEW.

We are requesting public comments on these information collection and recordkeeping requirements. If you comment on these information collection and recordkeeping requirements, please do either of the following. 1.

Submit your comments electronically as specified in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. Or 2. Submit your comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention.

CMS Desk Officer, CMS-3372-P, Fax. (202) 395-6974. Or Email.

OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov. Comments must be received on/by November 2, 2020. IV.

Regulatory Impact Statement This proposed rule makes Medicare coverage policy updates pursuant to the authority at section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. We are using regulatory action per the October 3, 2019 “Executive Order on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation's Seniors” to address the increasing need for a swift Medicare coverage mechanism to allow beneficiaries across the nation to access breakthrough devices faster after FDA market authorization. This proposed rule addresses that need by establishing a coverage pathway that will allow immediate beneficiary access to FDA market authorized breakthrough devices.

We have examined the impact of this proposed rule as required by Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (September 30, 1993), Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review (January 18, 2011), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (September 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), section 1102(b) of the Social Security Act, section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (March 22, 1995.

Pub. L. 104-4), Start Printed Page 54336Executive Order 13132 on Federalism (August 4, 1999), the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C.

804(2)), and Executive Order 13771 on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (January 30, 2017). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year).

This proposed rule does reach the economic threshold and thus is considered a major rule. Regulatory alternatives to this proposed rule were to combine Medicare coverage with clinical evidence development under section 1862(a)(1)(E) of the Act, to take no regulatory action at this time, or to adjust the duration of the MCIT pathway. Combining coverage with clinical evidence development would have met the E.O.

13890 overarching goal of beneficiary access to breakthrough devices. However, this alternative did not meet the other E.O. 13890 aims of minimizing time between FDA market authorization and Medicare coverage and wide availability.

The timing of coverage would depend upon the manufacturer being able to initiate a clinical study and the wide availability of coverage could be an issue if providers did not have the infrastructure necessary to participate in the clinical study. CMS chose to not to pursue combining coverage with evidence development for breakthrough devices because we wanted to meet the timing and wide availability aims of E.O. 13890.

CMS also considered taking no regulatory action and trying to leverage the existing Medicare coverage pathways or proposing sub-regulatory policies to achieve the streamlined coverage process described in E.O. 13890. Taking no action would not have resulted in the desired national coverage and access envisioned in E.O.

13890 because, as described in this preamble, the existing coverage pathways do not consistently provide swift, national beneficiary access to innovative devices. As discussed elsewhere in the preamble, the nature of the problem being addressed by this proposed regulation is a potential delay between a milestone such as FDA market authorization and CMS coverage. As such, we request comment on a policy option of shortening of the duration of the MCIT pathway from the proposed 4 years to 1 year.

In addition to the alternatives just discussed, there are various possibilities regarding how to change the definition of “reasonable and necessary”—for example, whether to include a new aspect of the proposed definition that focuses on commercial insurance coverage practices. As noted earlier in the preamble, the goal of this revision is to expand coverage. However, the nuances of the definition would affect the magnitude of the impact and we request comment that would facilitate quantification of effects and comparison of alternatives at the final rule stage.

The impact of implementing the MCIT pathway is difficult to determine without knowing the specific technologies that would be covered. In addition, many of these technologies would be eligible for coverage in the absence of this rule, such as through a local or national coverage determination, so the impact for certain items may be the acceleration of coverage or adoption by just a few months. Furthermore, some of these devices would be covered immediately if the MACs decide to pay for them, which would result in no impact on Medicare spending for devices approved under this pathway.

However, it is possible that some of these innovative technologies would not otherwise be eligible for coverage in the absence of this rule. Because it is not known how these new technologies would otherwise come to market and be reimbursed, it is not possible to develop a point estimate of the impact. In general, we believe the MCIT coverage pathway would range in impact from having no impact on Medicare spending, to a temporary cost for innovations that are adopted under an accelerated basis.

The decision to enter the MCIT pathway is voluntary for the manufacturer. Because manufacturers typically join the Medicare coverage pathway that is most beneficial to them, this would result in selection against the existing program coverage pathways (to what degree is unknown at this point). In addition, the past trend of new technology costing more than existing technology could lead to a higher cost for Medicare if this trend continued for technologies enrolling in the MCIT pathway.

Nevertheless, new technology may also mitigate ongoing chronic health issues or improve efficiency of services thereby reducing some costs for Medicare. In order to demonstrate the potential impact on Medicare spending, the CMS Office of the Actuary (OACT) developed three hypothetical scenarios that illustrate the impact of implementing the proposed MCIT pathway. Scenarios two and three assume that the device would not have been eligible for coverage in the absence of this proposed rule.

(See Table 2) The illustration used the new devices that applied for a NTAP in FY 2020 as a proxy for the new devices that would utilize the MCIT pathway. The submitted cost and anticipated utilization for these devices was published in the Federal Register.[] In addition, we assumed that two manufacturers would elect to utilize the MCIT pathway in the first year, three manufacturers in the second year, four manufacturers in the third year, and five manufacturers in the fourth year each year for all three scenarios. This assumption is based on the number of medical devices that received FY 2020 NTAP and were non-covered in at least one MAC jurisdiction by LCDs and related articles and our impression from the FDA that the number of devices granted breakthrough status is increasing.

For the first scenario, the no-cost scenario, we assumed that all the devices would be eligible for coverage in the absence of the proposed rule. If the devices received payment nationally and at the same time then there would be no additional cost under this pathway. For the second scenario, the low-cost scenario, we assumed that the new technologies would have the average costs ($2,044) and utilization (2,322 patients) of similar technologies included in the FY 2020 NTAP application cycle.

Therefore, to estimate the first year of MCIT, we multiplied the add-on payment for a new device by the anticipated utilization for a new device by the number of anticipated devices in the pathway ($2,044 × 2,322 × 2 = $ 9.5 million). For the third scenario, the high-cost scenario, we assumed the new technologies would receive the maximum add-on payment from the FY 2020 NTAP application cycle ($22,425) and the highest utilization of a device (6,500 patients). Therefore, to estimate for the first year of MCIT, we estimated similarly ($22,425 × 6,500 patients × 2 = $ 291.5 million).

For subsequent years, we increased the number of anticipated devices in the pathway by three, four, and five in the last two scenarios until 2024.[] In addition to Start Printed Page 54337not taking into account inflation, the illustration does not reflect any offsets for the costs of these technologies that would be utilized through existing authorities nor the cost of other treatments (except as noted). It is not possible to explicitly quantify these offsetting costs but they could substantially reduce or eliminate the net program cost. However, by assuming that only two to five manufacturers will elect MCIT coverage, we have implicitly assumed that, while more manufacturers could potentially elect coverage under MCIT, the majority of devices would have been covered under a different coverage pathway.

Therefore, a substantial portion of the offsetting costs are implicitly reflected. Based on this analysis, there is a range of potential impacts of the proposed MCIT coverage pathway as shown in Table 2. The difference between the three estimates demonstrates how sensitive the impact is to the cost and utilization of these unknown devices.

Table 2—Illustrated Impact on the Medicare Program by Proposed MCIT Coverage Pathway Costs (in millions)FY 2021FY 2022FY 2023FY 2024No-cost Scenario$0$0$0$0Low-cost Scenario9.523.742.766.4High-cost Scenario291.5728.81,311.92,040.7 We believe the assumptions used in the three scenarios are reasonable to show the possible wide range of impacts for implementing this proposed pathway, in particular for a technology that would not have otherwise been eligible for coverage. The RFA requires agencies to analyze options for regulatory relief of small entities. For purposes of the RFA, small entities include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

Some hospitals and other providers and suppliers are small entities, either by nonprofit status or by having revenues of less than $7.5 million to $38.5 million in any 1 year. Individuals and States are not included in the definition of a small entity. We reviewed the Small Business Administration's Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes to determine the NAICS U.S.

Industry titles and size standards in millions of dollars and/or number of employees that apply to small businesses that could be impacted by this rule.[] We determined that small businesses potentially impacted may include surgical and medical instrument manufacturers (NAICS code 339112, dollars not provided/1,000 employees), Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists) (NAICS code 621111, $12 million/employees not provided), and Freestanding Ambulatory Surgical and Emergency Centers (NAICS code 621493, $16.5 million/employees not provided). During the first 4 years of MCIT, we anticipate approximately 14 surgical and medical instrument manufacturers may participate, and based off of U.S. Census data, the majority of this businesses type are small businesses with less than 1,000 employees (968 out of 1,093 businesses have less than 500 employees).[] As such, this proposed rule would impact less than 5 percent of these businesses, and the revenue impact, if any, would not be negative.

