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What’s Ahead: This Week

Hearings and Markups –

  • Thursday, January 18
    • Senate HELP Committee, “Hearing on Addressing Long COVID: Advancing Research and Improving Patient Care.” Additional Information

Notable Policy Events – 

  • Wednesday, January 17
    • Bipartisan Policy Center, “Health Care Policy in the Election Year.” Virtual, Free. Additional Information
    • CMS, “AHEAD Model Office Hours.” Virtual, Free. Additional Information
    • Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), “HTI-1 Decision Support Interventions Information Session.” Virtual, Free. Additional Information
  • Thursday, January 18
    • American Enterprise Institute (AEI), “Intellectual Property and Biopharmaceuticals: Implications of Changes in US Protections for Clinical Data and Technology.” Virtual, Free. Additional Information
    • CMS, “CMS Health Equity Conference – Call for Proposals Webinar.” Virtual, Free. Additional Information
    • National Academies, “Examining the Working Definition for Long COVID Committee Meeting 7.” Virtual, Free. Additional Information
  • Friday, January 19 
    • Johns Hopkins University, “Why Can’t Americans Have Better and Cheaper Health Care? Exploring the Innovation Challenge.” Additional Information
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology, “National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee Law Enforcement Subcommittee Open Meeting.” Virtual, Free. Additional Information

Government Funding – On January 14, House Speaker Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) released a stopgap funding bill, which temporarily extends the four appropriations bill previously expiring on January 19 to March 1 and several appropriations bills, including HHS expiring on February 2 to March 8. It would keep the government funded at its current spending levels, without any policy changes or conditions. House Democratic Leader Jeffries (D-NY) released a Dear Colleague announcement on the continuing resolution. Bill Text Dear Colleague Announcement


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

Medicare & Medicaid –

  • On January 9, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a notice soliciting nominations for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). Nominations are due February 9, 2024 and appointments will be effective in May 2024. Notice
  • On January 10, CMS issued a notice announcing revisions to the Model Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Individual Enrollment Request Form, which it will use to track beneficiary enrollment patterns by race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity over time. Notice
  • On January 11, HHS launched an online and user-friendly hub for partners to access critical Medicaid and CHIP renewal and transition resources. Press Release

Marketplaces – 

  • On January 10, HHS announced that over 20 million people have selected an ACA Health Insurance Marketplace plan since the 2024 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period launched on November 1 — a record number of enrollments. Press Release White House Statement
  • On January 12, HHS, the Department of Labor, and the Department Treasury updated the No Surprises Act website to reflect upcoming changes to the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) certified IDR entity fee ranges in accordance with the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Process Administrative Fee and Certified IDR Entity Fee Ranges Final Rule (IDR Fees Final Rule), including the new fees being set by each certified IDR entity. Website Final Rule

Payment & Delivery System Models – On January 11, CMS released the final evaluation report for the Next Generation ACO Model. Overall, the model reduced gross, but not net, Medicare Parts A and B spending for its aligned beneficiaries. Evaluation Two-Page Summary

Public Health Prevention, Preparedness, Surveillance – On January 8, Senate HELP Committee Chair Sanders (I-VT) and Sens. Baldwin (D-WI), Luján (D-NM), and Markey (D-MA) launched an investigation into the prices of inhalers charged by four pharmaceutical companies. Press Release

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health – On January 9, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Digital Health Center of Excellence (DHCoE) published a blog on how digital health technologies may help with early detection of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and type 2 undiagnosed diabetes. In the blog, DHCoE highlighted its RFI currently open for comments. Comments are due January 31, 2024. Blog Request for Comments

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy – On January 9, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a request for information (RFI) on the prevention and treatment of maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Comments are due January 31, 2024. RFI

Prescription Drugs & Health Innovation – On January 9, the Justice Department issued a proposed rule that aims to improve access to medical diagnostic equipment for people with disabilities. Press Release

