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Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

HOUSE OKs DOZENS OF OPIOID-RELATED BILLS; MORE VOTES SCHEDULED The House last week approved 38 bills that lawmakers hope will stem the opioid epidemic, and it scheduled votes this week on at least a dozen more. Most bills were noncontroversial, and others thought to be contentious – like giving the Postal Service more tools to … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

HOUSE TO VOTE ON DOZENS OF OPIOID BILLS WHILE SENATE READIES COMPREHENSIVE MEASURE The House this week will begin considering some of the 70 different opioid bills that have been approved by eight different committees, focusing on prescribing, enforcement, and Medicare and Medicaid coverage of treatment options. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced last … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

RYAN SAYS POTENTIAL COMPROMISE COMING ON RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY DRUGS House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., last week said congressional leaders are trying to hammer out compromise legislation that would make it easier for generic manufacturers to obtain branded drugs that are protected under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety program. Ryan made … Continue Reading

Proposed IPPS Rule Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its proposed rules for the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2019. As discussed below, the proposed rule focuses on promoting interoperability to reduce administrative burdens, increase efficiency and improve patient access while providing high-quality patient care. Comments on the proposed … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

LAWMAKERS PRAISE, CRITICIZE TRUMP PLAN ON DRUG PRICES On Capitol Hill, reaction to President Donald Trump’s “American Patients First” plan to bring down prescription drug prices fell predictably along partisan lines: Republicans generally praised it, while Democrats criticized it for not going nearly far enough. Republicans weren’t effusive in their support, but House Ways and … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

GOP LAWMAKERS: EUROPE, CANADA ‘FREE RIDING’ ON US DRUG INNOVATION More than two dozen House Republicans last week called on President Donald Trump to leverage upcoming trade negotiations to stop other nations from “free riding” on U.S. pharmaceutical innovations. In a letter to Trump, Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., wrote that foreign government price controls, market … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

AZAR ILLNESS DELAYS WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT ON DRUG PRICING INITIATIVE Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar is recovering at his home in Indianapolis following his second hospitalization in less than a week to treat a bowel condition, delaying a scheduled Trump administration announcement this week on initiatives to control prescription drug prices. The … Continue Reading

CMS aims to decrease burdens and increase innovation in Medicare parts C and D with new April 2018 guidance

In regulations published on April 16, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two new documents containing guidance primarily on the Medicare Advantage (MA) program and on the Medicare prescription drug benefit program. Taken together, these two documents – a finalized regulation outlining policy changes for Contract Year 2019 (Final Rule) and a … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

HOUSE PANEL TO QUESTION GOTTLIEB ON FDA BUDGET Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb will testify Tuesday before a House appropriations subcommittee on his agency’s fiscal 2019 budget – which includes the largest proposed funding increase in its history. President Trump earlier this year proposed boosting the FDA’s budget by $473 million – … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

CONGRESS RECONVENES, WITH A FOCUS ON OPIOIDS Lawmakers return today to Capitol Hill after a two-week recess, and multiple committees in both the House and Senate are poised to examine the opioid crisis and potential legislative solutions. The Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on bipartisan legislation that, among other things, would give … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

HOUSE VOTE SET FOR UPDATED ‘RIGHT-TO-TRY’ LEGISLATION The House will vote Tuesday on updated but still controversial legislation that would give terminally ill patients wider access to prescription drugs that haven’t won approval by the Food and Drug Administration. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., said the “right-to-try” bill would be a … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

CONGRESS RECONVENES WITH FOCUS ON OPIOID LEGISLATION Congress reconvenes today after a weeklong recess, and a House subcommittee is scheduled to begin a series of hearings focusing on bipartisan efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, while a Senate committee plans to discuss how technology can curb opioid abuse. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

TRUMP TO RELEASE FISCAL 2019 BUDGET THIS MORNING The White House this morning is releasing President Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget blueprint, which will include funding requests for HHS, FDA, CMS and dozens of other healthcare-related federal agencies. The White House says the budget will call for $17 billion for opioid-related spending next year, including for … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

HEALTHCARE PROVISIONS COULD BE TIED TO BUDGET DEAL TO AVERT GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN Congress is expected this week to approve a fifth stopgap budget bill to keep the government open in advance of a Thursday shutdown deadline, and key healthcare provisions could be included in the budget package. If Congress only extends current funding into March, … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

FEDERAL HEALTHCARE AGENCIES BRACE FOR DISRUPTION AS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN LOOMS House Republicans will gather tonight for a GOP-only meeting to plot strategy on passing a stopgap budget bill, but a breakdown among key senators on separate immigration legislation has elevated the risk of a government shutdown at week’s end. Washington runs out of money Friday … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

BILL TO AVERT GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN COULD INCLUDE HEALTHCARE PROVISIONS With less than two weeks before another deadline to avert a government shutdown, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill say they’re cautiously optimistic about crafting a budget agreement that also would include several key healthcare provisions. The budget outline would include setting top-line budget numbers for two … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

CONGRESS RECONVENES, FACES NEW DEADLINES FOR KEY HEALTHCARE POLICIES Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week ahead of more self-imposed deadlines to resolve a series of thorny healthcare policies, including funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the rest of the federal government, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and community … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

SHUTDOWN SHOWDOWN: CHIP, OTHER HEALTH PROVISIONS AT RISK AS DEADLINE NEARS Renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and a host of other healthcare provisions hang in the balance as congressional Republicans struggle to find consensus on a year-end budget bill that would avert a government shutdown. Unless lawmakers approve a new stopgap funding bill … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

CONGRESS PUNTS SHUTDOWN DEADLINE AND HEALTHCARE PRIORITIES Lawmakers last week approved a stopgap budget bill to keep the government open until Dec. 22, creating a pre-Christmas showdown over a host of spending decisions and key healthcare priorities. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill pledge they won’t let the government shut down, but significant differences exist between … Continue Reading

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

CONGRESS SCRAMBLES THIS WEEK TO AVERT GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. Congressional Republicans face a Friday deadline to approve a stopgap budget bill to avert a government shutdown, delaying until later this month key decisions on healthcare priorities like renewing children’s insurance and Medicare provider programs. Republicans will push a temporary funding bill this week to keep the … Continue Reading
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