New Client Resources


We’re looking forward to seeing many of you today, December 4, 5:00-7:00pm ET, for a Sirona Open House at our new office!

Hearings and Markups –

  • Wednesday, December 6 
    • Senate Finance Committee, “Drug Shortages: Examining Supply Challenges, Impacts, and Policy Solutions from a Federal Health Program Perspective.” Additional Information

Notable Policy Events – 

  • Monday, December 4
    • America’s Health Insurance Plans, “Product and Clinical Collaborations Build Stronger Medicare Advantage Benefits.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
    • National Institute for Health Care Management, “Growing Combination Drug Use and The Overdose Crisis.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
  • Monday, December 4 – Wednesday, December 6
    • RISE Health, “Social Determinants of Health Policy Forum.” Additional Information – Paid, In-Person, Featuring Sirona Strategies’ Aligning for Health Member Meeting and Remarks from Krista Drobac
  • Monday, December 4 – Thursday, December 7
    • Global Health Care, “National Primary Care Transformation Summit.” Additional Information – Paid, Virtual and In-Person
  • Tuesday, December 5
    • Center for Health Care Strategies, “Improving Data SHaring Across SNAP and Medicaid Agencies: Key Factors for Success During Unwinding and Beyond.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
    • HealthAffairs, “Global Lessons from COVID-19.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
  • Wednesday, December 6
    • National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), “NCQA Fireside Chat.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
    • New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst, “How Anchor Institutions Improve Patient, Community, and Workforce Health.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
  • Thursday, December 7
    • American Medical Association, “Connecting the Dots: From FDA Regulation to CPT Coding.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
    • Bipartisan Policy Center, “Addressing the Direct Care Workforce Shortage: A Bipartisan Call to Action.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
  • Thursday, December 7 to Friday, December 8
    • Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), “December Public Meeting.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual
    • The Hill, “U.S. Healthcare’s Annual Checkup.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual and In-person in Washington, DC
  • Friday, December 8
    • America’s Health Insurance Plans, “Creating Better Health Outcomes with Digital Tools and Artificial Intelligence.” Additional Information – Free, Virtual

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

Medicare & Medicaid–

  • On November 27, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report, which identified more than $249 million in unallowable Medicaid capitation payments that the States made to managed care organizations on behalf of deceased enrollees. Report in Brief Report
  • Also on November 27, the HHS OIG released findings from an audit which found that most of the diagnosis codes that a Medicare Advantage plan submitted to CMS for the risk adjustment program did not comply with Federal requirements. Report in Brief Report
  • On November 30, CMS released the latest enrollment figures for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. As of August 2023, 66,338,178 people are enrolled in Medicare and 89,994,594 people are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Enrollment Figures
  • Also on November 30, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report describing CMS’s plans to include phosphate binders in the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) bundled payment program. Report
  • On December 1, CMS released a State Health Official (SHO) letter that provides guidance to support states in implementing the mandatory reporting requirements outlined in the Mandatory Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Core Set Reporting final rule, which was released on August 31, 2023. Letter

Marketplaces – On November 28, CMS released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document regarding the implementation of certain provisions of the ACA and the No Surprises Act of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. FAQs

Payment & Delivery System Models – On November 29, CMS announced that it has extended the application deadline for the Making Care Primary (MCP) Model by two weeks. The new deadline is December 14, 2023. MCP Model

Public Health Prevention, Preparedness, Surveillance –

  • On November 30, CDC released provisional life expectancy estimates for 2022. In 2022, life expectancy at birth was 77.5 years, increasing by 1.1 years from 76.4 in 2021. Estimates
  • On December 1, HHS and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released the latest Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program data, which show that nine out of 10 people with HIV receiving medical care through the program are virally suppressed. Press Release Report

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health –

  • On November 29, HRSA published a notice for comments on a revision of a currently approved information collection of measures for the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth’s (OAT) Evidence Based Telehealth Network Program. The purpose of this program is to fund projects that utilize telehealth technologies to expand access to health care services. Notice
  • On November 30, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice of the revision to an information collection associated with the rule for the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program of the FCC’s universal service fund (USF). Notice

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy –

  • On November 29, CDC released a report on rates of suicide by demographic characteristics in the U.S, finding that the number of suicides was three percent higher in 2022 than in 2021. Report
  • On November 30, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the 2021 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Annual Report, which details episode-level data on individuals receiving substance use treatment services from licensed or certified facilities. Report
  • On December 1, SAMHSA announced the FentAlert: Empowering Youth for Safer Choices – SAMHSA Fentanyl Awareness Youth Challenge, which seeks the best ideas from U.S. youth, aged 14-18, on a community strategy to increase youth awareness, education, and prevention around the dangers of fentanyl, especially the hidden dangers of fake pills and other contaminants that can lead to drug overdose deaths. Press Release

Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices, Biomedical Research, & Health Innovation –