Rather, it would be a positive impact because MCIT would provide Medicare coverage (and subsequent payment) to providers who purchase the devices from these manufacturers. For Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists) and Freestanding Ambulatory Surgical and Emergency Centers that may be providing the breakthrough devices, the majority are small businesses with less than 1,000 employees (4,060 out of 4,385 and 160, 367 out of 161, 286 have less than 500 employees, respectively).[] Given that we estimate, at most in the high-cost scenario, that 6,500 beneficiaries would utilize breakthrough devices through MCIT per year, and even if each beneficiary were to access services at only one of these small businesses (that is, no two beneficiaries used the same office or center), still less than 5 percent of these small businesses would be impacted by MCIT. As such, the revenue impact, if any, would not be negative, rather, it would be a positive impact because MCIT would provide Medicare coverage (and subsequent payment) to providers.

Overall, this proposed rule results in a payment, not a reduction in revenue. We are not preparing a further analysis for the RFA because we have determined, and the Secretary certifies, that this proposed rule will not have a significant negative economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because small entities are not being asked to undertake additional effort or take on additional costs outside of the ordinary course of business through this proposed rule. Rather, for small entities that develop or provide breakthrough devices to patients, this proposed rule is a means for the device to be covered through the Medicare program, which does not detract from revenue and could be viewed as a positive economic impact.

With the limited information we had to base this estimate, we solicit public comment on improvements to this estimate for the final rule. In addition, section 1102(b) of the Act requires us to prepare a regulatory impact analysis if a rule may have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals. This analysis must conform to the provisions of section 603 of the RFA.

For purposes of section 1102(b) of the Act, we define a small rural hospital Start Printed Page 54338as a hospital that is located outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area for Medicare payment regulations and has fewer than 100 beds. We are not preparing an analysis for section 1102(b) of the Act because we have determined, and the Secretary certifies, that this proposed rule would not have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals because small rural hospitals are not being asked to undertake additional effort or take on additional costs outside of the ordinary course of business through this proposed rule. Obtaining breakthrough devices for patients is at the discretion of providers.

We are not requiring the purchase and use of breakthrough devices. Providers should continue to work with their patients to choose the best treatment. For small rural hospitals that provide breakthrough devices to their patients, this proposed rule is a means for the device to be covered through the Medicare program.

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 also requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2020, that threshold was approximately $156 million. This proposed rule would have no consequential effect on State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector.

Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. Since this regulation does not impose any costs on State or local governments, the requirements of Executive Order 13132 are not applicable. Executive Order 13771 (E.O.

13771), titled Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, was issued on January 30, 2017. This proposed rule, if finalized as proposed, is expected to impose no more than de minimis costs and thus be neither an E.O. 13771 regulatory action nor an E.O.

13771 deregulatory action. In accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866, this proposed rule was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. V.

Response to Comments Because of the large number of public comments we normally receive on Federal Register documents, we are not able to acknowledge or respond to them individually. We will consider all comments we receive by the date and time specified in the DATES section of this preamble, and, when we proceed with a subsequent document, we will respond to the comments in the preamble to that document. Start List of Subjects Administrative practice and procedureDiseasesHealth facilitiesHealth professionsMedical devicesMedicareReporting and recordkeeping requirementsRural areasX-rays End List of Subjects For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Centers for Medicare &.

Medicaid Services proposes to amend 42 CFR chapter IV as set forth below. Start Part End Part Start Amendment Part1. The authority for part 405 continues to read as follows.

End Amendment Part Start Authority 42 U.S.C. 263a, 405(a), 1302, 1320b-12, 1395x, 1395y(a), 1395ff, 1395hh, 1395kk, 1395rr, and 1395ww(k). End Authority Start Amendment Part2.

Section 405.201 is amended in paragraph (b) by adding the definition of “Reasonable and necessary” in alphabetical order to read as follows. End Amendment Part Scope of subpart and definitions. * * * * * (b) * * * Reasonable and necessary means that an item or service is considered— (1) Safe and effective.

(2) Except as set forth in § 411.15(o)) of this chapter, not experimental or investigational. And (3) Appropriate for Medicare patients, including the duration and frequency that is considered appropriate for the item or service, in terms of whether it (i) Meets all of the following criteria. (A) Furnished in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient's condition or to improve the function of a malformed body member.

(B) Furnished in a setting appropriate to the patient's medical needs and condition. (C) Ordered and furnished by qualified personnel. (D) One that meets, but does not exceed, the patient's medical need.

And (E) At least as beneficial as an existing and available medically appropriate alternative. Or (ii) Is covered by commercial insurers, unless evidence supports that differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals are clinically relevant. * * * * * Start Amendment Part3.

Subpart F, consisting of §§ 405.601-405.607, is added to read as follows. End Amendment Part 405.601 Medicare coverage of innovative technology. 405.603 Medical device eligibility.

405.605 Coverage of items and services. 405.607 Coverage period. Medicare coverage of innovative technology.

(a) Basis and scope. Medicare coverage of innovative technology (MCIT) is a program that provides national, time-limited coverage under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act for certain breakthrough medical devices. Manufacturer participation in the pathway for breakthrough device coverage is voluntary.

(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this subpart, the following definitions are applicable. Breakthrough device means a device that receives such designation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (section 515B(d)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C.

360e-3(d)(1)). MCIT stands for Medicare coverage of innovative technology. Medical device eligibility.

The MCIT pathway is available only to medical devices that meet all of the following. (a) That are FDA-designated breakthrough devices. (b) That are FDA market authorized at most [date 2 years prior to effective date of final rule] and thereafter.

(c) That are used according to their FDA approved or cleared indication for use. (d) That are within a Medicare benefit category. (e) That are not the subject of a Medicare national coverage determination.

(f) That are not otherwise excluded from coverage through law or regulation. Coverage of items and services. Covered items and services furnished within the MCIT pathway may include any of the following, if not otherwise excluded from coverage.

(a) The breakthrough device. (b) Any reasonable and necessary procedures to implant the breakthrough device.Start Printed Page 54339 (c) Reasonable and necessary costs to maintain the breakthrough device. (d) Related care and services for the breakthrough device.

(e) Reasonable and necessary services to treat complications arising from use of the breakthrough device. Coverage period. (a) Start of the period.

The MCIT pathway begins on the date the breakthrough device receives FDA market authorization. (b) End of the period. The MCIT pathway for a breakthrough device ends as follows.

(1) No later than 4 years from the date the breakthrough device received FDA market authorization. (2) Prior to 4 years if a manufacturer withdraws the breakthrough device from the MCIT pathway. (3) Prior to 4 years if the breakthrough device becomes the subject of a national coverage determination or otherwise becomes noncovered through law or regulation.

Start Signature Dated. May 4, 2020. Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare &.

Alex M. Azar II, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc.

2020-19289 Filed 8-31-20. 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4120-01-P.

Start Preamble where can i buy symbicort over the counter Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS. Proposed rule where can i buy symbicort over the counter.

This proposed rule would establish a Medicare coverage pathway to provide Medicare beneficiaries nationwide with faster access to new, innovative medical devices designated as breakthrough by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After the final rule is effective, the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway would begin national Medicare coverage on the date of FDA market authorization and would continue for 4 years. We are also proposing regulatory standards to be used in making reasonable and necessary determinations where can i buy symbicort over the counter under section Start Printed Page 543281862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act) for items and services that are furnished under Part A and Part B.

To be assured consideration, comments must be received at one of the addresses provided below, no later than 5 p.m. On November 2, where can i buy symbicort over the counter 2020. In commenting, please refer to file code CMS-3372-P.

Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission. You may submit comments in one of three ways (please choose only one of the ways where can i buy symbicort over the counter listed). 1.

Electronically. You may submit electronic comments on this where can i buy symbicort over the counter regulation to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the “Submit a comment” instructions.

2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address ONLY.

Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention. CMS-3372-P, P.O.

Box 8013, Baltimore, MD 21244-8013. Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period. 3.

By express or overnight mail. You may send written comments to the following address ONLY. Centers for Medicare &.

Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention. CMS-3372-P, Mail Stop C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. For information on viewing public comments, see the beginning of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

Start Further Info Linda Gousis or JoAnna Baldwin, (410) 786-2281 or CAGinquiries@cms.hhs.gov. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Inspection of Public Comments. All comments received before the close of the comment period are available for viewing by the public, including any personally identifiable or confidential business information that is included in a comment.

We post all comments received before the close of the comment period on the following website as soon as possible after they have been received. Http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the search instructions on that website to view public comments.

Comments received timely will also be available for public inspection as they are received, generally beginning approximately 3 weeks after publication of a document, at the headquarters of the Centers for Medicare &. Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244, Monday through Friday of each week from 8:30 a.m. To 4 p.m.

To schedule an appointment to view public comments, phone 1-800-743-3951. I. Background The Administration is committed to ensuring Medicare beneficiaries have access to new cures and technologies that improve health outcomes.

Section 6 of the October 3, 2019 Executive Order 13890 (E.O. 13890) “Executive Order on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation's Seniors,” [] directs the Secretary to “propose regulatory and sub-regulatory changes to the Medicare program to encourage innovation for patients” including by “streamlining the approval, coverage, and coding process”.[] The E.O. 13890 explicitly includes making coverage of breakthrough medical devices “widely available, consistent with the principles of patient safety, market-based policies, and value for patients.” [] The E.O.

