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

What’s Ahead: This Week
Hearings and Markups – 
  • Tuesday, April 9
    • Senate Finance Committee, Health Care Subcommittee, “Closing Gaps in the Care Continuum: Opportunities to Improve Substance Use Disorder Care in the Federal Health Programs.” Additional Information
  • Wednesday, April 10
    • House Energy & Commerce Committee, Health Subcommittee, “Legislative Proposals to Support Patient Access to Telehealth Services.” Additional Information
    • House Oversight and Accountability Committee, “Markup on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) (H.R. 7868), the Federal Prison Oversight Act (H.R. 3019), and Other Legislation.” Additional Information
  • Thursday, April 11
    • House Oversight and Accountability Committee, “Oversight of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” Additional Information
    • Senate Finance Committee, “Bolstering Chronic Care through Medicare Physician Payment.” Additional Information
Notable Policy Events – 
  • Monday, April 8
    • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), “Infant Mental Health.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • The Brookings Institution, “Wall Street Comes to Washington Health Care Roundtable.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Tuesday, April 9
    • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), “Interoperability Standards Workgroup.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Peterson-Milbank Program for Sustainable Health Care Costs, “Leveraging Hospital Financial Analyses to Inform State Policy.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Wednesday, April 10
    • American Enterprise Institute (AEI), “Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.” Free, In-Person/Virtual. Additional Information
    • CMS, “Person-Centered Service Planning in HCBS: Individual Rights and Modifications of the Settings Requirements for Provider-Owned or Controlled Residential Settings.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • R Street Institute, “Patent Policy and Innovation: Do Proposed Changes Help or Hinder Innovation?” Free, In-Person. Additional Information
  • Thursday, April 11 to Friday, April 12
    • Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), “April 2024 Public Meeting.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), “April Public Meeting.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Thursday, April 11
    • Center for American Progress (CAP), “Lowering Prescription Drug Costs to Advance Health Equity: A Conversation with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.” Free, In-Person/Virtual. Additional Information
    • Duke-Margolis Health Policy Center, “2024 Health Policy Conference: Updating Health Reform for the Next Decade: Key Challenges and New Opportunities.” Free, In-Person/Virtual. Additional Information
    • Hospital at Home Users Group, “Age-Friendly Beyond the Hospital: Innovation in Hospital at Home.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • ONC, “Health IT Advisory Committee (HITAC) on Artificial Intelligence (AI).” Free, In-Person & Virtual. Additional Information
Weekly Wrap-Up: Notable Health Care Developments from Last Week
Medicare & Medicaid –
  • On April 1, CMS released the Announcement of Calendar Year (CY) 2025 Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies (the Rate Announcement). CMS finalized the phase-in of the updated Part C Risk Adjustment Model, an updated methodology for the fee-for-service (FFS) normalization factor, and updates to the Part D risk adjustment model. Fact Sheet Press Release Rate Announcement
  • On April 3, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on Medicare and Medicaid behavioral health providers. OIG found that overall, there were few behavioral health providers in the selected counties who actively served Medicare and Medicaid enrollees and despite unprecedented demand for behavioral health services, treatment rates in all three programs remained relatively low. Report in Brief Report
  • On April 4, CMS released the Contract Year 2025 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program (Technical Rule), which implements regulations related to marketing and communications, agent/broker compensation, health equity, dual eligible special needs plans (D-SNPs), utilization management, network adequacy, and other programmatic areas. The regulations in the rule are effective June 3, 2024. Fact Sheet Final Rule Press Release
  • On April 5, CMS announced that Texas submitted a request to extend its Medicaid section 1115 demonstration to increase and strengthen coverage for low-income women in Texas through the provision of a benefit package for women who would not otherwise be eligible for family planning and preventative services under Texas Medicaid. The comment period is open through May 5, 2024. Pending Application Comments
Marketplaces – On April 2, CMS issued the 2025 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (Payment Notice) final rule. CMS finalized standards for issuers and Marketplaces, as well as requirements for agents, brokers, web-brokers, direct enrollment entities, and assisters that help Marketplace consumers. Fact Sheet Final Rule Press Release

Payment & Delivery System Models –

  • On April 2, the CMS Innovation Center published an article in Health Affairs, detailing progress and what’s ahead on the Center’s specialty care strategy. Health Affairs Article
  • On April 3, the CMS Innovation Center published an article in New England Journal of Medicine’s Catalyst blog, which highlights the Innovation Center’s increased focus on quality, particularly patient outcomes and experience, through a new Quality Pathway. NEJM Article

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health – On April 2, ONC released its 2023 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Report to Congress, which highlights progress on health information networks (HINs) and health information exchanges (HIEs). Blog Report to Congress

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy – 

  • On April 3, HHS OIG released a report, which found nursing home residents with endangering behaviors and mental health disorders are vulnerable to facility-initiated discharges. Report in Brief Report
  • On April 4, Sens. Tester (D-MT) and Moran (R-KS) sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, which provides grant funding for rural veteran mental health telehealth initiatives. Letter Press Release

Prescription Drugs & Health Innovation – 

  • On April 2, HHS released a white paper, which reviews actions HHS has taken to prevent and mitigate drug shortages and proposes new solutions for policymakers to consider. Press Release Report
  • Also on April 2, HHS released research, which found key Inflation Reduction Act provisions lowered costs for women enrolled in Medicare. Press Release Report
SDOH & Health Equity– On April 1, HHS released several press releases highlighting actions it has taken to advance health equity. AHRQ Press Release ASPE Press Release CDC Press Release OASH Press Release OCR Press Release

Health Systems & Health Care Workforce – 

Miscellaneous – On April 1, HHS released guidance regarding hospital requirements for informed consent from patients as it relates to medical professionals performing sensitive examinations. Guidance Press Release

Legislative Activity 
Introduced Legislation –
  • On April 2, Reps. Caraveo (D-CO) and Miller (R-WV) introduced the Rural Residency Planning and Development Act (H.R. 7855), which would authorize rural residency planning and development grant programs. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on April 2, Reps. DeGette (D-CO), Bilirakis (R-FL), and Crow (D-CO) introduced the Promoting Responible and Effective Virtual Experiences through Novel Technology (PREVENT) to Deliver Improved Access and Better Engagement with Tested and Evidence-Based Strategies (DIABETES) Act (H.R. 7856), which would provide for coverage of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention program. The bill will be marked up at the House E&C legislative hearing. Bill Text Hearing
  • Also on April 2, Reps. James (R-MI), Schweikert (R-AZ), and Davis (D-NC) introduced Telehealth Enhancement for Mental Health Act of 2024 (H.R. 7858), which would establish a Medicare incident to modifier for mental health services furnished through telehealth. The bill will be discussed at the House E&C legislative hearing. Bill Text Hearing
  • Also on April 2, Reps. Steel (R-CA), Bilirakis (R-FL), and Lee (D-NV) introduced Expanding Language Access in Telehealth Act (H.R. 7863), which would require the HHS Secretary to issue guidance on furnishing behavioral health services via telehealth to individuals with limited English proficiency under Medicare. The bill will be discussed at the House E&C legislative hearing. Bill Text Hearing Press Release
  • On April 5, Rep. Pressley (D-MA) and 16 cosponsors introduced the Equity in Agency Planning Act (H.R. 7881), which would improve the equitable provision of services to underserved communities and individuals. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on April 5, Rep. Raskin (D-MD) and 16 cosponsors introduced the Federal Government Equity Improvement Act (H.R. 7882), which would establish an Agency Equity Advisory Team to ensure the use of equity. Bill Text Press Release