Join Sirona Strategies and Hogan Lovells on April 30, 2024 at 12:00 PM ET for a webinar on Chevron and its implications for federal health care regulations. Additional Information Register here

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

What’s Ahead: This Week
Hearings and Markups – No notable hearings this week. Congress is not in session.

Notable Policy Events –

  • Monday, April 22
    • Hopkins Business of Health Initiative, “Earth Day with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.” Free, In-Person. Additional Information
  • Tuesday, April 23
    • AcademyHealth, “Webinar: Transforming Care for Children with Complex Medical Needs – Insights from HRSA-funded Demonstration Sites.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Bipartisan Policy Center, “Optimizing Medicare-Medicaid Integration for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Primary Care Collaborative, “The Evidence Behind Whole-Person Primary Care.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Wednesday, April 24
    • CMS, “The CMS Innovation Center’s Person-Centered Listening Session: Leveraging Relationships with Community-Based Organizations to Meet Health-Related Social Needs.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Thursday, April 25
    • American Medical Association, “Empowering Digitally Enabled Care with the CPT® Code Set.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • HIMSS, “Time for Transformation: Addressing EMR-Burnout with Provider Support.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • National Council on Aging, “Addressing the Shortage: The Current State of the Direct Care Workforce.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Friday, April 26
    • Bipartisan Policy Center, “Resilience in Remote Places: Crisis Response for Rural Youth.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
Weekly Wrap-Up: Notable Health Care Developments from Last Week
Medicare & Medicaid –
  • On April 16, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on actions CMS and Congress should take to enhance program integrity and reduce improper payments. The report notes that as of March 2024, over 100 recommendations to CMS remain unimplemented, including 15 related to improper payments. Highlights Report
  • On April 17, CMS announced that Colorado submitted a request for an amendment of the Medicaid Section 1115 Colorado Expanding the Substance Use Disorder Continuum of Care demonstration, which would incorporate prerelease services for adults and youth transitioning from correctional facilities and continuous eligibility for children 0 and individuals leaving incarceration. The comment period closes on May 18, 2024. Pending Application Comments

Payment & Delivery System Models – On April 17, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report summarizing new research findings about Medicare accountable care organizations and the factors that have contributed to or limited their ability to achieve net budgetary savings for the Medicare program. Report

Public Health Prevention, Preparedness, Surveillance – 

  • On April 16, the White House launched the U.S. Global Health Security Strategy (GHSS) to protect the health, lives, and economic well-being of the American people and people throughout the world. GHSS HHS Secretary Becerra Statement
  • On April 18, GAO released a report on COVID-19 vaccination data access from six selected state Medicaid programs. The report finds that between 2020 and 2023, the six programs varied in their ability to obtain data on beneficiaries with COVID-19 vaccinations from state immunization information systems during the COVID-19 public health emergency. One-Pager Report

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health – 

  • On April 15, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Pallone (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chair Guthrie (R-KY) and Ranking Member Eshoo (D-CA), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Griffith (R-VA) and Ranking Member Castor (D-FL) sent a letter to UnitedHealth Group seeking information about the Change Healthcare cyberattack. Letter Press Release
  • Also on April 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed order that will prohibit a telehealth firm from using or disclosing sensitive data for advertising purposes. The order also requires it to pay more than $7 million over charges that it disclosed sensitive personal health information to third parties and failed to honor its easy cancellation promises. Business Blog Press Release Proposed Order
  • On April 16, Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden (D-OR) released a staff report finding that state attorneys general misused their Medicaid investigative and consumer protection authorities to investigate teens and adults seeking transgender health care. Press Release Report
  • On April 17, Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Cassidy (R-LA) sent a letter to FDA Director Califf criticizing the agency’s decision to expand its oversight over clinical decision support software. Letter Press Release
  • Also on April 17, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) published a blog post, “Enhancing Healthcare Interoperability: Launching the DaVinci Prior Authorization Support (PAS) Test Kit.” Blog Post
  • Also on April 17, the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) released its 2024 Safety Report, which highlights efforts to enhance manufacturing quality and strengthen post-market surveillance, and 2024 Innovation Report, which highlights efforts to encourage innovation and increase regulatory flexibility. 2024 Safety Report 2024 Innovation Report
  • On April 18, House Ways and Means Committee Health Subcommittee Vice Chair Buchanan (R-FL) and Reps. Schweikert (R-AZ) and Steel (R-CA) sent a letter to Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) on artificial intelligence in health care, highlighting several considerations for the Commission. Press Release Letter