Also directs the Secretary to “clarify the application of coverage standards.” [] We are responding directly to these directives by proposing a definition of the term “reasonable and necessary” to clarify coverage standards and proposing the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway to accelerate the coverage of new, innovative breakthrough devices to Medicare beneficiaries. To date, the factors used in making “reasonable and necessary” determinations based on section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act have not been established in regulations for Medicare coverage purposes. The Secretary has authority to determine whether a particular medical item or service is “reasonable and necessary” under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act.

(See Heckler v. Ringer, 466 U.S. 602, 617 (1984).) When making coverage determinations, our policies have long considered whether the item or service is safe and effective, not experimental or investigational, and appropriate.

(For more information see the January 30, 1989 notice of proposed rulemaking (54 FR 4307)). These factors are found in Chapter 13 of the Medicare Program Integrity Manual (PIM) at section 13.5.4—Reasonable and Necessary Provisions in LCDs as instructions for Medicare contractors. We are proposing to codify in regulations the Program Integrity Manual definition of “reasonable and necessary” with modifications, including to add a reference to Medicare patients and a reference to commercial health insurer coverage policies.

We propose that an item or service would be considered “reasonable and necessary” if it is—(1) safe and effective. (2) not experimental or investigational. And (3) appropriate for Medicare patients, including the duration and frequency that is considered appropriate for the item or service, in terms of whether it is— Furnished in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient's condition or to improve the function of a malformed body member.

Furnished in a setting appropriate to the patient's medical needs and condition. Ordered and furnished by qualified personnel. One that meets, but does not exceed, the patient's medical need.

And At least as beneficial as an existing and available medically appropriate alternative. We also propose that an item or service would be “appropriate for Medicare patients” under (3) if it is covered in the commercial insurance market, except where evidence supports that there are clinically relevant differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals. An item or service deemed appropriate for Medicare coverage based on commercial coverage would be covered on that basis without also having to satisfy the bullets listed above.

We believe this definition is a significant step in meeting the E.O.'s directive to bring clarity to coverage standards. Stakeholders have expressed interest in codifying a definition of “reasonable and necessary” for many years. This proposed definition is familiar and functional, can satisfy that interest and meet the E.O.'s ask, while also aligning with the goals of MCIT by providing clarity and predictability for innovation, including for beneficiaries and innovators.

The proposed MCIT coverage pathway is specifically for Medicare coverage of devices that are designated as part of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Breakthrough Devices Program (hereafter referred to as “breakthrough devices”) and are FDA market authorized. The MCIT pathway would be voluntary and device manufacturers would notify CMS if they want to utilize this coverage option. We propose that national Medicare coverage under the MCIT pathway would begin immediately upon the date of FDA market authorization (that is, the Start Printed Page 54329date the medical device receives Premarket Approval (PMA).

510(k) clearance. Or the granting of a De Novo classification request) for the breakthrough device. This coverage would occur unless the device does not have a Medicare benefit category or is otherwise excluded from coverage by statute (that is, the Medicare statute does not allow for coverage of the particular device.) This coverage pathway delivers on the Administration's commitment to give Medicare beneficiaries access to the newest innovations on the market, consistent with the statutory definitions of Medicare benefits.

Because Medicare is a defined benefit program, devices that do not fit within the statutory definitions may not be considered for MCIT. As an example, medical equipment for home use by the beneficiary must be durable (that is, withstand repeated use) for it to be coverable by Medicare (as defined in statutes and regulations by the Secretary). At this time, we are limiting MCIT to medical devices because that is a category of products explicitly identified in E.O.

13890, and we have identified that breakthrough devices can experience variable coverage across the nation shortly after market authorization. We propose this MCIT pathway because the prescribed statutory timeframes for the National Coverage Determination (NCD) process limit CMS' ability to institute immediate national coverage policies for new, innovative medical devices. NCDs and Local Coverage Determinations (LCD) take, on average, 9 to 12 months to finalize.

Because of this length of time, there may be coverage uncertainty between the period of FDA market authorization and CMS finalization of an NCD or a Medicare Administrative Contractor's (MACs) finalization of an LCD. During this time period shortly after market authorization, MACs make coverage determinations on a case-by-case (individual beneficiary) basis, but those decisions do not usually establish agency policies for future claims because a case-by-case decision is for a particular beneficiary and their health circumstances. Over the past few years, CMS has heard concerns from stakeholders that breakthrough devices are not automatically covered nationally by Medicare once they are FDA market authorized.

Variation in coverage from one jurisdiction to another is also a concern. To date, 16 breakthrough devices have also been market authorized. The majority of these breakthrough devices (10 devices) experience variability in coverage for two reasons.

One reason is because the breakthrough devices are coverable at MAC discretion, like many other item and services, on a case-by-case basis (that is, the breakthrough device may be covered for one patient, but not for another within the same jurisdiction). The other reason is because breakthrough devices are used by a hospital or other provider that operates under a bundled payment system (such as a diagnosis related group (DRG) system), so there may be no separate coverage policy for each item or service that may be included in the bundled payment. Another example of variable coverage is for one breakthrough device that is non-covered by a local policy in Florida, but coverable at MAC discretion on a case-by-case basis in other jurisdictions.

One breakthrough device has national coverage through an NCD. One breakthrough device has uniform coverage because the same LCD has been adopted in all jurisdictions. There are three breakthrough devices that do not have a Medicare benefit category (for example, certain wearable devices).

Therefore, those breakthrough devices cannot be covered by the Medicare program. In contrast to varied local coverage, the proposed MCIT would create a pathway for immediate national Medicare coverage of any FDA-market authorized breakthrough device if the device meets criteria outlined in this proposal. A.

Statutory Authority We are also proposing to establish in regulations the factors we have historically used in making “reasonable and necessary” determinations under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act, with some modification. To summarize, this section explains that Medicare payment may be made under part A or part B for any expenses incurred for items or services that are reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member. Thus, with some exceptions, section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act requires that an item or service be “reasonable and necessary” to be covered by Medicare.

The courts have recognized that the Secretary has significant authority to determine whether a particular item or service is “reasonable and necessary.” (Heckler v. Ringer, 466 U.S. 602, 617 (1984).

See also, Yale-New Haven Hospital v. Leavitt, 470 F.3d 71, 84 (2d Cir. 2006).

3d 98, 110 (D.C. 2016) (The statute vests substantial authority in the Secretary.)) So even though section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act limits the scope of Medicare coverage, the Secretary has discretion to revise his/her interpretation of the statute in order to ensure adequate coverage for items and services under Part A and Part B. This proposal would provide national Medicare coverage for breakthrough devices that are FDA market-authorized and used consistent with the FDA approved or cleared indication for use (also referred to as the “FDA-required labeling”).[] This device coverage under the MCIT pathway is reasonable and necessary under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act because the device has met the unique criteria of the FDA Breakthrough Devices Program.

B. FDA Breakthrough Devices Program Under the proposed MCIT coverage pathway, CMS would coordinate with FDA and manufacturers as medical devices move through the FDA regulatory process for Breakthrough Devices to ensure seamless Medicare coverage on the date of FDA market authorization unless CMS determines those devices do not have a Medicare benefit category. The Breakthrough Devices Program is an evolution of the Expedited Access Pathway Program and the Priority Review Program (section 515B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act)), 21 U.S.C.

360e-3. See also final guidance for industry entitled, “Breakthrough Devices Program,” https://www.fda.gov/​downloads/​MedicalDevices/​DeviceRegulationandGuidance/​GuidanceDocuments/​UCM581664.pdf). The FDA's Breakthrough Devices Program is not for all new medical devices.

Rather, it is only for those that the FDA determines meet the standards for breakthrough device designation. In accordance with section 3051 of the 21st Century Cures Act (21 U.S.C. 360e-3),[] the Breakthrough Devices Program is for medical devices and device-led combination products that meet two criteria.

The first criterion is that the device provide for more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating human disease or conditions. The second criterion is that the device must satisfy one of the following elements. It Start Printed Page 54330represents a breakthrough technology.

No approved or cleared alternatives exist. It offers significant advantages over existing approved or cleared alternatives, including additional considerations outlined in the statute. Or device availability is in the best interest of patients (for more information see 21 U.S.C.

360e-3(b)(2)). These criteria make breakthrough designated devices unique among all other medical devices.[] The parameters of the breakthrough devices program focus on innovations for patients, in turn, MCIT, focuses on these breakthrough devices consistent with E.O. 13890 and in order to streamline coverage of innovative medical devices.

C. Current Medicare Coverage Pathways Currently, we utilize several coverage pathways for items and services, which includes medical devices. None of the coverage pathways described in this section offer immediate, predictable coverage concurrently with FDA market authorization like the proposed MCIT pathway would do.

