Week in Brief

Labor, HHS: House Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Funding Bill in Full Committee Markup. For Related News, See:

  • Statements and Recap from House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Labor-HHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK)
  • Full Remarks from House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY)
  • Full Remarks from Labor-HHS Subcommittee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

WHITE HOUSE UPDATE

Opioids: DOJ Announces Regulatory Steps to Address Opioid Epidemic, Slow Diversion Further Limit Annual Production.

Drug Pricing: Pfizer Announces Postponement of Drug Hikes following Criticism from President Trump. For Related News, See:

  • Statement from HHS Secretary Alex Azar
  • Statement from CMS Administrator Seema Verma
  • Statement from Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR)

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Monday, July 2

Work Requirements: Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) Issues Statement on U.S. District Court Decision to block Kentucky Medicaid Waiver.

Opioids: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) Seek Subpoena for DOJ Documents on Purdue Pharma, OxyContin.

Tuesday, July 3

Appointments: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) Names Josh Trent New Chief Counsel for the Health Subcommittee.

Monday, July 9

Drug Pricing: Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) Asks Energy Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX) to Schedule Hearing on Use of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) to Suppress Competition from Generic Pharmaceutical Manufacturers.

Pre-Existing Conditions: Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) Seeks Subpoena for DOJ Documents on Decision to Support Argument Against ACA Pre-Existing Conditions Provisions in Court.

Tuesday, July 10

Veterans’ Health: Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Approves VA Secretary Nominee Robert Wilkie.

ACA: House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Assesses Implications of Trump Supreme Court Pick With Regard to ACA, Health Care Protections.

Medicare: House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) Announces Subcommittee Hearing on Combating Fraud in Medicare.

Stark Law: House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) Announces Subcommittee Hearing on Stark Law in Medicare.

Wednesday, July 11

ACA: Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) Assesses Implications of Trump Supreme Court Pick With Regard to ACA, Pre-Existing Conditions.

Veterans’ Health: Senate Names Conferees for Minibus Appropriations Bill, Includes FY2019 Funding Measures for Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch. For Related News, See:

  • Statement from Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL)

340B: House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health Holds Hearing on 340B Drug Pricing Program. For Related News, See:

  • Statement from Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess (R-TX)
  • Remarks from Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

Thursday, July 12

Health Workforce: House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Several Bills on Health Workforce Training and Education to House Floor for Consideration.

Health Savings Accounts: House Ways and Means Committee Marks Up Several Bills on Health Savings Accounts. For Related News, See:

  • Remarks from Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX)
  • Remarks from Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA)
  • Blog Post from Ways and Means Majority Site: “Conservative Groups Write in Support of HSA Legislation”
  • Statement from Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) on Committee Rejection of Amendment to Preserve Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

Veterans’ Health: House and Senate Conference Committee Meeting on Energy and Water, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch Appropriations Bills Postponed.  For Related News, See:

  • Statement from House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
  • Statement from Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Friday, July 13

Drug Pricing: Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Issue Report on Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen, Novartis, Connection to Columbus Nova.

Health Spending Oversight: HHS Office of the Inspector General Reports Former HHS Secretary Tom Price Misused Funds During Tenure. For Related News, See:

  • Statement from Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Statement from Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA)

Mental Health: House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Announces Upcoming Hearing on Implementation of 21st Century Cures Act.


REGULATORY UPDATE

Monday, July 2

Medicare Incentive Programs: GAO Releases Report on Small and Rural Practices’ Experiences in Previous Programs and Expected Performance in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

Workforce Shortages: HRSA Releases Lists of Designated Primary Medical Care, Mental Health, and Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas.

Individual Market: CMS Releases Three Reports on Performance of the Exchanges and Individual Health Insurance Market: Early 2018 Effectuated Enrollment Snapshot, Exchange Trends Report, Trends in Subsidized and Unsubsidized Enrollment.

