When is Congress in session? House 2024 Calendar Senate 2024 Calendar

What’s Ahead: This Week

Hearings and Markups – 

  • Tuesday, June 18
    • Senate Finance Committee, “Work and Social Security Disability Benefits: Addressing Challenges and Creating Opportunities.” Additional Information
Notable Policy Events –
  • Monday, June 17
    • Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), “What’s Behind the Buzz about Site-Neutral Payments?” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Monday, June 17 to Tuesday, June 18
    • American Public Health Association (APHA), “APHA Policy Action Institute.” Paid, In-Person/Virtual. Additional Information
  • Tuesday, June 18
    • Axios Pro, “Happenings on the Hill: Who Should Pay for Weight-Loss Drugs?” Free, In-Person. Additional Information
    • Fierce Healthcare, “Benchmarking Quality Measures for Success.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), “2024 TEFCA RCE Monthly Informational Call.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Thursday, June 20
    • American Medical Association (AMA), “How Integrated Behavioral Health Can Strengthen Value-Based Care.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Center for American Progress (CAP), “State Policy Efforts to Improve Prescription Drug Affordability for Consumers.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • KFF, “How State Medicaid Programs Are Approaching Eligibility, Enrollment, and Renewals, During and After the Unwinding.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information

Weekly Wrap-Up: Notable Health Care Developments from Last Week

Medicare & Medicaid – 

  • On June 11, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) released its June 2024 Report, which reports on Medicaid and CHIP financing, tools states can use to optimize state Medicaid agency contracts, enrollment trends in Medicare Savings Programs, and improvements to demographic data collection in Medicaid. June 2024 Report
  • On June 12, CMS released an informational bulletin on Medicaid and CHIP managed care monitoring and oversight tools. Informational Bulletin
  • Also on June 12, CMS issued an addendum to the 2024-2025 Medicaid Managed Care Rate Development Guide to accommodate the provisions of the Medicaid and CHIP Managed Care Final Rule on May 10, 2024. Draft Rate Development Guide 2024-2025 Addendum
  • On June 13, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its June 2024 Report to Congress, which reports on improvements to Medicare payment systems and issues affecting the Medicare program. June 2024 Report
  • Also on June 13, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on how CMS could strengthen program safeguards to prevent and detect improper Medicare payments for short inpatient stays. Report in Brief Full Report
  • On June 14, CMS released an informational bulletin on accessing enhanced federal Medicaid matching rates for state information technology expenditures to improve access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and improve care coordination. Informational Bulletin

Public Health Prevention, Preparedness, Surveillance – 

  • On June 13, the CDC issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory about potential disrupted access to care among individuals taking prescription stimulant medications and emphasized that pharmacies should not universally refuse to fill prescriptions from telehealth providers. HAN Health Advisory
  • On June 14, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released a framework on current challenges facing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and recommendations for reform. In a joint opinion article with Rep. Aderholt (R-AL), Chair Rodgers requested stakeholder input on the framework. Framework  One-Pager

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health – 

  • On June 10, the Biden Administration released a fact sheet on its efforts to improve the resilience of the health care sector to cyberattacks. Fact Sheet
  • On June 12, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced that the annual comment period for the Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) will be open June 12 to August 12, 2024 on the new Interoperability Standards Platform (ISP). ONC Blog ISA ISP
  • On June 13, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its first criminal drug distribution prosecutions related to a digital health company that distributed controlled substances via telemedicine. Press Release
  • Also on June 13, Senate Finance Chair Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Khan and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gensler urging the agencies to investigate UnitedHealth Group’s (UHG) cybersecurity practices. Press Release Letter

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy – On June 14, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced $31.4 million in funding opportunities for priority behavioral health needs. Press Release

Prescription Drugs & Health Innovation – On June 10, the FDA launched the Emerging Drug Safety Technology Program (EDSTP), which aims to examine the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies in pharmacovigilance. EDSTP

SDOH & Health Equity – On June 11, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced Montana is eligible this year for $5.4 million in federal funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, which provides in-home services to expectant families and families with young children. Press Release

