What’s Ahead: This Week

Hearings and Markups –

  • Wednesday, February 15
    • House Energy & Commerce Committee, “Field Hearing on the Ongoing Fentanyl Crisis.” Additional information
  • Thursday, February 16
    • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, “Farm Bill 2023: Nutrition Programs.” Additional information
    • Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, “Bringing Transparency and Accountability to Pharmacy Benefit Managers.” Additional information
    • Senate HELP Committee, “Examining Health Care Workforce Shortages: Where Do We Go From Here?” Additional information
    • Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, “To Consider the Nomination of Joshua D. Jacobs to be Under Secretary for Benefits, Department of Veterans Affairs.” Additional information

Notable Policy Events – 

  • Monday, February 13 – Tuesday, February 14
  • Monday, February 13
    • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), “Vaccine Equity Combating COVID-19 Misinformation.” Additional information
    • HHS, “Trusted Exchange Framework, Common Agreement (TEFCA) Recognition Event.” Additional information
    • HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, “Call to Discuss The End of The Public Health Emergency.” Additional information
  • Wednesday, February 15 – Thursday, February 16
    • WEDI, “3rd Annual Health Equity Spotlight: Building Upon Data and Innovation to Drive Equity.” Additional information
  • Wednesday, February 15
    • Bureau of Primary Health Care Behavioral Health Technical Assistance (BPHC-BH TA), “Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pediatric Mental Health in an Integrated Care Setting.” Additional information
    • Center for Health Care Strategies, “New CMS Guidance on Addressing Social Needs Through Medicaid: Implications for States, Managed Care, and Health Systems.” Additional information
    • CMS, “2023 Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) Measures Workgroup.” Additional information
    • CMS, “Quality Data Implementation (QDI) User Group Webinar.” Additional information
    • CMS, “Quality Payment Program (QPP) and MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs) Maintenance Feedback Webinar.” Additional information
    • Washington Post, “Shifting Conversations Around Issues Impacting Women’s Health.” Additional information
  • Thursday, February 16
Weekly Wrap-Up: Notable Health Care Developments from Last Week
Medicare & Medicaid – 