We summarize the other coverage pathways here to provide context for MCIT. National Coverage Determinations (NCDs). Section 1862(l)(6)(A) of the Act defines the term national coverage determination as “a determination by the Secretary with respect to whether or not a particular item or service is covered nationally under this title.” In general, NCDs are national policy statements published to identify the circumstances under which particular items and services will be considered covered by Medicare.

Traditionally, CMS relies heavily on health outcomes data to make NCDs. Most NCDs have involved determinations under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act, but NCDs can be made based on other provisions of the Act, and includes a determination that the item or service under consideration has a Medicare benefit category. The NCD pathway, which has statutorily prescribed timeframes, generally takes 9 to 12 months to complete.[] Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs).

Medicare contractors develop LCDs based on section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act that apply only within their geographic jurisdictions. (Sections 1862(l)(6)(B) and 1869(f)(2)(B) of the Act.) MACs will not need to develop LCDs for breakthrough devices when they are nationally covered through MCIT. The MACs follow specific guidance for developing LCDs for Medicare coverage in the CMS Program Integrity Manual, and in some instances, an LCD can also take 9 to12 months to develop (MACs must finalize proposed LCDs within 365 days from opening per Chapter 13—Local Coverage Determinations of the (PIM) 13.5.1).

We note that the MCIT pathway will not alter the existing coverage standards in Chapter 13—Local Coverage Determinations of the PIM.[] That chapter will continue to be used in making determinations under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act for other items and services at the local level. Claim-by-claim Adjudication. In the absence of an NCD or LCD, MACs would make coverage decisions under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act and may cover or not cover items and services on a claim-by-claim basis.

The majority of claims are handled through the claim adjudication process. Clinical Trial Policy (CTP) NCD 310.1. The CTP pathway can be used for coverage of routine care items and services (but generally not the technology under investigation) in a clinical study that is supported by certain Federal agencies.

The CTP coverage pathway was developed in 2000.[] This coverage pathway has not generally been utilized by device manufacturers because they usually seek coverage of the device, which is not included in this pathway. Parallel Review. Parallel Review is a mechanism for FDA and CMS to simultaneously review the submitted clinical data to help decrease the time between FDA's approval of a premarket application or granting of a de novo classification and the subsequent CMS NCD.

Parallel Review has two stages. (1) FDA and CMS meet with the manufacturer to provide feedback on the proposed pivotal clinical trial within the FDA pre-submission process. And (2) FDA and CMS concurrently review (“in parallel”) the clinical trial results submitted in the PMA, or De Novo request.

FDA and CMS independently review the data to determine whether it meets their respective Agency's standards and communicate with the manufacturer during their respective reviews. This program is most successful for devices that have a significant amount of clinical evidence. (Candidates for parallel review would not be appropriate for simultaneous MCIT consideration.) Even though CMS has multiple coverage pathways, at this time none are readily available to provide immediate national coverage for new breakthrough devices with a Medicare benefit category at the same time as FDA market authorization.

Further, some of these new breakthrough devices are likely to have limited or developing bodies of clinical evidence because of the newness of the device. Therefore, the MCIT pathway can support manufacturers that are interested in combining coverage with their own clinical study to augment clinical evidence of improved health outcomes, particularly for Medicare patients. Given this summary of existing coverage pathways, we seek comment from the public regarding if any of these existing pathways should be modified to achieve the goals set out by E.O.

13890. D. MCIT Pathway We propose that the MCIT pathway would provide immediate national coverage for breakthrough devices beginning on the date of FDA market authorization and continue for up to 4 years, unless we determine the device does not have a Medicare benefit category as determined by us as part of the MCIT pathway process.

The MCIT pathway is voluntary (that is, manufacturers would affirmatively opt-in), and would be initiated when a manufacturer notifies CMS of its intention to utilize the MCIT pathway. (This notification process is described further in section III. Of this proposed rule.) We would subsequently coordinate with the manufacturer regarding steps that need to be taken for MCIT implementation purposes.

The frequency of subsequent engagement will be largely driven by whether the manufacturer has questions for CMS, or CMS and FDA. The timing of coverage will depend upon the timing of the FDA's market authorization decision. Engagements can take place in the form of in-person meetings, phone calls, emails, etc.

We intend to put devices that are covered through the MCIT pathway on the CMS website so that all stakeholders will be aware of what is covered through the MCIT pathway. Manufacturers of breakthrough devices will not be obligated or mandated by CMS to conduct clinical studies during Start Printed Page 54331coverage under the proposed MCIT pathway. However, we seek comment as to whether CMS should require or incentivize manufacturers to provide data about outcomes or should be obligated to enter into a clinical study similar to CMS's Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) paradigm.[] We are aware some manufacturers may be required by the FDA to conduct post market data collection as a condition of market authorization, and nothing in this proposed rule would alter that FDA requirement.

Manufacturers are encouraged to develop the clinical evidence base needed for one of the other coverage pathways after the MCIT pathway ends. This evidence is encouraged not only for CMS and private commercial health insurer coverage policies but also to better inform the clinical community and the public generally about the risks and benefits of treatment. CMS encourages early manufacturer engagement, both before and after FDA market authorization, for manufacturers to receive feedback from CMS on potential clinical study designs and clinical endpoints that may produce the evidence needed for a definitive coverage determination after MCIT.

This feedback would not involve CMS predicting specific coverage or non-coverage. In order to further the goals of E.O. 13890, CMS proposes to rely on FDA's breakthrough device designation and market authorization of those devices to define the universe of devices eligible for MCIT, except for those particular devices CMS determines do not have a Medicare benefit category or are statutorily excluded from coverage under Part A or Part B.

In order to provide immediate national coverage to innovative medical devices, we propose to establish a time limit on how long a breakthrough device can be eligible for MCIT (that is, considered a breakthrough device for coverage purposes). MCIT has a time limit on newness similar to our New Technology Add-on Payment (NTAP) policy. Eligibility for the NTAP is also time limited and this time limit applies to all new technologies, including breakthrough devices, for which an application for additional payment is submitted.

Additionally, the time-limited characteristic of MCIT will drive some manufacturers to leverage this period of coverage to demonstrate the value of their device in the competitive marketplace. The 4-year coverage period is particularly important for manufacturers of breakthrough devices that choose to further develop the clinical evidence basis on which the FDA granted marketing authorization. From our experience with clinical studies conducted as part of an NCD, 4 years is approximately the amount of time it takes to complete a study.

At the end of the 4-year MCIT pathway, coverage of the breakthrough device would be subject to one of these possible outcomes. (1) NCD (affirmative coverage, which may include facility or patient criteria). (2) NCD (non-coverage).

Or (3) MAC discretion (claim-by-claim adjudication or LCD). Manufacturers that are interested in a NCD are encouraged to submit a NCD request during the third year of MCIT to allow for sufficient time for NCD development. We seek public comment on whether CMS should open a national coverage analysis if a MAC has not issued an LCD for a breakthrough device within 6 months of the expiration date of the 4-year MCIT period.

In our analysis of the current coverage landscape to determine opportunities for innovation and efficiencies, we also considered modifying the coverage process for non-breakthrough devices (for example, PMAs because they are also new to the market), but ultimately determined that it was the unique characteristics of FDA designated breakthrough devices and their ability to serve unmet needs that resonated most with the E.O.'s direction to encourage innovation for patients. We also considered expedited coverage of newly market authorized and breakthrough devices when used in a clinical study. We seek public comment on the proposed MCIT pathway, the considerations described, whether any of the existing coverage pathways should be modified to achieve the goals set out by the E.O., and alternatives to these proposals.

We specifically seek public comment on whether the MCIT pathway should also include diagnostics, drugs and/or biologics that utilize breakthrough or expedited approaches at the FDA (for example, Breakthrough Therapy, Fast Track, Priority Review, Accelerated Approval) [] or all diagnostics, drugs and/or biologics. We seek data to support including these additional item categories in the MCIT pathway. Also, we specifically seek manufacturer input on whether an opt-in or opt-out approach would work best for utilizing the MCIT pathway.

We believe manufactures will welcome this new coverage pathway. We want to preserve manufacturers' business judgment and not assume which Medicare coverage pathway a given manufacturer of a breakthrough device would prefer (if any). Therefore, we have proposed an opt-in approach with an email to CMS to indicate affirmative interest in coverage.

We are interested in whether an opt-out approach would be less burdensome for stakeholders. If so, we encourage public comment on a process for stakeholders to opt-out of MCIT that would not be burdensome. Also, we seek public comment on whether, once a manufacturer has opted-out of coverage, it can subsequently opt-in to MCIT.

II. Provision of Proposed Regulations A. Defining “Reasonable and Necessary” As described in section I.

Of this proposed rule, the Secretary has authority to determine the meaning of “reasonable and necessary” under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. We are proposing to codify the longstanding Program Integrity Manual definition of “reasonable and necessary” into our regulations at 42 CFR 405.201(b), with modification. Under the current definition, an item or service is considered “reasonable and necessary” if it is (1) safe and effective.

