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

What’s Ahead: This Week

Hearings and Markups – No notable hearings this week. Congress is not in session.
Notable Policy Events – 

  • Monday, March 25 to Tuesday, March 26
    • HHS Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC), “PTAC March 25, 2024 Public Meeting.” Additional Information
  • Monday, March 25 to Thursday, March 28
    • National Association of County Health Officials (NACCHO)/American Public Health Association (APHA), “2024 Preparedness Summit: Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Management: Aligning to Address Cascading Challenges.” Paid, In-Person/Virtual. Additional Information
  • Tuesday, March 26
    • American Medical Association (AMA), “Private Practice Simple Solutions: Value-Based Care (Part 1).” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Center for Health Care Strategies, “Tech-Enabled Solutions for Addressing Health-Related Social Needs: Experiences from Iowa and Kentucky Medicaid.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • CMS, “Interoperability and Prior Authorization Final Rule Information Session.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM), “The Power and Promise of AI for Health Equity.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), “Interoperability Standards Workgroup.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Wednesday, March 27
    • CMS, “Medicaid and CHIP Renewals: What to Know and How to Prepare, A Partner Education Webinar Series.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • ONC, “ONC Health IT Certification Program Developer Roundtable.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Thursday, March 28
    • Alliance for Health Policy, “Navigating Complex Systems: Policy Opportunities for Dually Eligible Individuals.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • American Medical Association (AMA), “Navigating AI in Health Care.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
    • Partnership to Empower Physician-Led Care (PEPC), “Independent Practice Success in CMMI Models.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information

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


Government Funding – On March 23, President Biden signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 (H.R. 2992) into law. The package includes six fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills, including HHS, providing funding through September 30, 2024. Bill Text HHS Bill Summary HHS Explanatory Statement White House Statement

Medicare & Medicaid –

  • On March 18, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an impact brief on its work on Medicare Advantage prior authorization. Impact Brief
  • On March 21, CMS approved an amendment to Rhode Island’s section 1115 demonstration, which includes adding remote support and monitoring as a home and community-based service, modifying the provider education requirements for home stabilization services, and extending postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months.  Amendment
  • On March 22, CMS announced that Maryland submitted a request to amend its section 1115 demonstration, which would improve coverage and access to behavioral health care for those involved with the criminal justice system. The federal public comment period is open from March 22 through April 21, 2024. Pending Application Submit Comments

Marketplaces – On March 22, HHS released an issue brief highlighting research findings on the impacts of the Health Insurance Marketplaces in their first ten years. Marketplace sign-ups have grown from eight million in 2014 to over 21 million in early 2024. Issue Brief Press Release

Payment & Delivery System Models – On March 19, CMS announced the ACO Primary Care Flex Model (ACO PC Flex Model). This model will be tested within the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and will focus on low revenue accountable care organizations (ACOs). CMS expects the model will launch on January 1, 2025 and run for five years. CMS is planning to select approximately 130 ACOs to participate in the model. ACO PC Flex Model Fact Sheet Press Release FAQs

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health – 

  • On March 18, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin updating the obligations of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) covered entities and business associates under the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules when using online tracking technologies. Bulletin
  • Also on March 18, ONC National Coordinator Tripathi was interviewed by the Washington Post on HHS’s strategic plan on artificial intelligence (AI) in health care. Interview
  • On March 19, HHS convened a meeting with payers and discussed actions to mitigate harms to patients and providers caused by the cyberattack on Change Healthcare. Readout
  • Also on March 19, 96 House members sent a letter to HHS Secretary Becerra regarding the Change Healthcare cyber attack and the resulting disruptions to health care providers and patients. Letter
  • On March 20, Rep. Bera (D-CA) released a request for information (RFI) seeking input on how AI is reshaping the health care industry. Responses are due by May 6, 2024. RFI
  • Also on March 20, Senate HELP Ranking Member Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Tuberville (R-AL) sent a letter to HHS requesting information on how HHS has responded to the Change Healthcare cyberattack. It requests answers to a series of questions by April 3, 2024.Letter Press Release
  • On March 21, House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chair Buchanan (R-FL) led 20 House Republicans in a letter to HHS Secretary Becerra expressing concerns regarding the cyberattack on Change Healthcare. Letter Press Release

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy – On March 22, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced several notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) for grant programs addressing behavioral health. The grant opportunities total $39.4 million. Press Release

Prescription Drugs & Health Innovation – On March 19, Rep. Gallego (D-AZ) led a bipartisan group of over 50 House members in a letter to House Speaker Johnson and House Democrat Leader Jeffries urging Congress to prioritize pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reforms. Letter Press Release

SDOH & Health Equity– On March 18, President Biden signed an Executive Order to strengthen women’s health research standards across federal agencies. The White House also proposed $12 billion to create a women’s health research fund at the NIH and establish a national network of women’s research centers. Executive Order Fact Sheet