Friday, July 6

Disproportionate Share Funding: CMS Releases Final FY 2016 and Preliminary FY 2018 Disproportionate Share Hospital Allotments, Final FY 2016 and Preliminary FY 2018 Institutions for Mental Diseases Disproportionate Share Hospital Limits for Medicaid Program.

Monday, July 9

Risk-Adjustment Program: CMS Releases Benefit Year (BY) Risk Adjustment Summary Report, Suspends Risk Adjustment Payments to Insurance Companies. For Related News, See:

Opioids: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb Releases Statement on Balancing Access to Appropriate Treatment for Patients with Chronic and End-of-Life Pain With Need to Take Steps to Stem Misuse and Abuse of Opioids.

Tuesday, July 10

ACA: CMS Cuts Funding for ACA Navigator Program from $36 Million in 2018 to $10 Million in 2019. For Related News, See:

  • Statement from Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Statement from Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Statement from House Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

Plasma Treatments: FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization to DOD Allowing Use of Freeze-Dried Plasma. For Related News, See:

  • Press Release from House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health

Mental Health: FDA Updates Warnings for Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics on Risks of Mental Health, Low Blood Sugar Adverse Reactions.

Provider Payment: CMS Proposes Changes to Medicaid Provider Reassignment Regulation.

Bundled Payment: CMS Extends Bundled-Pay Program Timeline, Moves Deadline for Provider Decision to Participate from August 1 to August 8.

Wednesday, July 11

Medicare: CMS Proposes Changes to Durable Medical Equipment and End-Stage Renal Disease Programs.

Behavioral Health: HHS Hosts Federal Commission on School Safety Meeting, Focuses on the Integration of Behavioral Health into America’s Schools.

340B: GAO Assesses Aspects of the 340B Drug Discount Program.

Gene Therapy: FDA Issues Three New Disease-Specific Draft Guidances on Gene Therapy.

Thursday, July 12

EHRs: CMS Proposed Rule Encourages Clinicians to Use Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to Document Clinically Meaningful Information. For Related News, See:

Drug Shortages: FDA Announces Formation of New Drug Shortages Task Force.

Friday, July 13

Reorganization: GAO Assesses Government Reorganization Proposal.


UPCOMING EVENTS

House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee
Hearing: “Modernizing Stark Law to Ensure the Successful Transition from Volume to Value in the Medicare Program.”
July 17, 2018, 3:30 PM
1100 Longworth House Office Building

House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee
Hearing: “Combating Fraud in Medicare: A Strategy for Success”
July 17, 10:00 AM
1100 Longworth House Office Building

Senate HELP Committee
Hearing: “Reducing Health Care Costs: Eliminating Excess Health Care Spending and Improving Quality and Value for Patients”
July 17, 2018, 10:00 AM
430 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee
Hearing: Examining State Efforts to Improve Transparency of Health Care Costs for Consumers
July 17, 2018, 10:15 AM
2311 Raymond House Office Building

Senate Special Committee on Aging
Hearing: “Supporting Economic Stability and Self-Sufficiency as Americans with Disabilities and their Families Age”
July 18, 2018, 9:30 AM
562 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee
Hearing: “21st Century Cures Implementation: Examining Mental Health Initiatives”
July 19, 2019, 10:00 AM
2123 Raymond House Office Building

CMS
Meeting of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee
July 25, 2018 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
CMS Single Site Campus: Main Auditorium
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244

SAMHSA
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment: Public Meeting
August 1, 2018, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
SAMHSA
5600 Fishers Lane, 5E49
Rockville, MD 20857

CMS
Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment (the Panel): Annual Meeting
August 20, 2018 9:30 AM to 5 PM
August 21, 2018, 9:30 AM to 1 PM
CMS Single Site Campus: Main Auditorium
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244

CMS
Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee: Public Meeting
August 22, 2018, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
CMS Single Site Campus: Main Auditorium
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244


For more information about this issue of Power Play: Washington Week in Review or more legislative and regulatory updates, contact the Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville Government Relations and Public Policy group at (202) 466-6550.