It’s the end of April and this month’s hot topics were Medicare, celebrity deaths, and the AI-generated songs by deceased artists.

Medicaid/ Medicare Coverage

It’s been a busy month for Medicaid and Medicare. Here’s what you missed:

The Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services (Access rule) final rule is scheduled to be published May 10, 2024. The rule addresses dimensions of access across both Medicaid FFS and managed care delivery systems, including HCBS. For a breakdown of the final rule, check out the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services article.

A Yale study warns that proposed Medicaid changes including increasing the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 and adding a work requirement for Medicaid coverage, could lead to thousands of deaths.

Earlier this month Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released another Medicare Program final rule. This new rule limits third-party marketers’ ability to share and sell data and Medicare leads to insurance carriers, brokers and other TPMO’s.

Celebrity Wills

O.J. Simpson died of of prostate cancer at the age of 76 on April 10, 2024. After his death, there were multiple calls for Simpson’s brain to be donated for research on CTE, a degenerative brain disease linked to football players. But, O.J.’s executor and long time attorney told news outlets that the plan is to cremate his entire body. The executor of the estate also said that he will fight to prevent the payout of a $33.5 million judgment awarded to the families of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

With the rise of AI, a new trend is emerging in celebrity wills- restrictions on the use of their voice. The idea isn’t completely new. Celebrities, like Robin Williams, have included stipulations in their estate plans that prevent the use of their likeness for certain periods of time. Meghan Trainor recently told a reporter that her will now includes provisions against the use of her voice. This follows an internet trend of using AI technology to create “deep fake” content. More recently, the trend has been used to create songs using AI-generated celebrity voices of artists both alive and deceased. Earlier this month, the Estate of Tupac Shakur threatened to sue Drake over the use of an AI generated version of the late rapper’s voice. The song, a diss track against Kendrick Lamar, is called “Taylor Made” and includes fake, AI generated verses from both 2pac and Snoop Dogg. The estate claims this is a violation of the estate’s legal rights over the likeness and image of Tupac. Drake later took down the song.

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