  • On November 27, the Biden Administration announced new efforts to bolster the domestic supply chain for essential medicines and medical countermeasures. Press Release
  • Also on November 27, FDA announced its withdrawal as a member of the Global Harmonization Working Party (GHWP). FDA will continue its efforts to ensure alignment of medical device international harmonization by primarily working with the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF). Press Release
  • Also on November 27, FDA published an article on its implementation of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, which gives the FDA more regulatory tools to detect and help ensure the removal of dangerous drugs from the supply chain. Article

Veterans Health and Military Health  –

  • On November 29, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) OIG Care in the Community (CITC) healthcare inspection report was released and provided summary results from the focused evaluations conducted in eight Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs), issuing seven recommendations for leaders to use  as a road map to help improve oversight of operations and clinical care moving forward. Report Report in Brief
  • On December 1, the VA announced the addition of three new Vet Centers and six Vet Center Outstations (smaller satellite locations) to improve access to counseling for Veterans and service members. Press Release

SDOH & Health Equity –

  • On November 27, the Biden Administration highlighted efforts to advance equity in the Cancer Moonshot, such as reimbursing for Principal Illness Navigation (PIN) services which focus on removing barriers to care. Press Release
  • Also on November 27, HHS released a report highlighting state and local estimates of the uninsured population in the U.S. Report
  • On November 28, HHS and the Department of Education released an updated joint-policy statement on supporting the inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood programs. Press Release
  • On December 1, the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) released a toolkit, which provides information and resources for Statistical Officials, Chief Data Officers, agency staff, and practitioners seeking guidance to support an increase in available data, improve the accuracy of analyses, and ensure ethical and secure data governance to improve the representation of underserved populations in federal data and analyses.   ToolKit Race and Ethnicity Data Tools Rural Definition and Measures Tool Poverty Areas Tool

Health Systems & Health Care Workforce – On November 27, Sens. Warren (D-MA) and Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to an anesthesiology group requesting it respond to a set of questions concerning allegations of utilizing monopoly power to drive up prices. Press Release Letter

Miscellaneous – On December 1, HHS-Office of Inspector General (OIG) released the Fall 2023 Semiannual Report to Congress, which describes OIG’s work identifying significant risks, problems, abuses, deficiencies, remedies, and investigative outcomes relating to the administration of HHS programs and operations between the April 1, 2023 – September 30, 2023 reporting period. Press Release Report

Legislative Activity 
Introduced Legislation –

  • On November 28, Rep. Huizenga (R-MI) introduced the Grant Reform and NIH Transparency (GRANT) Act (H.R. 6483), which would require greater transparency and accountability within the grant-making process of the National Institutes of Health. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on November 28, Reps. Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Bacon (R-NE), and Evans (D-PA) introduced the Expanding Coverage for Former Foster Youth Act (H.R. 6484), which would ensure health insurance coverage continuity for former foster youth. Sen. Casey (D-PA) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S.2837) on September 19. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on November 28, Rep. Murphy (R-NC) and six bipartisan cosponsors introduce the No Fees for EFTs Act (H.R. 6487), which would prohibit health plans from imposing fees on health care providers for electronic funds transfers and health care payment and remittance advice transactions. Press Release
  • Also on November 28, Rep. Porter (D-CA) and six bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Medicare Economic Security Solutions Act (H.R. 6490), which would limit the penalty for late enrollment under part B of the Medicare Program to 15 percent and twice the period of no enrollment, and exclude periods of COBRA, retiree, and VA coverage from such late enrollment penalty. Bill Text Press Release
  • On November 29, Reps. Feenstra (R-IA) and Bost (R-IL) introduced the Snap Back Inaccurate SNAP Payments Act (H.R. 6501), which would improve the calculation and reduce the taxpayer cost of payment errors under the supplemental nutrition assistance program. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on November 29, Reps. James (R-MI) and Pettersen (D-CO) introduced the Fentanyl Reduction Engrained by Economic Deterrence Act (FREED) Act (H.R. 6505), which would amend the Fentanyl Sanctions Act to strengthen the imposition of sanctions under that Act. Bill Text Press Release
  • On November 30, Reps. Ruiz (D-CA), Bacon (R-NE), Cole (R-OK), and Davids (D-KS) introduced the Urban Indian Health Parity Act (H.R. 6533), which would require a Federal medical assistance percentage of 100 percent for urban Indian organizations. Press Release
  • Also on November 30, Reps. Salinas (D-OR) and Harshbarger (R-TN) introduced the Home-Based Telemental Health Care Act (H.R. 6534), which would establish a home-based telemental health care demonstration program for purposes of increasing mental health and substance use services in rural medically underserved populations and for individuals in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations. Sens. Rounds (R-UT) and Smith (D-MN) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 1077). Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on November 30, Sens. Murray (D-WA), Collins (R-ME), and Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Promoting Maternal and Child Health Through Substance Use Prevention Act (S. 3370), which would reauthorize the program on prenatal and postnatal health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on November 30, Sens. Schmitt (R-MO) and Braun (R-IN) introduced the End COVID Tyranny Act (S.3383), which would reform the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, limit the scope of public health authorities. Press Release