(2) not experimental or investigational. And (3) appropriate, including the duration and frequency that is considered appropriate for the item or service, in terms of whether it is— Furnished in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient's condition or to improve the function of a malformed body member. Furnished in a setting appropriate to the patient's medical needs and condition.

Ordered and furnished by qualified personnel. One that meets, but does not exceed, the patient's medical need. And At least as beneficial as an existing and available medically appropriate alternative.

In addition to codifying the above criteria, we propose to include a separate basis under which an item or service would be appropriate under (3) above that is based on commercial health insurers' coverage policies (that is, non-governmental entities that sponsor health insurance plans). The Start Printed Page 54332commercial market analysis would be initiated if an item/service fails to fulfill the existing factor (3) criteria defining appropriate for Medicare patients but fulfills (1) safe and effective and (2) not experimental or investigational. By considering commercial health insurer coverage policies, CMS would bring together the expertise of private payers and CMS.

For example, in a recent NCD on acupuncture for chronic low back pain, CMS considered the technology assessments and coverage criteria among commercial health insurer coverage policies.[] We believe that this approach would be in line with E.O. 13890 that directs us to make technologies “widely available, consistent with the principles of patient safety, market-based policies, and value for patients.” Under this separate basis, we propose that an item or service would satisfy factor (3) if it is covered under a plan(s) coverage policy if offered in the commercial insurance market, unless evidence supports that differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals are clinically relevant. Under our proposal, we would exclude Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, and other government administered healthcare coverage programs from the types of coverage CMS would consider, as these enrollees are not in the commercial market.

In the following paragraphs, we seek comment on this proposal and on how best to implement this mechanism. We solicit comments on sources of data that could be used to implement this policy, and whether CMS should make this information public and transparent. We seek public comment on the most appropriate source(s) for these coverage policies and the best way to determine which commercial plan(s) we would rely on for Medicare coverage.

We seek comment on whether beneficiaries, providers, innovators, or others wishing to gain coverage for an item or service demonstrate that the item or service is covered by at least one commercial insurance plan policy. If they can provide CMS with evidence of commercial coverage or if CMS or its MACs identify such coverage from its review of compilations of health insurance offerings or data from other sources, CMS would consider factor (3) to be satisfied. We solicit comment on whether we should limit our consideration of commercial plan offerings or covered lives to a subset of the commercial market in the interest of simplicity, including looking at geographic subsets, subsets based on number of enrollees, subsets based on plan type (HMO, PPO, etc.), or other subsets of plans—including utilizing a singular plan.

We also seek comment on whether, given considerations such the variation and distribution of coverage policies and access to innovations, we should only cover an item or service if it is covered for a majority, or a different proportion such as a plurality, of covered lives amongst plans or a majority, plurality, or some other proportion of plan offerings in the commercial market. (A plan offering is a contract an insurer offers to its enrollees, and a single insurance company may provide many different offerings.) We also recognize that plan offerings may impose certain coverage restrictions on an item or service, e.g. Related to clinical criteria, disease stage, or number and frequency of treatment.

As greater access to innovative treatments provides beneficiaries with more opportunity to improve health and drive decisions, we would, when coverage is afforded on the basis of commercial coverage, adopt the least restrictive coverage policy for the item or service amongst the offerings we examine. However, given potential unreasonable or unnecessary utilization, we also solicit comment on whether we should instead adopt the most restrictive coverage policy. We are further considering, as another variation, that if coverage restrictions are largely similar and present across the majority of offerings, CMS would adopt these in its coverage policies.

We note that such coverage restrictions include the basic requirement for medical necessity at the level of individual patients. Medicare will still only pay for an item or service received by a beneficiary if it is medically necessary for the beneficiary. We seek comment on whether, if we were to take this approach, we should instead use a proportion other than a majority, as low as any offering and as high as all offerings, as a sufficient threshold.

As a final variation, we could defer, in the absence of an NCD or national policy, to the MACs to tailor the restrictions on coverage based on what they observe in the commercial market, just as we rely on MACs with regards to the current definition. We further solicit comment on whether to grant coverage for an item or service to the extent it meets the first and second factors and the commercial coverage basis for the third factor. Under this approach, we would only use the current definition of “appropriate” from the current PIM when the exception for clinically relevant differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals applies (or if the commercial coverage basis is determined by a proportion like a majority and there is insufficient commercial coverage information available).

We note that referring to commercial coverage in this way may expand or narrow the circumstances under which we will cover a particular item or service and therefore solicit comment on whether, under such an approach, we should grandfather our current coverage policies for items and services. We also emphasize that the MACs will continue to make judgements in evaluating individual claims for reimbursement, such that a decision by CMS that an item or service is reasonable and necessary in general does not mean that it is reasonable and necessary in all circumstances with respect to individual claims for reimbursement. We seek public comment on the most appropriate source(s) for these coverage policies.

Further, under our proposal, each MAC would be responsible for reviewing commercial offerings to inform their LCDs or claim by claim decisions, which would include individual medical necessity decisions. We may also allow the MACs to develop approaches to address any or all of the considerations outlined above, parallel to their current practice of making coverage decisions in the absence of an NCD or national policy. We solicit comment on the best role of the MACs, along these lines or otherwise.

We also solicit comment on whether the discretion to use the current criteria in the PIM when there is evidence to believe Medicare beneficiaries have different clinical needs should be exercised through the NCD process or in other ways, as well as what quantum of evidence should be sufficient. In sum, we are proposing to define the term “reasonable and necessary” based on the factors currently found in the PIM, plus an alternative basis for meeting factor (3) based on any coverage in the commercial market. We are also soliciting comment on an alternative under whether an item or service satisfies the commercial coverage basis for factor (3) is determined by how it is treated across a majority of covered lives amongst commercial plan offerings, as well as an alternative whereby an item or service would be appropriate for Medicare patients to the extent it is covered in the commercial market.

Start Printed Page 54333When evidence supports that differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals are clinically relevant, we would rely on the criteria in the current PIM. We would continue relying on local administration of the program by MACs (including coverage on a claim by claim basis and LCDs) and maintain our discretion to issue NCDs based on the final rule. We solicit comment on this proposed definition of reasonable and necessary, and alternatives outlined above, as well as other mechanisms or definitions we could establish for the term “reasonable and necessary”, and the merits and drawbacks associated with each, including the potential impact on Medicare program expenses or complexity.

We may finalize any variation or outgrowth of the policies described in this proposal, or some combination of these options in lieu of or in conjunction with our proposed definition. B. Application of the “Reasonable and Necessary” Standard to the MCIT Pathway We are proposing that, under the proposed MCIT pathway, an item or service that receives a breakthrough device designation from the FDA would be considered “reasonable and necessary” under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act because breakthrough devices have met the FDA's unique breakthrough devices criteria, and they are innovations that serve unmet needs.

While other devices are still considered new to the market, for example, PMAs and even some 510(k)s, the devices designated by the FDA as breakthrough are representative of true innovations in the marketplace. This application of the “reasonable and necessary” standard in this way would ensure that the MCIT pathway can provide a fast-track to Medicare coverage of innovative devices that may more effectively treat or diagnose life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating human disease or conditions. MCIT would improve healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries by providing national Medicare coverage for devices receiving the FDA breakthrough device designation, which are FDA market-authorized and used consistent with the FDA approved or cleared indication for use (also referred to as the “FDA required labeling”),[] so long as the breakthrough device is described in an appropriate Medicare benefit category under Part A or Part B and is not specifically excluded by statute.

We believe the criteria for qualification as a breakthrough device, as defined in section 515B(b) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360e-3(b)) is sufficient to satisfy the elements of the “reasonable and necessary” standard. The first breakthrough device designation criterion is that a device must “provide for more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating human disease or conditions” (21 U.S.C.

360e-3(b)(1)). The second criterion is that the device must satisfy one of the following elements. It represents a breakthrough technology.

There are no approved or cleared alternatives. It offers significant advantages over existing approved or cleared alternatives, including additional considerations outlined in the statute. Or availability of the device is in the best interest of patients (21 U.S.C.

360e-3(b)(2)). Thus, breakthrough devices are those that HHS has determined may provide better health outcomes for patients facing life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating human disease or conditions. We believe that a device meeting these criteria, once also FDA market authorized, is “reasonable and necessary” for purposes of Medicare coverage.

This proposed rule recognizes that the FDA market authorization of breakthrough devices warrants immediate coverage under the “reasonable and necessary” clause in section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. We previously stated that FDA determinations were not controlling determinations for Medicare coverage purposes under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. (For more information see the January 30, 1989 Federal Register (54 FR 4307) (“FDA approval for the marketing of a medical device will not necessarily lead to a favorable coverage recommendation.