SDOH & Health Equity –

  • On January 8, CMS issued a call for proposals for the 2024 CMS Health Equity Conference, scheduled for May 29 – 30, 2024. Submissions are due by February 9, 2024. Submissions
  • On January 9, HHS released a final rule, “Safeguarding the Rights of Conscience as Protected by Federal Statutes.” The rule clarifies the process for enforcing federal conscience laws and strengthens protections against conscience and religious discrimination, effective March 11, 2024. Final Rule Press Release
  • Also on January 9, CMS posted the Rural Health Cross-Cutting Initiative fact sheet which highlights recent accomplishments to improve quality, equity, and outcomes across the health care system. Fact Sheet


  • On January 8, HHS announced Stacy Sanders as the Department’s new Chief Competition Officer who will play a leading role in addressing concentration in health care markets through data-sharing, reciprocal training programs, and the further development of additional health care competition policy initiatives. Press Release
  • On January 10, HHS released a report on state efforts to coordinate provider director accuracy. Report

Legislative Activity 

Votes and Committee Activity –

  • On January 11, the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act (H.R. 6918) advanced out of the House W&M Committee by a vote of 24-18. The bill would prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services from restricting funding for pregnancy centers. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration. Bill Text Press Release

Introduced Legislation –

  • On January 9, Reps. Emmer (R-MN), Torres (D-NY), and Langworthy (R-NY) introduced the Securing Facilities for Mental Health Services Act (H.R. 6922), which would provide parity with respect to access to the mortgage insurance for hospitals program for licensed hospitals. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on January 9, Reps. Trone (D-MD), Raskin (D-MD), and Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Continuity in Necessary Evaluative Crisis Treatment (CONNECT) Act (H.R. 6928), which would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, to award grants to eligible crisis centers to provide follow-up services to individuals receiving suicide prevention and crisis intervention services. Bill Text One-Pager Press Release
  • On January 10, Sens. Warner (D-VA) and Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits Transparency Act of 2023 (S. 3573), which would increase data transparency for supplemental benefits under Medicare Advantage. Bill Text Press Release
  • On January 11, Reps. Kaptur (D-OH) and Hinson (R-IA) introduced the Opioid Settlement Accountability Act (H.R. 6956), which would prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services from treating any Medicaid-related funds recovered from one or more pharmaceutical companies or drug distributors with respect to opioid litigation as an overpayment under such title. Bill Text Fact Sheet Press Release
  • Also on January 11, Reps. Carter (R-GA), Castor (D-FL), Joyce (R-PA), and Schrier (D-WA) introduced the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Reauthorization Act of 2024 (H.R. 6960), which would reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children program. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on January 11, Reps. Chu (D-CA), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Blunt Rochester (D-DE), and Bacon (R-NE) introduced the Nutrition Counseling Aiding Recovery for Eating Disorders (Nutrition CARE) Act of 2024 (H.R. 6961), which would provide coverage of medical nutrition therapy services for individuals with eating disorders under the Medicare program. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on January 11, Reps. Frost (D-FL) and Matsui (D-CA) introduced the EPIPEN Act (H.R. 6965), which would establish requirements with respect to cost sharing for epinephrine injectors under group health plans and group and individual health insurance coverage. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on January 11, Reps. Nadler (D-NY) and Porter (D-CA) introduced the Independent Drug Value Assessment Act (H.R. 6977), which would provide for a demonstration project for the development and publication of independent value assessments for drugs. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on January 11, Sens. Cassidy (R-LA), Blackburn (R-TN), Wicker (R-MS), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Barrasso (R-WY) introduced the Protect Medicaid Act (S. 3578), which would prohibit Federal Medicaid funding for the administrative costs of providing health benefits to individuals who are unauthorized immigrants. Bill Text Press Release

On January 12, Reps. Matsui (D-CA) and Buschon (R-IN) introduced the Mapping America’s Pharmaceutical Supply (MAPS) Act (H.R. 6992), which would establish a list of essential medicines. Bill Text Press Release