  • On February 6, CMS announced that Washington submitted an application to extend its section 1115 demonstration, “Family Planning Only Demonstration,” which provides limited family planning and family planning-related service for individuals enrolled in the Family Planning Only programs. Comments will be open through March 8, 2023. Pending Application Comments
  • Also on February 6, CMS released updated resources around the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) to execute the process of a smooth operational wind down of flexibilities enabled by the COVID-19 emergency declarations. CMS Emergencies Provider-Specific Fact Sheets CMS 1135 Flexibility Request Acute Hospital at Home
  • On February 7, CMS announced that North Carolina submitted an application to amend its Section 1115(a) demonstration, “North Carolina Medicaid Reform Demonstration,” which seeks to extend Medicaid eligibility to certain parents and caretaker relatives of children/youth in foster care. The comment period will be open through March 9, 2023. Pending Application Comments
  • Also on February 7, CMS released a notice on the use and burden associated with several information collections: Minimum Data Set 3.0 Nursing Home and Swing Bed Prospective Payment System; Medicare Part D Manufacturer Discount Program Agreement; Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D; Medicare Fee-For-Service Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey; and Implementation of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and Medicare Advantage Plan Disenrollment Reasons Survey. Comments are due by April 10, 2023. Notice
  • Also on February 7, CMS released a notice on the Plan Benefit Package and Formulary CY 2024, which Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plan organizations are required to submit and includes information on premiums, cost sharing, authorization rules, and supplemental benefits. Comments are due by March 9, 2023. Notice
  • Also on February 7, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report which found that North Carolina did not always comply with Federal Medicaid requirements for invoicing manufacturers for rebates for physician-administered drugs. Report in Brief Report
  • Also on February 7, HHS OIG released a technical assistance brief compiling insights on potential challenges in implementing inflation-indexed rebates for Part B drugs. HHS OIG anticipates that unless CMS takes action to remedy several administrative issues, CMS will face challenges in implementing rebates in key areas. Report Press Release
  • Also on February 7, CMS published the 2022 Performance Period Suppressed and Truncated MIPS Quality Measures List, which announces that quality measure 238: Use of High-Risk Medications in Older Adults will be suppressed for the 2022 performance period within the MIPS Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) collection type. List
  • On February 9, CMS released initial guidance for the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program. The first quarterly period for which drug companies will be required to pay rebates for raising prices that outpace inflation on certain Part B drugs began on January 1, 2023. CMS also released a notice for comment on this guidance, which is due by March 11, 2023. Press Release Fact Sheet Medicare Part B Guidance Medicare Part D Guidance Notice
  • Also on February 9, the White House released a fact sheet on protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security and lowering prescription drug prices through the Inflation Reduction Act. Fact Sheet
  • On February 10, CMS released a notice on the COVID-19 Risk Corridor Reconciliation Reporting Template, which will assist CMS in analyzing states’ implementation of risk corridors in Medicaid managed care programs. Comments are due February 24, 2023. Notice
  • Also on February 10, CMS issued the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Reminders for States program notice to remind states of key Medicaid Drug Rebate reporting and certification requirements. Notice
  • Also on February 10, CMS released a blog on addressing rural health inequities in Medicare. The blog notes how CMS will support rural providers, expand access to care in rural areas, and transform the rural health delivery system. Blog
  • Also on February 10, Senate Special Committee on Aging Chair Casey (D-PA) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden (D-OR) led a letter to CMS Administrator Brooks-LaSure to encourage the agency to establish minimum staffing standards in nursing homes to ensure high-quality care for nursing home residents. Letter Press Release
Public Health Preparedness, Prevention, Surveillance, & Data – 

  • COVID-19 Data: To date, there are 102,736,819 total COVID-19 cases and 1,110,364 COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Also, 958,658,535 COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered and 670,306,507 individual COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. Data
  • FDA Action Update: To date, FDA has authorized 443 tests under Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs), including 299 molecular tests, 85 antibody tests and 58 antigen tests. FDA also continues to update COVID-19 FAQs.
  • On February 6, FDA updated its step-by-step guide to include information about reporting over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 test results to MakeMyTestCount.org. Guide
  • Also on February 6, National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials published an article in Science that reviews NIH’s research and cross-sector initiatives set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and outlines lessons learned to inform the public health response to future pandemics. Article
  • On February 7, the Biden Administration released a statement opposing congressional action to reverse the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for noncitizens and nonimmigrants entering the United States by air. Statement
  • On February 9, HHS Secretary Becerra renewed the COVID-19 PHE, effective February 11, 2023. The PHE will end on May 11, 2023. Press Release
  • Also on February 9, HHS Secretary Becerra sent a letter to governors on renewing the COVID-19 PHE, along with a fact sheet outlining flexibilities and policies that will be affected when the PHE ends. Letter Fact Sheet
  • On February 10, the CDC released a report on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents in 2023, which added the COVID-19 vaccine to the list. Report
  • Also on February 10, the CDC released a report on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedule for adults in 2023. Report
  • Also on February 10, the CDC released data on COVID-19 incidence and mortality among unvaccinated and vaccinated persons by receipt of bivariant booster doses and time since vaccination. Data
  • Also on February 10, the CDC announced its agency reorganization was approved by HHS Secretary Becerra on January 24, 2023, and became effective February 8, 2023. Notice
  • Also on February 10, HHS released a notice, determining there was no longer a significant potential for a public health emergency to affect national security or health of U.S. citizens living abroad involving enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). The notice terminates the declaration authorizing emergency use of new in vitro diagnostics for detection of enterovirus D68. Notice
  • Also on February 10, President Biden released a notice, which officially terminates the national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11, 2023. Notice
  • Also on February 10, President Biden sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate on the termination of the national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Letter
  • Also on February 10, the FDA authorized the Xpert Mpox test under an EUA. The test can be used to test human lesion swab specimen obtained from individuals suspected of mpox by their health care provider. Authorization Letter Fact Sheet Instruction for Use
Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health –