. . €) and the August 7, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 48165) (“However, FDA approval or clearance alone does not entitle that technology to Medicare coverage.”) Under the Secretary's broad authority to interpret section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act (supra section I.A.), we are revising our interpretation of the statute because of the practical concerns that our current standards have delayed access to a unique set of innovative devices that FDA has found to be safe and effective, and we believe are “reasonable and necessary” for purposes of Medicare coverage.

In light of E.O. 13890, the Secretary has determined that application of the current standards for making “reasonable and necessary” determinations may take too long following FDA market authorization of breakthrough devices. More importantly, the existing standard has not always provided Medicare beneficiaries adequate access to certain breakthrough medical devices when needed to improve health outcomes.

We are proposing that breakthrough devices per se meet the reasonable and necessary standard in order to increase access and to reduce the delay from FDA market authorization to Medicare coverage. C. MCIT Pathway We are proposing the MCIT pathway to deliver on the Administration's commitment to provide access to breakthrough devices to Medicare beneficiaries.

The MCIT pathway provides up to 4 years of national coverage to newly FDA market authorized breakthrough devices. We are aware that this coverage may also facilitate evidence development on devices for the Medicare population because manufacturers can gather additional data on utilization of the device during the MCIT coverage period. 1.

Definitions In § 405.601(a) we are proposing that the MCIT pathway is voluntary. Operationally, we propose that manufacturers of breakthrough devices notify CMS of their intention to elect MCIT shortly after receiving notice from the FDA of being granted the breakthrough device designation. Ideally, this notification would be sent to CMS within 2 weeks of receiving breakthrough designation.

However, entities would not be penalized for notifying CMS after that time. Alternatively, submitting a notification to CMS shortly before or concurrently with the date of the FDA marketing submission should also afford CMS sufficient time to operationalize MCIT for the device. The CMS Coverage and Analysis Group would establish an email box for these inquires.

This notification alerts CMS to offer guidance to manufacturers about the MCIT pathway and point to resources for coding and payment, which are key conversations to effectuate coverage upon FDA market authorization. We intend to utilize the existing coverage implementation processes to be prepared to offer coverage immediately upon the FDA market authorization. In § 405.601(b), we propose the following definitions for the purposes of 42 CFR part 405.

We propose to define Start Printed Page 54334“breakthrough device” as a medical device that receives such designation by the FDA (section 515B(d)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360e-3(d)(1))). We also propose to define, for the sake of clarity in the rule, that the acronym MCIT stands for Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology.

2. MCIT Pathway Device Eligibility In § 405.603(a) we propose that the pathway is available to devices that meet the definitions proposed in § 405.601. Based on the explicit mention of devices in E.O.

13890 and our interaction and feedback from stakeholders who expressed their concern that there is more uncertainty of coverage for devices than for other items and services (for example, diagnostics, drugs and biologics), this proposed policy is for devices only. We propose in § 405.603(b) that the breakthrough devices that received FDA market authorization no more than 2 calendar years prior to the effective date of this subpart (the date the final rule is finalized) and thereafter will be eligible for coverage for claims submitted on or after the effective date of this rule. Claims for breakthrough devices with dates of service that occurred before the effective date of this rule would not be covered through MCIT.

For example, a hypothetical breakthrough device that was FDA market authorized on October 1, 2018, and utilized on January 1, 2020 would not be eligible for coverage under MCIT because on January 1, 2020, the date of service, the final MCIT rule was not yet legally in effect. In contrast, a claim for utilization of the same hypothetical breakthrough device with a date of service on January 1, 2021 might be eligible for coverage if the claim occurred after the effective date of the rule (assuming that the effective date of the rule was prior to January 1, 2021). Breakthrough devices market authorized prior to the effective date of this rule will not be eligible for all 4 years of coverage.

The 4-year period starts on the date of FDA market authorization. For example, a breakthrough device market authorized on October 1, 2018 would have claims covered through MCIT from the effective date of the final rule until October 1, 2022. If a manufacturer initially chooses to not utilize the MCIT pathway, and then chooses to do so some time after the breakthrough device's market authorization, coverage still only lasts 4 years from the date of FDA market authorization.

We seek comment on this eligibility criterion for devices and specifically the 2 year lookback. We propose in § 405.603(c) that to be part of the MCIT pathway, the device must be used according to its FDA approved or cleared indication for use. We propose that the device is only covered for use consistent with its FDA approved or cleared indication for use because that is the indication and conditions for use that were reviewed by the FDA and authorized for marketing.

Data are unlikely to be available to support extending beyond the FDA required labeling for breakthrough devices on the date of marketing authorization. Use of the device for a condition or population that is not labeled (“off-label”) will not be covered as that use would not be FDA authorized. We specifically seek comment on whether off-label use of breakthrough devices should be covered and, if so, under what specific circumstances and/or evidentiary support.

In § 405.603(d) and (e), we additionally propose limitations to what is coverable under the Act. In § 405.603(e), we are proposing that if CMS has issued an NCD on a particular breakthrough device, that breakthrough device is not eligible for MCIT. We are proposing this because, once the device has been reviewed by CMS for the FDA required approved or cleared indication for use.

CMS has made a coverage determination based on the available evidence for that technology. We believe this would happen rarely because breakthrough devices are new technologies that are not likely to have been previously reviewed through the NCD process. In § 405.603(f), we acknowledge that devices in the MCIT pathway may be excluded due to statute or regulation (for example, 42 CFR 411.15, Particular services excluded from coverage) and, like other items and services coverable by Medicare, the device must fall within the scope of a Medicare benefit category under section 1861 of the Act and the implementing regulations.

If the device does not fall within a Medicare benefit category as outlined in the statute and implementing regulations, the device is not eligible for Medicare coverage. Therefore, the device would not be eligible for the MCIT pathway. 3.

General Coverage of Items and Services under the MCIT Pathway We propose in § 405.605 that devices covered under the MCIT pathway are covered no differently from devices that are covered outside of MCIT. In other words, provided the items and services are otherwise coverable (that is, not specifically excluded and not found by CMS to be outside the scope of a Medicare benefit category), covered items and services could include the device, reasonable and necessary surgery to implant the device, if implantable, related care and services costs of the device (for example, replacing reasonable and necessary parts of the device such as a battery), and coverage of any reasonable and necessary treatments due to complications arising from use of the device. What the MCIT pathway offers compared to other pathways is predictable national coverage simultaneous with FDA market authorization that will generally last for a set time period.

The proposed MCIT pathway would support and accelerate beneficiary access to certain innovative devices. CMS encourages manufacturers that have breakthrough devices covered under MCIT to develop additional data for the healthcare community. 4.

MCIT Pathway for Breakthrough Devices. 4 Years of Coverage In § 405.607(a), we propose that the MCIT pathway for coverage would begin on the same date the device receives FDA market authorization. We propose this point in time to ensure there is no gap between Medicare coverage and FDA market authorization.

This supports the MCIT pathway's focus of ensuring beneficiaries have a predictable access to new devices. We propose in § 405.607(b)(1) that the MCIT pathway for breakthrough devices ends 4 years from the date the device received FDA market authorization. We propose this 4 year time period because it could allow manufacturers to develop clinical evidence and data regarding the benefit of the use of their device in a real world setting.

For example, we believe 4 years would allow most manufacturers sufficient time to complete FDA required post-approval or other real-world data collection studies that may have been a condition of FDA market authorization. This assumption is based upon our historical experience with studies conducted through coverage with evidence development (CED). Further, this time period allows Medicare to support manufacturers that, whether required by the FDA or not, have an interest in better understanding the health outcomes of their device in the Medicare population, including impacts on patient-reported and longer-term outcomes.

Further, § 405.607(b) proposes reasons that the MCIT pathway may end prior to 4 years. This includes circumstances whereby the device becomes subject to an NCD, regulation, statute, or if the device can no longer be lawfully marketed.Start Printed Page 54335 D. Summary In summary, the MCIT pathway would provide immediate Medicare coverage of newly FDA market authorized breakthrough devices for 4 years.

We seek public comment on all of our proposals. In particular, we seek feedback on whether the proposed 4 year coverage period is sufficient. We also look to stakeholders and the public to determine the level of interest and expected use of the proposed MCIT pathway so the agency can begin to estimate the level of needed resources to support successful implementation.

We are also seeking public comments on our proposal to codify in regulations the standards we have historically used in making reasonable and necessary decisions under Part A and Part B under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. After considering public comments we would prepare a final rule that we expect would be effective 60 days after publication of the final rule. III.

Collection of Information Requirements Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are required to provide 60-day notice in the Federal Register and solicit public comment before a collection of information requirement is submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. In order to fairly evaluate whether an information collection should be approved by OMB, section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires that we solicit comment on the following issues. The need for the information collection and its usefulness in carrying out the proper functions of our agency.

The accuracy of our estimate of the information collection burden. The quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. Recommendations to minimize the information collection burden on the affected public, including automated collection techniques.

