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

What’s Ahead: This Week

Hearings and Markups –

  • Wednesday, January 31 
    • House Energy & Commerce Committee, Health Subcommittee, “Health Care Spending in the United States: Unsustainable for Patients, Employers, and Taxpayers.” Additional Information
    • House Oversight Committee, Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, “Overseeing the Department of Health and Human Services’ Compliance with Congress.” Additional Information
    • Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, “Supporting the Mental Health Needs of Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families.” Additional Information

Notable Policy Events – 

  • Monday, January 29 to Friday, February 2 – Health Care Value Week 
  • Tuesday, January 30 
    • Johns Hopkins University Hopkins Business of Health Initiative, “What Is The Role of Business in Health?” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Wednesday, January 31 
    • Bipartisan Policy Center, “Addressing Information Asymmetry: Improving CMS and FDA Collaboration.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • CMS, “2024 Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Stakeholder Webinars.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • HHS, “Food is Medicine Summit.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Thursday, February 1 
    • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), “ONC Webinar HTI-1 Final Rule Overview #2 with Q&A.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Thursday, February 1 to Friday, February 2 
    • American Medical Association (AMA), “CPT Editorial Panel February Meeting.” Free, Virtual & In-Person. Additional Information

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

Medicare & Medicaid –

  • On January 23, Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden (D-OR) sent letters to five third-party marketing organizations seeking information on how the companies use insurance agents, lead generators and other data to target, market to, and direct seniors towards Medicare Advantage plans. Press Release Letters
  • On January 24, CMS released a Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Informational Bulletin with the updated 2024 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) Standards. Informational Bulletin
  • Also on January 24, CMS released the 2024-2025 Medicaid Managed Care Rate Development Guide, which details what information must be included in the states’ actuarial rate certifications for rating periods between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025. Development Guide
  • On January 25, CMS issued a request for information (RFI) on Medicare Advantage data. CMS is seeking data-related input on aspects of Medicare Advantage, including access to care; supplemental benefits; marketing; value-based care arrangements and equity; and competition in the market, including the effects of vertical integration. Comments are due May 29, 2024. Press Release RFI

Marketplaces – 

  • On January 22, the Departments of Labor, HHS, and Treasury prepared a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document regarding the implementation of certain provisions of the ACA. The questions focus on coverage of contraceptives and contraceptive care. FAQs
  • On January 24, CMS announced a record 21.3 million people selected an ACA Health Insurance Marketplace plan during the 2024 Open Enrollment Period. Fact Sheet Press Release White House Statement

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health – 

  • On January 23, Sen. Schatz (D-HI) led a letter to HHS urging Secretary Becerra to work with Congress to ensure Medicare beneficiaries maintain access to telehealth. Letter Press Release
  • Also on January 23, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) published a blog post highlighting takeaways from an October 2023 event, Enabling Patient Access to Health Data for Actionable Results, in which patients, providers, payers, and health IT developers discussed how HHS policies are working in practice and how to maximize the impact of these policies. Blog
  • On January 24, Sens. Bennet (D-CO), Graham (R-SC), Warren (D-MA) and Welch (D-VT) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) to request a new independent agency to establish oversight over large technology firms. Letter Press Release
  • Also on January 24, HHS released voluntary health care specific cybersecurity performance goals (CPGs) and a new gateway website to help organizations implement high-impact cybersecurity practices and ease access to federal cybersecurity resources. Cybersecurity Performance Goals Press Release
  • On January 25, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a letter to five companies requiring them to provide information regarding recent investments and partnerships involving generative artificial intelligence (AI) companies and major cloud service providers. Press Release

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy – 

  • On January 24, CMS announced $50 million in grants for states to connect millions of children to critical health care services, particularly for mental health, at school. The grants will help up to 20 states implement or expand school-based health services for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Press Release
  • Also on January 24, House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Guthrie (R-KY) published an op-ed, “Leading from the forefront of the fight against the overdose epidemic,” which calls for Congress to pass the SUPPORT Act of 2023. Op-Ed Press Release

Prescription Drugs & Health Innovation – 

  • On January 22, HHS met with health care provider groups to discuss pathways for a smooth transition of oral antivirals for COVID-19 to the commercial market and the importance of provider education and clear communication to consumers. Readout
  • On January 25, Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Crapo (R-ID) released a white paper outlining bipartisan policy options to prevent and mitigate generic prescription drug shortages. Press Release White Paper

SDOH & Health Equity –

  • On January 22, President Biden announced he will convene the fourth meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, where agencies will announce new actions to protect access to reproductive health care. Press Release
  • Also on January 22, CMS announced it will launch a series of actions to educate the public about their rights to emergency medical care and to help support efforts of hospitals to meet their obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). Press Release
  • On January 23, CMS announced the availability of a new public use file on Socio-demographic and Health Characteristics of Medicare Beneficiaries Living in the Community by Dual Eligibility Status in 2021. Public Use File
  • On January 25, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Rep. Underwood (D-IL) announced the Enhancing Maternal Health Initiative, a year-long effort which will focus on maximizing the impact of HRSA grants and programs and foster new partnerships to address the maternal mortality crisis and reduce maternal health disparities. Press Release

Health Systems & Health Care Workforce 

  • On January 25, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program which recommends that Congress consider adopting practices to help manage potential risks if it expands program eligibility. Report-in-Brief Report

Legislative Activity 

Votes and Committee Activity –

  • On January 24, the Senate passed the Train More Nurses Act (S. 2853) by unanimous consent. The bill would require the Secretary of HHS and the Secretary of Labor to conduct a study and issue a report on grant programs to support the nursing workforce. The bill now heads to the House for consideration. Bill Text Press Release

Introduced Legislation –

  • On January 22, Reps. Salinas (D-OR) and Tokuda (D-HI) introduced the Peer Support for Firefighters Act (H.R. 7069), which would expand permissible uses of assistance to firefighters grant funds relating to behavioral and mental health. Bill Text Press Release
  • On January 23, Sens. Shaheen (D-NH) and Fischer (R-NE) introduced the Maintaining our Obligation to Moms (MOMs) who Serve Act (S. 3641), which would require the Secretary of Defense to establish a pilot program for evidence-based perinatal mental health prevention for pregnant and postpartum members of the Armed Forces and dependents. Press Release
  • On January 24, Sens. Cassidy (R-LA), Smith (D-MN), Thune (R-SD), and Cardin (D-MD) introduced the Telemental Health Care Access Act (S. 3651), which would ensure coverage of mental health services furnished through telehealth. Bill Text Press Release
  • On January 25, Reps. Houlanhan (D-PA) and Bacon (R-NE) introduced the Maintaining Our Obligation to Moms (MOMS) who Serve Act (H.R. 7087), which would establish a pilot program for evidence-based perinatal mental health prevention for pregnant and postpartum members of the Armed Forces and beneficiaries. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on January 25, Reps. Moore (R-AL) and Brecheen (R-OK) introduced the Public Health Emergency Accountability Act (H.R. 7093), which would provide for Congressional approval of public health emergency declarations. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on January 25, Sens. Shaheen (D-NH) and Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Turn the Tide Act (S. 3663), which would provide funding for programs and activities under the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. Press Release