  • On February 6, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a blog discussing the results of its recent study examining trends in hospitals’ access and use of data from electronic health record (EHR) developers and the amount of time clinicians spend documenting clinical care in EHRs. Blog Study
  • On February 7, Sens. Klobuchar (D-MN), Collins (R-ME), Cantwell (D-WA), and Lummis (R-WY) sent a letter to three telehealth companies regarding the concerns around sharing of patients’ sensitive health data. Cerebral Letter Monument Letter Workit Health Press Release
  • Also on February 7, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the third in a series of four reports on federal cybersecurity challenges. This report discusses strengthening the federal role in cybersecurity for critical infrastructure and the need to address cybersecurity risks to the U.S. power grid. Report in Brief Report
  • Also on February 7, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released provider fact sheets about telehealth policies after the COVID-19 PHE, including how waivers and flexibilities will be affected, on its telehealth webpage. Fact Sheets Webpage
  • Also on February 7, HRSA released a notice on the Optimizing Virtual Care (OVC) Grant Program Performance Measures. Under the OVC grant program, high-performing health centers received awards to increase care access and quality for underserved populations through virtual care such as telehealth and remote patient monitoring. Comments are due by March 9, 2023. Notice
  • On February 8, the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) voted unanimously to approve a modified annual report to HHS and Congress for the 2022 fiscal year. Report
  • On February 9, Reps. Frankel (D-FL) and Schultz (D-FL) led a letter to the Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) urging the board to withdraw a harmful proposal regarding students’ private health information from athletics participation forms, and ensure students’ medical histories are retained only by their health care provider and not by their school. Letter Press Release
  • On February 10, ONC released a blog regarding the passage of the Cures Act Final Rule by Certified Health IT developers. The final rule includes four new updates which will make it easier for patients to access their own health IT record, allow electronic health information to flow more freely between health IT systems, and provide enhanced privacy and security for health IT. Blog Cures Act Final Rule

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy –

  • On February 6, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced a notice of funding opportunity for the Center of Excellence for Protected Information related to behavioral health. Applications are due April 7, 2023. Notice
  • On February 7, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a report on mental health research priorities. The report outlines an Administration-wide set of critical and timely needs and opportunities in mental health research. Report Press Release
  • On February 8, SAMHSA announced a notice of funding opportunity for programs to establish, expand or maintain Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs for transition-aged youth and adults with a serious mental illness (SMI) or serious emotional disturbance (SED). Notice
  • On February 9, HHS released a report on the Zero Suicide program, which is a system-wide approach for health systems to improve the quality and safety of care for those at risk of suicide, with the underlying goal of preventing all suicide deaths among patients. Report
  • On February 10, HHS issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to implement amendments made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 which immediately eliminated the requirement to obtain a waiver in order to prescribe certain schedule III-V medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (the “X waiver”). The SNPRM proposes to formally remove Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) related provisions from 42 CFR part 8 which no longer have practical or legal effect on medical provider practices under existing law. SNPRM Press Release
  • Also on February 10, CDC released data on recent changes in suicide rates by race, ethnicity and age group. Data
  • Also on February 10, Reps. Carter (R-GA) and Miller-Meeks (R-IA) sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Califf calling for the FDA to make naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, available without prescription. Press Release Letter

Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices, & Biomedical Research –

  • On February 6, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America et al. filed a civil action lawsuit against HHS for the agency’s consideration to allow prescription drugs to be imported from Canada. Lawsuit
  • On February 7, NIH released a study on early anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs and its ability to decrease the risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. The study found that early treatment of diabetes-related eye disease slowed progression to severe disease, but it did not improve visual acuity compared with treating more severe disease once it developed. Study Press Release
  • On February 10, the CDC released data on the percentage of adults who use hearing aid devices by sex and age group. Data
  • Also on February 10, the FDA released the 2022 New Drug Therapy Approvals report, which highlights 37 novel drugs approved by the FDA in 2022. Press Release Report