Misc. – On June 10, Sen. Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ), HHS, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging the agencies to take appropriate enforcement actions against vertically integrated insurers, private equity firms, and pharmaceutical companies that are driving health care consolidation. Letter Press Release

Legislative Activity 
Votes and Committee Activity  –
  • On June 12, the House Energy & Commerce Committee advanced several health bills out of Committee. The bills now head to the full House for consideration. Press Release
    • The Telehealth Enhancement for Mental Health Act of 2024 (H.R. 7858) passed by a vote of 40-0. The bill would establish a Medicare incident to modifier for mental health services furnished through telehealth. Bill Text
    • The Accelerating Kids’ Access to Care Act (H.R. 4758) passed, as amended, by a vote of 42-0. The bill would streamline enrollment under the Medicaid program of certain providers across state lines. Bill Text
    • The Seniors’ Access to Critical Medications Act (H.R. 5526) passed, as amended, by a vote of 43-0. The bill would clarify the application of the in-office ancillary services exception to the physician self-referral prohibition for drugs furnished under the Medicare program. Bill Text
    • The Supporting Patient Education and Knowledge (SPEAK) Act of 2023 (H.R. 6033) passed by a vote of 40-0. The bill would establish a task force to improve access to health care information technology for non-English speakers. Bill Text
    • The Leveraging Integrity and Verification of Eligibility (LIVE) for Beneficiaries Act (H.R. 8084) passed, as amended, by a vote of 46-0. The bill would require states to verify certain eligibility criteria for individuals enrolled for medical assistance quarterly. Bill Text
    • The Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act of 2024 (H.R. 8089) passed by a vote of 45-0. The bill would require certain additional provider screening under the Medicaid program. Bill Text
    • The Medicaid Program Improvement Act (H.R. 8111) passed, as amended, by a vote of 46-0. The bill would ensure the reliability of address information provided under the Medicaid program. Bill Text
    • H.R. 8112 passed, as amended, by a vote of 45-0. The bill would require certain additional provider screening under the Medicaid program. Bill Text

Introduced Legislation –

  • On June 11, Sens. Peters (D-MI) and Tillis (R-NC) introduced the Promoting Responsible Evaluation and Procurement to Advance Readiness for Enterprise-wide Deployment (PREPARED) for AI Act (S. 4495), which would enable safe, responsible, and agile procurement, development, and use of artificial intelligence by the federal government. Press Release
  • Also on June 11, Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Markey (D-MA) introduced the Corporate Crimes Against Health Care Act of 2024 (S. 4503), which would prevent exploitative private equity practices in the health care system. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on June 11, Reps. Schiff (D-CA), Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Norton (D-DC), Mullin (D-CA), and Garcia (D-CA) introduced the Guaranteed Additional Income for Families in Need (GAIN) Act (H.R. 8697), which would test the impact of a guaranteed monthly income on the health of individuals enrolled for medical assistance under the Medicaid program. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on June 11, Reps. Espaillat (D-NY), Lawler (R-NY), and Thanedar (D-MI) introduced the Community Mental Wellness Worker Training Act (H.R. 8680), which would award grants to train community mental wellness workers. Press Release
  • On June 12, Rep. Kelly (R-PA) and 129 bipartisan cosponsors reintroduced the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 8702), which would establish requirements with respect to the use of prior authorization under Medicare Advantage plans. Sen. Marshall (R-KS) and 44 bipartisan cosponsors reintroduced companion legislation (S. 4532) in the Senate on June 13. Bill Text Section-By-Section Press Release
  • On June 13, Reps. Caraveo (D-CO), Kiggans (R-VA), and Kean (R-NJ) introduced the Increasing Medication Access for Seniors Act (H.R. 8725), which would require the HHS Secretary to submit to Congress a report on the option to elect to pay cost-sharing under a prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plan in monthly capped amounts. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on June 13, Reps. Pettersen (D-CO) and Molinaro (R-NY) introduced the Rural Health Preceptor Tax Fairness Act (H.R. 8738), which would provide a credit against tax for certain health professionals providing clinical supervision to students in rural health professional shortage areas. Bill Text Press Release