We are soliciting public comment on each of the section 3506(c)(2)(A)-required issues for the following sections of this document that contain information collection requirements (ICRs). To derive average costs, we used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2018 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for all salary estimates (https://www.bls.gov/​oes/​current/​oes131041.htm, released May 2019).

In this regard, the table that follows presents the mean hourly wage, the cost of fringe benefits (calculated at 100 percent of salary), and the adjusted hourly wage. Table 1—National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for MCITOccupation titleOccupation codeMean hourly wage ($/hr)Fringe benefit ($/hr)Adjusted hourly wage ($/hr)Compliance Officer13-104134.8634.8669.72 As indicated, we are adjusting our employee hourly wage estimates by a factor of 100 percent. This is necessarily a rough adjustment, both because fringe benefits and overhead costs vary significantly from employer to employer.

Nonetheless, there is no practical alternative and we believe that doubling the hourly wage to estimate total cost is a reasonably accurate estimation method. This proposed coverage pathway allows for a voluntary participation and therefore necessitates that manufacturers of breakthrough devices notify CMS of their intent to enter the MCIT pathway. Therefore, the burden associated with notifying CMS is the time and effort it would take for each of the organizations to send CMS an email or letter.

We anticipate two MCIT pathway participants in the first year based upon the number of medical devices that received FY2020 NTAP and were non-covered in at least one MAC jurisdiction by LCDs and related articles. We estimate notifying CMS of intent to participate in MCIT would involve 15 minutes at $69.72 per hour by a compliance officer. In this regard, we estimate 15 mins per notification at a cost of $17.43 per organization (0.25 hours × $69.72).

In aggregate, we estimate 0.5 hours (0.25 hours × 2 submissions) at $34.86 ($17.43 × 2 submissions). After the anticipated initial 2 submitters, over the next 3 years we expect 3 submitters in year 2, 4 submitters in year 3, and 5 submitters in year 4 to notify CMS of interested in the MCIT pathway. We expect this increase in submitters each year to level off at this point.

In this regard, we estimate the same 0.25 hours per submission at a cost of $17.43 per organization. Similarly, in aggregate, we estimate, for year 2 (0.75 hours at $52.29 an hour), for year 3 (1.0 hour at $69.72 an hour), and for year 4 (1.25 hours at $87.15 an hour). The proposed requirements and burden will be submitted to OMB under control number 0938-NEW.

We are requesting public comments on these information collection and recordkeeping requirements. If you comment on these information collection and recordkeeping requirements, please do either of the following. 1.

Submit your comments electronically as specified in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. Or 2. Submit your comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention.

CMS Desk Officer, CMS-3372-P, Fax. (202) 395-6974. Or Email.

OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov. Comments must be received on/by November 2, 2020. IV.

Regulatory Impact Statement This proposed rule makes Medicare coverage policy updates pursuant to the authority at section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act. We are using regulatory action per the October 3, 2019 “Executive Order on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation's Seniors” to address the increasing need for a swift Medicare coverage mechanism to allow beneficiaries across the nation to access breakthrough devices faster after FDA market authorization. This proposed rule addresses that need by establishing a coverage pathway that will allow immediate beneficiary access to FDA market authorized breakthrough devices.

We have examined the impact of this proposed rule as required by Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (September 30, 1993), Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review (January 18, 2011), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (September 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), section 1102(b) of the Social Security Act, section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (March 22, 1995.

Pub. L. 104-4), Start Printed Page 54336Executive Order 13132 on Federalism (August 4, 1999), the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C.

804(2)), and Executive Order 13771 on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (January 30, 2017). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year).

This proposed rule does reach the economic threshold and thus is considered a major rule. Regulatory alternatives to this proposed rule were to combine Medicare coverage with clinical evidence development under section 1862(a)(1)(E) of the Act, to take no regulatory action at this time, or to adjust the duration of the MCIT pathway. Combining coverage with clinical evidence development would have met the E.O.

13890 overarching goal of beneficiary access to breakthrough devices. However, this alternative did not meet the other E.O. 13890 aims of minimizing time between FDA market authorization and Medicare coverage and wide availability.

The timing of coverage would depend upon the manufacturer being able to initiate a clinical study and the wide availability of coverage could be an issue if providers did not have the infrastructure necessary to participate in the clinical study. CMS chose to not to pursue combining coverage with evidence development for breakthrough devices because we wanted to meet the timing and wide availability aims of E.O. 13890.

CMS also considered taking no regulatory action and trying to leverage the existing Medicare coverage pathways or proposing sub-regulatory policies to achieve the streamlined coverage process described in E.O. 13890. Taking no action would not have resulted in the desired national coverage and access envisioned in E.O.

13890 because, as described in this preamble, the existing coverage pathways do not consistently provide swift, national beneficiary access to innovative devices. As discussed elsewhere in the preamble, the nature of the problem being addressed by this proposed regulation is a potential delay between a milestone such as FDA market authorization and CMS coverage. As such, we request comment on a policy option of shortening of the duration of the MCIT pathway from the proposed 4 years to 1 year.

In addition to the alternatives just discussed, there are various possibilities regarding how to change the definition of “reasonable and necessary”—for example, whether to include a new aspect of the proposed definition that focuses on commercial insurance coverage practices. As noted earlier in the preamble, the goal of this revision is to expand coverage. However, the nuances of the definition would affect the magnitude of the impact and we request comment that would facilitate quantification of effects and comparison of alternatives at the final rule stage.

The impact of implementing the MCIT pathway is difficult to determine without knowing the specific technologies that would be covered. In addition, many of these technologies would be eligible for coverage in the absence of this rule, such as through a local or national coverage determination, so the impact for certain items may be the acceleration of coverage or adoption by just a few months. Furthermore, some of these devices would be covered immediately if the MACs decide to pay for them, which would result in no impact on Medicare spending for devices approved under this pathway.

However, it is possible that some of these innovative technologies would not otherwise be eligible for coverage in the absence of this rule. Because it is not known how these new technologies would otherwise come to market and be reimbursed, it is not possible to develop a point estimate of the impact. In general, we believe the MCIT coverage pathway would range in impact from having no impact on Medicare spending, to a temporary cost for innovations that are adopted under an accelerated basis.

The decision to enter the MCIT pathway is voluntary for the manufacturer. Because manufacturers typically join the Medicare coverage pathway that is most beneficial to them, this would result in selection against the existing program coverage pathways (to what degree is unknown at this point). In addition, the past trend of new technology costing more than existing technology could lead to a higher cost for Medicare if this trend continued for technologies enrolling in the MCIT pathway.

Nevertheless, new technology may also mitigate ongoing chronic health issues or improve efficiency of services thereby reducing some costs for Medicare. In order to demonstrate the potential impact on Medicare spending, the CMS Office of the Actuary (OACT) developed three hypothetical scenarios that illustrate the impact of implementing the proposed MCIT pathway. Scenarios two and three assume that the device would not have been eligible for coverage in the absence of this proposed rule.

(See Table 2) The illustration used the new devices that applied for a NTAP in FY 2020 as a proxy for the new devices that would utilize the MCIT pathway. The submitted cost and anticipated utilization for these devices was published in the Federal Register.[] In addition, we assumed that two manufacturers would elect to utilize the MCIT pathway in the first year, three manufacturers in the second year, four manufacturers in the third year, and five manufacturers in the fourth year each year for all three scenarios. This assumption is based on the number of medical devices that received FY 2020 NTAP and were non-covered in at least one MAC jurisdiction by LCDs and related articles and our impression from the FDA that the number of devices granted breakthrough status is increasing.

For the first scenario, the no-cost scenario, we assumed that all the devices would be eligible for coverage in the absence of the proposed rule. If the devices received payment nationally and at the same time then there would be no additional cost under this pathway. For the second scenario, the low-cost scenario, we assumed that the new technologies would have the average costs ($2,044) and utilization (2,322 patients) of similar technologies included in the FY 2020 NTAP application cycle.

Therefore, to estimate the first year of MCIT, we multiplied the add-on payment for a new device by the anticipated utilization for a new device by the number of anticipated devices in the pathway ($2,044 × 2,322 × 2 = $ 9.5 million). For the third scenario, the high-cost scenario, we assumed the new technologies would receive the maximum add-on payment from the FY 2020 NTAP application cycle ($22,425) and the highest utilization of a device (6,500 patients). Therefore, to estimate for the first year of MCIT, we estimated similarly ($22,425 × 6,500 patients × 2 = $ 291.5 million).

For subsequent years, we increased the number of anticipated devices in the pathway by three, four, and five in the last two scenarios until 2024.[] In addition to Start Printed Page 54337not taking into account inflation, the illustration does not reflect any offsets for the costs of these technologies that would be utilized through existing authorities nor the cost of other treatments (except as noted). It is not possible to explicitly quantify these offsetting costs but they could substantially reduce or eliminate the net program cost. However, by assuming that only two to five manufacturers will elect MCIT coverage, we have implicitly assumed that, while more manufacturers could potentially elect coverage under MCIT, the majority of devices would have been covered under a different coverage pathway.