Veterans Health and Military Health –

  • On February 6, Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Chair Tester (D-MT) and Ranking Member Moran (R-KS) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Austin citing concerns over reports that technical issues with the U.S. Army’s new human resources platform resulted in the disenrollment of 25,000 beneficiaries from TRICARE. Letter Press Release
  • On February 8, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) OIG released a report on an assessment that was conducted on the oversight and stewardship of funds by the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System. The assessment evaluated purchase card use, inventory and supply management, and pharmacy operations. Report in Brief Report
  • On February 9, GAO released a report on the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) mental health care programs and made recommendations for VHA to help ensure these programs effectively serve rural veterans. Report in Brief Report

Health Systems, Population Health, Public Health & Health Equity –

  • On February 6, the White House released a fact sheet, “The Biden Economic Plan Is Working,” which outlines the Administration’s efforts to reduce health care costs such as banning surprise medical bills and lowering premiums. Fact Sheet
  • Also on February 6, CDC released a report on health disparities in hemodialysis-associated staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections, finding that Black and Hispanic patients on dialysis had higher rates of staph bloodstream infections. Report Press Release
  • Also on February 6, CMS released an updated proposed guidance on the list of screening instruments available for Medicare Advantage special needs plans (SNPs) to meet the new requirement to include one or more questions on housing stability, food security, and access to transportation in health risk assessments beginning in contract year 2024. Updated Proposed Guidance
  • On February 7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service released a notice proposing long-term school nutrition standards based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and requesting stakeholder feedback. Comments are due by April 10, 2023. Notice
  • On February 8, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) released a notice on efforts to streamline and standardize grantee profiles across three programs: the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), and Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA). Comments are due by March 10, 2023. Notice
  • Also on February 8, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released a notice on the SNAP Retailer Incentive Waiver Request, which would offer SNAP recipients incentives at SNAP authorized retailer locations that encourage them to purchase healthier foods. Comments are due by April 10, 2023. Notice
  • Also on February 8, HRSA released a notice on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program allocations forms. Comments are due by March 10, 2023. Notice
  • Also on February 8, the NIH released a press release which highlights NIH-funded studies that have linked altered gut microbes to chronic disease. Press Release
  • Also on February 8, the FDA released best practices and practice approaches for public health campaigns, which was based on lessons learned from FDA’s tobacco prevention campaigns. Best Practices
  • On February 9, the CDC released an interactive data query system that allows users to search for data on adults about selected health topics by detailed race and ethnicity groups and subgroups in the U.S. The new system provides estimates as three-year averages based on 2019-2021 final data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Data Query System Press Release
  • Also on February 9, Reps. Mann (R-KS) and McGovern (D-MA) announced the relaunch of the House Hunger Caucus, a forum for Members of Congress to discuss, advance, engage, and work on issues related to domestic and international hunger and food insecurity. Press Release
  • On February 10, HHS released a request for information on the development of a report on promising practices for advancing health equity for intersex individuals. Comments are due March 10, 2023. Request for Information
  • Also on February 10, HHS released a report on factors contributing to reductions in patient wait times at Indian Health Service emergency department facilities. Report

Reproductive, Maternal, & Infant Health  –

  • On February 6, the CDC published a study providing evidence that Tdap (whooping cough) vaccination during pregnancy helps protect newborns from whooping cough during their first two months of life. Press Release Study
  • On February 7, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) requested comments on a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on screening for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. USPSTF recommends that all pregnant people have their blood pressure measured at each prenatal visit. Comments are due by March 6, 2023. Public Comment Announcement
  • On February 10, the FDA released a notice of availability, which will provide information for manufacturers and contract laboratories that perform Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) of new infant formula studies to assist in designing, conducting, evaluating, and reporting PER studies. Notice of Availability