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy – On April 15, the CDC published a blog post on supporting mental health in the workplace. Blog Post

Prescription Drugs & Health Innovation –

  • On April 15, the GAO released a report focusing on five states that have enacted a range of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) laws. The report describes actions selected states have taken to regulate PBMs, and lessons learned that state regulators identified for PBM regulation. One-Pager Report
  • On April 16, the FDA announced the establishment of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Center for Clinical Trial Innovation, which aims to support innovative approaches to clinical trials to improve the quality and efficiency of drug development and regulatory decision making. Notice
  • On April 19, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released a final rule that establishes the procedures and requirements for the 340B Program’s administrative dispute resolution (ADR) process to make the process more accessible and efficient for stakeholders. Press Release Rule

SDOH & Health Equity– 

  • On April 19, CMS released the agenda for its 1014 Health Equity Conference, which will take place May 29-30, 2024. Agenda
  • On April 19, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy hosted its inaugural White House Minority Health Forum. Press Release

Health Systems & Health Care Workforce – On April 16, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Tester (D-MT) led 17 Democratic senators in a letter to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary McDonough urging the department to update its VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities regulations for toxic-exposed veterans. Letter Press Release

Misc. –On April 15, Sens. Cassidy (R-LA) and Boozman (R-AR) sent a letter to HHS Secretary Becerra and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack requesting information on how the Biden Administration is developing its federal nutrition guidelines for Americans. Letter Press Release

Legislative Activity 
Votes and Committee Activity –

  • On April 18, Senate Aging Committee Ranking Member Braun (R-IN) sent a letter to Senate Budget Committee Chair Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ranking Member Grassley (R-IA) detailing Braun’s fiscal year 2025 priorities and budget concerns for the Aging Committee, which include sustaining Medicare and Medicaid, and increasing health care options and access to care. Letter Press Release
  • On April 20, the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act (H.R. 8038) passed the House by a vote of 360-58. The bill includes the Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act of 2024 (H.R. 7520), which would prohibit data brokers from transferring personally identifiable sensitive data, including health data, of United States individuals to foreign adversaries. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Press Release

Introduced Legislation –

  • On April 15, Rep. Dingell (D-MI) introduced the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act (H.R. 7994), which would support the direct care professional workforce. Sens. Casey (D-PA), Kaine (D-VA), and Baldwin (D-WI) introduced companion legislation (S. 4120) in the Senate. Bill Summary Press Release
  • Also on April 15, Reps. Dunn (R-FL) and Craig (D-MN) introduced the Improving CARE for Youth Act (H.R. 7996), which would ensure Medicaid coverage of mental health services and primary care services furnished on the same day. Press Release
  • Also on April 15, Sens. Vance (R-OH) and Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Continuous Skilled Nursing Quality Improvement Act (S. 4122), which would develop national quality standards for continuous skilled nursing services provided through Medicaid. Bill Text Press Release
  • On April 16, Reps. Cammack (R-FL), Magaziner (D-RI), Malliotakis (D-RI), and Panetta (D-CA) introduced the Alleviating Barriers For Caregivers Act (H.R. 8018), which would review and simplify the processes, procedures, forms, and communications for family caregivers to assist individuals in establishing eligibility for, enrolling in, and maintaining and utilizing coverage and benefits under Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and Social Security. Bill Text Press Release
  • On April 17, Sens. Butler (D-CA) and Britt (R-AL) introduced the NIH IMPROVE Act (S. 4147), which would continue to fund the Implementing a Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) Initiative through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Reps. Underwood (D-IL), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Torres (D-NY) introduced companion legislation (H.R. 8037) in the House. Bill Text Press Release