Therefore, a substantial portion of the offsetting costs are implicitly reflected. Based on this analysis, there is a range of potential impacts of the proposed MCIT coverage pathway as shown in Table 2. The difference between the three estimates demonstrates how sensitive the impact is to the cost and utilization of these unknown devices.

Table 2—Illustrated Impact on the Medicare Program by Proposed MCIT Coverage Pathway Costs (in millions)FY 2021FY 2022FY 2023FY 2024No-cost Scenario$0$0$0$0Low-cost Scenario9.523.742.766.4High-cost Scenario291.5728.81,311.92,040.7 We believe the assumptions used in the three scenarios are reasonable to show the possible wide range of impacts for implementing this proposed pathway, in particular for a technology that would not have otherwise been eligible for coverage. The RFA requires agencies to analyze options for regulatory relief of small entities. For purposes of the RFA, small entities include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

Some hospitals and other providers and suppliers are small entities, either by nonprofit status or by having revenues of less than $7.5 million to $38.5 million in any 1 year. Individuals and States are not included in the definition of a small entity. We reviewed the Small Business Administration's Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes to determine the NAICS U.S.

Industry titles and size standards in millions of dollars and/or number of employees that apply to small businesses that could be impacted by this rule.[] We determined that small businesses potentially impacted may include surgical and medical instrument manufacturers (NAICS code 339112, dollars not provided/1,000 employees), Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists) (NAICS code 621111, $12 million/employees not provided), and Freestanding Ambulatory Surgical and Emergency Centers (NAICS code 621493, $16.5 million/employees not provided). During the first 4 years of MCIT, we anticipate approximately 14 surgical and medical instrument manufacturers may participate, and based off of U.S. Census data, the majority of this businesses type are small businesses with less than 1,000 employees (968 out of 1,093 businesses have less than 500 employees).[] As such, this proposed rule would impact less than 5 percent of these businesses, and the revenue impact, if any, would not be negative.

Rather, it would be a positive impact because MCIT would provide Medicare coverage (and subsequent payment) to providers who purchase the devices from these manufacturers. For Offices of Physicians (except Mental Health Specialists) and Freestanding Ambulatory Surgical and Emergency Centers that may be providing the breakthrough devices, the majority are small businesses with less than 1,000 employees (4,060 out of 4,385 and 160, 367 out of 161, 286 have less than 500 employees, respectively).[] Given that we estimate, at most in the high-cost scenario, that 6,500 beneficiaries would utilize breakthrough devices through MCIT per year, and even if each beneficiary were to access services at only one of these small businesses (that is, no two beneficiaries used the same office or center), still less than 5 percent of these small businesses would be impacted by MCIT. As such, the revenue impact, if any, would not be negative, rather, it would be a positive impact because MCIT would provide Medicare coverage (and subsequent payment) to providers.

Overall, this proposed rule results in a payment, not a reduction in revenue. We are not preparing a further analysis for the RFA because we have determined, and the Secretary certifies, that this proposed rule will not have a significant negative economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because small entities are not being asked to undertake additional effort or take on additional costs outside of the ordinary course of business through this proposed rule. Rather, for small entities that develop or provide breakthrough devices to patients, this proposed rule is a means for the device to be covered through the Medicare program, which does not detract from revenue and could be viewed as a positive economic impact.

With the limited information we had to base this estimate, we solicit public comment on improvements to this estimate for the final rule. In addition, section 1102(b) of the Act requires us to prepare a regulatory impact analysis if a rule may have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals. This analysis must conform to the provisions of section 603 of the RFA.

For purposes of section 1102(b) of the Act, we define a small rural hospital Start Printed Page 54338as a hospital that is located outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area for Medicare payment regulations and has fewer than 100 beds. We are not preparing an analysis for section 1102(b) of the Act because we have determined, and the Secretary certifies, that this proposed rule would not have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals because small rural hospitals are not being asked to undertake additional effort or take on additional costs outside of the ordinary course of business through this proposed rule. Obtaining breakthrough devices for patients is at the discretion of providers.

We are not requiring the purchase and use of breakthrough devices. Providers should continue to work with their patients to choose the best treatment. For small rural hospitals that provide breakthrough devices to their patients, this proposed rule is a means for the device to be covered through the Medicare program.

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 also requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2020, that threshold was approximately $156 million. This proposed rule would have no consequential effect on State, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector.

Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. Since this regulation does not impose any costs on State or local governments, the requirements of Executive Order 13132 are not applicable. Executive Order 13771 (E.O.

13771), titled Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, was issued on January 30, 2017. This proposed rule, if finalized as proposed, is expected to impose no more than de minimis costs and thus be neither an E.O. 13771 regulatory action nor an E.O.

13771 deregulatory action. In accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866, this proposed rule was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. V.

Response to Comments Because of the large number of public comments we normally receive on Federal Register documents, we are not able to acknowledge or respond to them individually. We will consider all comments we receive by the date and time specified in the DATES section of this preamble, and, when we proceed with a subsequent document, we will respond to the comments in the preamble to that document. Start List of Subjects Administrative practice and procedureDiseasesHealth facilitiesHealth professionsMedical devicesMedicareReporting and recordkeeping requirementsRural areasX-rays End List of Subjects For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Centers for Medicare &.

Medicaid Services proposes to amend 42 CFR chapter IV as set forth below. Start Part End Part Start Amendment Part1. The authority for part 405 continues to read as follows.

End Amendment Part Start Authority 42 U.S.C. 263a, 405(a), 1302, 1320b-12, 1395x, 1395y(a), 1395ff, 1395hh, 1395kk, 1395rr, and 1395ww(k). End Authority Start Amendment Part2.

Section 405.201 is amended in paragraph (b) by adding the definition of “Reasonable and necessary” in alphabetical order to read as follows. End Amendment Part Scope of subpart and definitions. * * * * * (b) * * * Reasonable and necessary means that an item or service is considered— (1) Safe and effective.

(2) Except as set forth in § 411.15(o)) of this chapter, not experimental or investigational. And (3) Appropriate for Medicare patients, including the duration and frequency that is considered appropriate for the item or service, in terms of whether it (i) Meets all of the following criteria. (A) Furnished in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient's condition or to improve the function of a malformed body member.

(B) Furnished in a setting appropriate to the patient's medical needs and condition. (C) Ordered and furnished by qualified personnel. (D) One that meets, but does not exceed, the patient's medical need.

And (E) At least as beneficial as an existing and available medically appropriate alternative. Or (ii) Is covered by commercial insurers, unless evidence supports that differences between Medicare beneficiaries and commercially insured individuals are clinically relevant. * * * * * Start Amendment Part3.

Subpart F, consisting of §§ 405.601-405.607, is added to read as follows. End Amendment Part 405.601 Medicare coverage of innovative technology. 405.603 Medical device eligibility.

405.605 Coverage of items and services. 405.607 Coverage period. Medicare coverage of innovative technology.

(a) Basis and scope. Medicare coverage of innovative technology (MCIT) is a program that provides national, time-limited coverage under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act for certain breakthrough medical devices. Manufacturer participation in the pathway for breakthrough device coverage is voluntary.

(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this subpart, the following definitions are applicable. Breakthrough device means a device that receives such designation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (section 515B(d)(1) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C.

360e-3(d)(1)). MCIT stands for Medicare coverage of innovative technology. Medical device eligibility.

The MCIT pathway is available only to medical devices that meet all of the following. (a) That are FDA-designated breakthrough devices. (b) That are FDA market authorized at most [date 2 years prior to effective date of final rule] and thereafter.

(c) That are used according to their FDA approved or cleared indication for use. (d) That are within a Medicare benefit category. (e) That are not the subject of a Medicare national coverage determination.

(f) That are not otherwise excluded from coverage through law or regulation. Coverage of items and services. Covered items and services furnished within the MCIT pathway may include any of the following, if not otherwise excluded from coverage.

(a) The breakthrough device. (b) Any reasonable and necessary procedures to implant the breakthrough device.Start Printed Page 54339 (c) Reasonable and necessary costs to maintain the breakthrough device. (d) Related care and services for the breakthrough device.

(e) Reasonable and necessary services to treat complications arising from use of the breakthrough device. Coverage period. (a) Start of the period.

The MCIT pathway begins on the date the breakthrough device receives FDA market authorization. (b) End of the period. The MCIT pathway for a breakthrough device ends as follows.

(1) No later than 4 years from the date the breakthrough device received FDA market authorization. (2) Prior to 4 years if a manufacturer withdraws the breakthrough device from the MCIT pathway. (3) Prior to 4 years if the breakthrough device becomes the subject of a national coverage determination or otherwise becomes noncovered through law or regulation.

Start Signature Dated. May 4, 2020. Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare &.

Alex M. Azar II, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc.

2020-19289 Filed 8-31-20. 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4120-01-P.