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Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

CORONAVIRUS WORRIES CONTINUE AFTER EMERGENCY FUNDING BILL Congressional approval last week of emergency spending to address the coronavirus hasn’t allayed Capitol Hill’s concerns about preparedness and response as the impact of the virus in the United States rapidly escalates. Two lawmakers – Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. – announced this weekend … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

AZAR TO TESTIFY THIS WEEK BEFORE HOUSE, SENATE COMMITTEES Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar faces a marathon week of testimony, appearing before four congressional committees to discuss his department’s fiscal 2021 budget. In addition to funding issues, Azar is likely to face questions on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Last … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

SURPRISE BILLING PROGRESS DRIVES THE WEEK Legislation to address surprise medical bills is moving forward this week, as two House committees mark up their own plans to protect patients. After progress stalled at the end of last year, the House Ways and Means Committee jump-started it by announcing it would move forward with its proposal. … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

SURPRISE BILLING FIX REGAINING TRACTION? Legislation to address unexpected bills for out-of-network medical care appears to be making a comeback, after a committee turf battle stalled its progress at the end of last year. House leaders want to pass a bill by May, when they intentionally created a deadline for several popular health programs that will need … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

CONCERNS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS GROW ON CAPITOL HILL As coronavirus cases continue to emerge in the United States and worldwide, lawmakers are seeking briefings from federal health officials about the outbreak that originated in China and what steps U.S. health agencies are taking to protect Americans. Five cases were confirmed in the United States, but there … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

NEW SENATOR JOINS HEALTH COMMITTEE Newly sworn-in Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., is the newest member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Loeffler took the oath of office last week, replacing retired Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., praised Loeffler as having the background and skills to “immediately become an … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

SPRING DEADLINE DRIVES 2020 HEALTH POLICY AGENDA Few policy issues consumed more political oxygen on Capitol Hill last year than prescription drug prices and surprise medical bills – but without significant legislative achievement on either. But Congress is going to try again, setting up a spring deadline to force action on key healthcare provisions. Despite … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

ACA TAXES ON CHOPPING BLOCK IN YEAR-END BUDGET DEAL Congressional leaders are poised to announce an agreement today that would permanently repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) taxes on medical device manufacturers, insurers and high-cost health plans as part of a spending package that would avoid a government shutdown later this week. If the tax … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

YEAR-END LEGISLATIVE OVERDRIVE This week is crunch time on a host of legislative priorities, and various health-related provisions hang in the balance. Lawmakers and staff worked all weekend negotiating on legislation to fund the government beyond next Friday’s deadline, when current funding expires. As the only true must-pass legislative vehicle before the end of the … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

HEALTH PROVISIONS FACE UNCERTAINTY AS CONGRESS RETURNS FOR BUSY DECEMBER Congress returns to Washington this week after the Thanksgiving holiday with only 18 days before the government runs out of money – and that’s not even the most important issue lawmakers will face in what is shaping up as a cramped year-end calendar. In addition … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

UPDATE ON DRUG PRICING LEGISLATION AS CONGRESS RECONVENES Congress reconvenes this week after a monthlong summer recess and begins what likely will be a final push toward overhauling prescription drug prices, but lack of consensus on the underlying policy and the intensifying 2020 presidential campaign will complicate efforts to advance a bill to President Donald … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session. SENATORS RACE TO FINISH DRUG PRICING BILL AS TRUMP PLANS STALL With only 15 legislative days before a scheduled monthlong recess, Senate leaders are scrambling this week to seek consensus on ambitious legislation to lower prescription drug … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Below is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session. Note that because Congress will be in recess for the Memorial Day holiday, the next “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update” will be posted on June 3. LAWMAKERS QUESTION DEMOCRATS’ STRATEGY ON DRUG PRICING House Democrats last week combined … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

Here is this week’s “Capitol Hill Healthcare Update,” which is posted on Mondays when Congress is in session HOUSE TO VOTE ON BILL COMBINING ACA, DRUG PRICING PROVISIONS The House is scheduled to vote on legislation Thursday that would package new funding for state-based marketplaces and enrollment outreach efforts under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with provisions designed to … Continue Reading

Deter Workforce Snooping in Electronic Medical Records Through Education and Training

On March 6, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Linda Sue Kalina pled guilty to wrongfully disclosing the protected health information (PHI) of another individual in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Kalina was a patient information coordinator with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) … Continue Reading

Senate Democrats recently introduced the Stop Price Gouging Act

Senate Democrats recently introduced the Stop Price Gouging Act (S. 378), which seeks to place an excise tax on pharmaceutical companies in proportion to price spikes on prescription drugs. The bill generally requires a company to justify to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) any spike in prescription drug prices, but it is … Continue Reading
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