Health Systems & Health Care Workforce – 

  • On March 18, CDC released an evidence-based guide for hospital leaders to improve health care worker wellbeing. The guide is part of the Impact Wellbeing Campaign, which was launched in October 2023. Guide Impact Wellbeing Campaign
  • On March 21, the House Ways and Means Committee published a blog, which highlighted the need for access to emergency care in rural and underserved communities. Blog

Miscellaneous – 

  • On March 20, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Rodgers (R-WA), Health Subcommittee Chair Guthrie (R-KY), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Dodaro requesting GAO examine how SAMHSA has administered COVID-19 supplemental funding and funds provided to launch the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Letter Press Release
  • Also on March 20, the Republican Study Committee released its FY 2025 budget proposal. The proposal includes implementing a premium support model where Medicare Advantage plans would compete with traditional Medicare, site neutral payments, and reforming Graduate Medical Education (GME) payments.  Press Release Budget Proposal White House Statement 
  • On March 21, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Pallone (D-NJ) launched an investigation into United Network for Organ Sharing. As part of the investigation, they sent letters to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) regarding ongoing reforms. Press Release

Legislative Activity 

Votes & Committee Activity –

  • On March 19, the House passed the Dr. Michael C. Burgess Preventive Health Savings Act (H.R. 766) by voice vote. The bill would amend the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 with respect to the scoring of preventive health savings. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. Bill Text Press Release
  • On March 20, the House Energy & Commerce Committee advanced 28 bills. The bills now head to the full House for consideration. Press Release
    • The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2024 (H.R. 4581) passed by a vote of 44-0. The bill would support stillbirth prevention and research. Bill Text
    • The Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act (H.R. 2706) passed by a vote of 46-0. The bill would prohibit mental or physical disability discrimination in cases of organ transplants. Bill Text
    • The Supporting and Improving Rural RMS Needs (SIREN) Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4646) passed by a vote of 46-0. The bill would reauthorize the rural emergency medical service training and equipment assistance program. Bill Text
    • The Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2024 (H.R. 6960) passed by a vote of 48-0. The bill would reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children program. Bill Text
    • The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Reauthorization Act (H.R. 7153) passed by a vote of 48-0. The bill would reauthorize the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act. Bill Text
    • The Kidney Patient Access to Technologically Innovative and Essential Nephrology Treatments (PATIENT) Act of 2023 (H.R. 5074) passed by a vote of 36-10. The bill would delay implementation of the inclusion of oral-only end stage renal disease (ESRD)-related drugs in the Medicare ESRD prospective payment system. Bill Text
  • On March 21, the House passed the Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act of 2024 (H.R. 7520), which would prohibit data brokers from transferring personally identifiable sensitive data of United States individuals to foreign adversaries. Bill Text Press Release

Introduced Legislation –

  • On March 19, Sen. Scott (R-SC) and seven bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Telehealth Modernization Act (S. 3967), which would make permanent certain telehealth flexibilities under the Medicare program. Rep. Carter (R-GA) and seven bipartisan cosponsors introduced the companion legislation (H.R. 7623) in the House on March 12. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on March 19, Sens. Moran (R-KS) and King (I-ME) introduced S. 3979, which would make permanent and codify the pilot program for use of contract physicians for disability examinations. Press Release Bill Text
  • On March 20, Sens. Casey (D-PA), Blumenthal (D-CT), Fetterman (D-PA), Reed (D-RI), Sanders (I-VT), and Smith (D-MN) introduced the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act of 2024 (S. 4002), which would improve the child and adult care food program. One Pager Press Release
  • Also on March 20, Reps. Castor (D-FL) and Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the At Home Observation and Medical Evaluation (HOME) Services Act (H.R. 7742), which would implement a pilot program to expand the scope of hospital-at-home care in the United States. Sens. Rubio (R-FL) and Carper (D-DE) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate (S. 3756) on February 7. Press Release
  • Also on March 20, Sen. Warner (D-VA) introduced the Health Care Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2024, which would allow for advance and accelerated payments to health care providers in the event of a cyber incident, as long as they and their vendors meet minimum cybersecurity standards. Press Release Bill Text
  • Also on March 21, Sens. Heinrich (D-NM) and Casey (D-PA) introduced the Providing Resources and Opportunities for Health Education and Learning (PRO-HEAL) Act (S. 4031), which would authorize the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration to award grants to expand or create health care provider pipeline programs. Bill Text One Pager Press Release

Also on March 21, Sens. Cornyn (R-TX), Sinema (I-AZ), Tillis (R-NC), Tester (D-MT), and Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Creating Access and Resources in Education (CARE) for Student Mental Health Act (S. 4041), which would support local educational agencies in addressing the student mental health crisis. Press Release