Joint Response to CMS-1694-P: Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Proposed Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2019 Rates

June 14, 2018

Thank you for the opportunity to provide our comments on the proposed rule entitled, “Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Proposed Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2019 Rates” (Proposed Rule). We urge CMS to immediately address the critical underfunding of certain…

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Joint Response to Senate HELP Draft PAHPA Discussion

May 18, 2018

AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks), America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross commend the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s commitment to improving the nation’s preparedness and response capabilities through the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) and appreciate the opportunity to comment…

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Statement of America’s Blood Centers Hearing on “Preparedness, Response, and Rebuilding: Lessons from the 2017 Disasters” U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee March 14, 2018

March 15, 2018

America’s Blood Centers (ABC) is North America’s largest network of non-profit community blood centers, who collectively provide over half of the blood supply in the United States, operate more than 600 blood donation sites, produce over 12 million units of whole blood and blood components, and support over 3,500 hospitals and health care facilities. We…

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Joint Comments on Request for Removal of Hydroxyethyl Starch from the U.S. Market

February 6, 2018

The complaint from Public Citizen referenced in this docket requests removal of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) from the U.S. market. America’s Blood Centers, the American Red Cross, AABB and the American Society for Apheresis oppose this. These solutions met the extant regulatory requirements for approval when originally submitted, but the extensive literature on their lack of…

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Onward and Upward—Journey to the Cloud

January 19, 2018

Cloud computing is bringing us closer to the utility information technology (IT) model: functionality on-demand, elasticity to increase or decrease resources as needed, and accessibility—the ability to access it from connected devices in any location. Deployment models can be private (services from internal hardware), public (services from a public provider), or a hybrid (services delivered…

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Follow the Data

January 12, 2018

At the recent Blood Products Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting (ABC Newsletter #42), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) heard the committee’s endorsement for moving from the current universal individual donation nucleic acid testing (ID-NAT) for Zika virus (ZIKV) to a model used for West Nile Virus (WNV) donor screening—screening using minipools (MP-NAT) to reduce…

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A Bridge Too Far

December 15, 2017

The Trump administration would forbid using the terms “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based” in 2018 budget documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The original story is here. This is not the first attempt to muzzle an agency, but it is the first affecting one with which the blood…

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BPAC Outcomes

December 8, 2017

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Blood Products Advisory Committee (BPAC) met for two full days of sausage making—not always pretty, but the committee came up with a tasty product. Two topics were of particular interest to ABC member blood centers. Bacterial contamination of platelets was the subject of draft guidances from…

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Harvey & Irma Silver Lining: the HERF

November 13, 2017

The recent hurricanes more than earned their status as disasters from the despair, death, and destruction they left in their wakes. For us blood bankers the successful launch of an industry-wide, grassroots relief program has, at least, proven to be a positive outcome. The Hurricane Emergency Relief Fund (HERF), launched August 31st by Blood Centers…

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Introducing the ABC Public Policy Council

November 3, 2017

The newly appointed ABC Board of Directors held its first day-long meeting in Chicago on October 18th. As part of ABC’s re-alignment, the Board has affirmed building a unified advocacy presence for the membership as the central focus of ABC. This will be supported by scientific, medical, technical, quality, and regulatory strength. In doing so,…

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