Misc. –

  • On February 6, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) filed a fifth lawsuit, challenging the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process for out-of-network claims in the No Surprises Act. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division ruled in favor of plaintiffs TMA. The Departments of HHS, Treasury, and Labor have yet to respond or issue any further guidance to the Independent Dispute Resolution Entities (IDRE’s). Decision Press Release
  • Also on February 6, the White House released fact sheets in advance of the President’s State of the Union address. Notable health-related priorities outlined in the fact sheets include: lowering health insurance premiums and prescription drug costs; promoting competition; accelerating progress to end cancer; reducing veteran suicide; expanding access to mental health services; and expanding access to telehealth including increasing resources to facilitate care across state lines. Economic Plan Fact Sheet Unity Agenda Fact Sheet Safer Communities Fact Sheet
  • On February 7, President Biden gave the 2023 State of the Union address. In his remarks, President Biden emphasized health insurance coverage, mental health, reproductive health care, and patient privacy. Remarks

Legislative Activity –
Votes and Committee Activity –

  • On February 8, the House passed H.R. 185 by a vote of 227-201. The bill would terminate the requirement imposed by the Director of the CDC for proof of COVID-19 vaccination for foreign travelers. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Bill text Press release Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate
  • On February 9, Sen. Crapo (R-ID) was named Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. Press release
  • Also on February 9, Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Crapo (R-ID) announced the Committee’s subcommittee assignments for the 118th Congress. Sen. Cardin (D-MD) will serve as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Health Care. Announcement
  • Also on February 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced five bipartisan bills to lower prescription drug costs. Press release
    • The Interagency Patent Coordination and Improvement Act of 2023 (S.79) passed by voice vote. The bill would establish an interagency task force between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Food and Drug Administration for purposes of sharing information and providing technical assistance with respect to patents. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. Bill text
    • The Prescription Pricing for the People Act of 2023 (S. 113) passed by voice vote. The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission to study the role of intermediaries in the pharmaceutical supply chain and provide Congress with appropriate policy recommendations. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. Bill text
    • The Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act (S. 142) passed by voice vote. The bill would prohibit brand name drug companies from compensating generic drug companies to delay the entry of a generic drug into the market, and to prohibit biological product manufacturers from compensating biosimilar and interchangeable companies to delay the entry of biosimilar biological products and interchangeable biological products. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. Bill text
    • The Stop STALLING Act (S. 148) passed by voice vote. The bill would enable the Federal Trade Commission to deter filing of sham citizen petitions to cover an attempt to interfere with approval of a competing generic drug or biosimilar, to foster competition, and facilitate the efficient review of petitions filed in good faith to raise legitimate public health concerns. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. Bill text
    • The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act of 2023 (S. 150) passed by voice vote. The bill would amend the Federal Trade Commission Act to prohibit product hopping. The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. Bill text
  • On February 10, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Crapo (R-ID) announced the Committee’s Republican staff members for the 118th Congress. Announcement

