Week in Brief

Veterans’ Health: VA MISSION Act Passes Out of House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.


Federal Funding: White House Requests $15 Billion in Rescissions, Including $7 Billion from CHIP. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Releases Statement. House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) Releases Statement.

Drug Pricing: President Trump Delivers Speech on Drug Pricing and Unveils New “Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-Of Pocket Costs.” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) Issue Joint Statement. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) Issues Statement. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb Issues Statement. HHS Secretary Alex Azar, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and CMS Administrator Seema Verma Publish Joint Op-Ed.


Tuesday, May 8

Veterans’ Health: House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN) Releases Statement Following Committee’s Approval of VA MISSION Act. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT) Publish Joint Statement. White House Briefing Room Re-Posts Wall Street Journal Op-Ed on Legislation. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Compiles Commentary on VA MISSION Act.

Affordable Care Act: Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Speaks on Senate Floor on Affordable Care Act Premium Increases.

Medicare: House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Holds Hearing on Medicare Advantage Program. Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) Delivers Opening Statemet.

Opioids: House Judiciary Committee Holds Full Committee Hearing on Challenges and Solutions in the Opioid Abuse Crisis. Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Delivers Opening Statement. Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Delivers Opening Statement.

Opioids: House Energy and Commerce Committee Holds Hearing on “Combating the Opioid Epidemic: Examining Concerns About Distribution and Diversion.”

Drug Pricing: Senate Special Committee on Aging Holds Hearing on Rising Cost of Insulin.

Wednesday, May 9 

Opioids: House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances 25 Bills to Combat the Opioid Crisis.

Opioids: Energy and Commerce Committee Debuts “Personal Stories from the Opioid Crisis” Video Series.

Opioids: Following Roundtable Discussion, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Releases Discussion Draft Regarding Reauthorization of Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) Issues Statement.

Thursday, May 10 

Appropriations: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Holds Hearing to Review HHS FY2019 Budget Request.

Medicaid: Joint Economic Committee Democrats Release Report on Medicaid.

Friday, May 11 

Opioids: House Energy and Commerce Committee Reviews Week’s Progress on Opioids.

Opioids: House Energy and Commerce Committee Releases Second Installment in “Personal Stories from the Opioid Crisis” Video Series.

Opioids: House Ways and Means Committee Releases Bipartisan Proposals to Combat Opioid Crisis.


Monday, May 7

Medicaid Work Requirements: CMS Rejects Kansas Request to Impose Lifetime Limits on Medicaid Coverage. CMS Administrator Seema Verma Elaborates on Agency’s Stance at American Hospital Association Meeting.

Medicaid: CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems; Quality Reporting Requirements; Eligibility Standards for Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs; Cost Reporting Requirements, and Physician Certification and Recertification of Claims.

Mental Health: SAMHSA Announces $23.4 Million Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Grant Program.

Mental Health: SAMHSA Hosts Town Hall on Helping Children Who Experience Trauma.

Kidney Transplants: NIH Begins Clinical Trial to Track Outcomes of Kidney Transplantation From HIV-Positive Donors to HIV-Positive Recipients.

Tuesday, May 8

Medicare: CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements for FY 2019.

Medicare: CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System and Quality Reporting Updates for FY 2019.

Medicare: CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System for FY 2019.

Medicare: CMS Publishes Proposed Rule including Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) for FY 2019, Updates to SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program and SNF Quality Reporting Program.

Medicare: CMS Announces Agency’s First Rural Health Strategy.

Federal Funding: Congressional Budget Office Assesses Proposed Rescissions’ Effect on Federal Spending and Insurance Coverage.

Wednesday, May 9 

Mental Health: SAMHSA Publishes Press Release on Improving Life Outcomes for Children with History of Mental Health Challenges and Trauma.

Heritable Disorders: Health Resources and Services Administration Holds Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children.

Data Security: HHS’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Proposes Rule on Common Formats for Patient Safety Data Collection.

Stem Cells: FDA Seeks Permanent Injunctions Against Two Stem Cell Clinics.

Thursday, May 10

Mental Health: SAMHSA Holds National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

Opioids: DEA Extends Temporary Placement of Opioid Analgesic Beta-Hydroxythiofentanyl in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, Proposes Permanent Placement.

Substance Abuse: CDC and SAMSHA Report New Findings on Smoke-Free Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities.

Substance Abuse: FDA Issues Four New Warning Letters to Manufacturers and Retailers for Selling Nicotine-Containing E-liquids in “Kid-Friendly” Packaging.

Pain Management: NIH-Funded Scientists Find New Molecular Target for Developing Safer Pain Medications.

Behavioral Health: NIH-Funded Study Uncovers New Information on How the Brain Responds to Threats.

Friday, May 11

Medicare: CMS Interim Final Rule Amends Durable Medical Equipment Fee Schedule to Resume Transitional 50/50 Blended Rates in Rural Areas and Non-Contiguous Areas.

Multiple Sclerosis: FDA Expands Approval of Gilenya to Treat Multiple Sclerosis in Pediatric Patients.


House Energy & Commerce Committee
Full Committee Markup on Opioid Legislation
May 17, 2018
Details TBA

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full Committee Hearing: A Sustainable Solution to the Evolving Opioid Crisis: Revitalizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy
May 17, 2018, 10:30 AM
2154 Rayburn House

Senate HELP Committee
Full Committee Hearing: The Health Care Workforce: Addressing Shortages and Improving Care
May 22, 2018, 10:00 AM
430 Dirksen Senate Office Building

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

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

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.

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