Introduced Legislation –

  • On February 6, Rep. Dunn (R-FL) and nine cosponsors introduced the TROOP Act (H.R. 828), which would direct the reinstatement of an individual involuntarily separated from an Armed Force solely on the basis of refusing to receive a vaccination against COVID-19. Press release
  • Also on February 6, Rep. Carter (R-GA) and six bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act (H.R. 830), which would apply additional payments, discounts, and other financial assistance towards the cost-sharing requirements of health insurance plans. Bill text Press release
  • Also on February 6, Rep. Cohen (D-TN) introduced the Medicare Medically Necessary Dental Care Act (H.R. 831), which would provide coverage under Part B of the Medicare program for medically necessary dental procedures. Press release
  • Also on February 6, Reps. Graves (R-MO) and Huffman (D-CA) introduced the Save America’s Rural Hospitals Act (H.R. 833), which would provide for enhanced payments to rural health care providers under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Bill text Press release Section-by-section
  • Also on February 6, Reps. Harshbarger (R-TN), Schrier (D-WA), Cuellar (D-TX), and Bacon (R-NE) introduced the Fair Access in Residency (FAIR) Act (H.R. 834), which would support rural residency training funding that is equitable for all States. Bill text Press release
  • On February 7, Rep. Beyer (D-VA) and eight bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act (H.R. 856), which would provide paid family and medical leave to Federal employees. Sen. Schatz (D-HI) and 10 cosponsors introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 274). Press release
  • Also on February 7, Rep. Lesko (R-AZ) and 17 cosponsors introduced the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act (H.R. 862), which would prohibit dismemberment abortions. Press release
  • Also on February 7, Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Young (R-IN) introduced the End Tuberculosis Now Act (S. 288), which would prevent, treat, and cure tuberculosis globally. Bill text Press release
  • On February 8, Rep. Gimenez (R-FL) introduced the National Emergency Declaration Reform Act (H.R. 868), which would shorten the review period for the Congressional review of termination of certain national emergencies. Bill text Press release
  • Also on February 8, Rep. James (R-MI) introduced the Protecting Social Security and Medicare Act (H.R. 875), which would issue obligations to make Medicare and Social Security payments, despite the debt limit being reached. Press release
  • Also on February 8, Rep. Steube (R-FL) introduced the Safeguarding the U.S. Armed Forces and Service Academies Act (H.R. 881), which would establish certain protections for a member of the Armed Forces, or a cadet or midshipman at a Federal service academy, who refuses to receive a vaccination against COVID-19. Bill text Press release
  • On February 9, Rep. Doggett (D-TX) and 46 cosponsors introduced the Taxpayer Research and Contributions Knowledge (TRACK) Act (H.R. 885), which would compile a searchable database information relating to Federal support for biomedical research and development. Sens. Merkley (D-OR), Braun (R-IN), Sanders (I-VT), and Warren (D-MA) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 315). Press release
  • Also on February 9, Reps. Bucshon (R-IN) and Scott (D-GA) introduced the Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act (H.R. 896), which would ensure that patients receive accurate health care information by prohibiting misleading and deceptive advertising or representation in the provision of health care services and require the identification of the license of health care professionals. Press release
  • Also on February 9, Reps. Schrier (D-WA), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Castor (D-FL) introduced the Kids’ Access to Primary Care Act (H.R. 952), which would renew the application of the Medicare payment rate floor to primary care services furnished under the Medicaid program. Press release
  • Also on February 9, Reps. Wenstrup (R-OH) and Larson (D-CT) introduced the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act (H.R. 972), which would modernize payments for ambulatory surgical centers under the Medicare program. Sens. Blumenthal (D-CT) and Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 312). Bill text Press release
  • Also on February 9, Sens. Kaine (D-VA), Murkowski (R-AK), Sinema (I-AZ), and Collins (R-ME) introduced the Reproductive Freedom For All Act (S. 317), which would guarantee that Americans have the freedom to make certain reproductive decisions without undue government interference. Bill text Press release
  • Also on February 9, Sen. Hirono (D-HI) and 10 cosponsors introduced the Secure Access for Essential Reproductive (SAFER) Health Act (S. 323), which would ensure the privacy of pregnancy termination or loss information under the HIPAA privacy regulations and the HITECH Act. Bill text Press release One pager
  • Also on February 9, Sen. Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Study, Treat, Observe, and Prevent (STOP) Neglected Diseases of Poverty Act (S. 324), which would authorize the Secretary of HHS to carry out activities relating to neglected diseases of poverty. Bill text Press release
  • Also on February 9, Sens. Tester (D-MT) and Sullivan (R-AK) introduced the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act (S. 326), which would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a study and clinical trials on the effects of cannabis on certain health outcomes of veterans with chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. Bill text Press release