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What’s Ahead: This Week

Hearings and Markups –

  • No notable hearings this week. Congress is not in session.

Notable Policy Events –

  • Wednesday, May 29
    • AHIP, “Provider Directory Legislative Briefing: Regulatory Efforts to End Ghost Networks.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Wednesday, May 29 to Thursday, May 30
  • Thursday, May 30
    • American Medical Association (AMA), “Advancing Health Equity Through Resistance: A State of the Union on Threats and Opportunities.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Thursday, May 30 to Friday, May 31
    • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), “Optimizing Federal, State, and Local Response to Public Health Emergencies- A Workshop.” Free, Virtual. Additional Information
  • Friday, May 31

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

Medicare & Medicaid–

Marketplaces –

  • On May 21, Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to CMS urging the agency to enforce civil monetary penalties on brokers who submit fraudulent enrollments for a health plan. Letter Press Release

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health –

  • On May 20, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) launched the Universal PatchinG and Remediation for Autonomous DEfense (UPGRADE) program, which would enhance and automate cybersecurity for health care facilities. Press Release UPGRADE
  • On May 22, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a report on the current state of electronic health information exchange among the United States. on U.S. non-federal acute care hospitals engaging in interoperable exchange. Report

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy –

  • On May 21, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) to provide training and technical assistance to public and private non-profit entities that provide or support services intended for people who are experiencing substance use-related challenges. Applications are due July 22, 2024. Press Release
  • On May 22, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released the Older Veteran Behavioral Health Resource Inventory, which provides resources to older veterans and older adults who have or are at risk for behavioral health conditions. Inventory Press Release
  • On May 24, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced improved wait times for new patient appointments in primary care and mental health care across the VA health care system. Press Release

Prescription Drugs & Health Innovation – On May 20, the FDA announced several ongoing initiatives to support innovative clinical trials, including its work with the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) and the International Medical Device Regulators Forum. Press Release

SDOH & Health Equity – On May 20, HHS OIG published a report that found selected CDC racial and ethnic approaches to community health program recipients generally complied with federal requirements but did not meet all targets and charged some unallowable costs. Notice Full Report Report in Brief

Health Systems & Health Care Workforce –

  • On May 21, CMS announced a new option on CMS.gov to allow individuals to more easily file an Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) complaint. Press Release
  • On May 24, Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden (D-OR) and seven bipartisan members of the Finance Committee released a policy outline describing improvements to the Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) program. Press Release Policy Outline

Misc. – On May 23, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division issued a request for information (RFI) to identify sectors of the economy being impacted by serial acquisitions. Comments on the RFI are due July 22, 2024. Press Release RFI

Legislative Activity –

Votes and Committee Activity –  On May 23, the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) discussion draft advanced out of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, without amendment, to the Full Committee by a voice vote. The bill would establish national consumer data privacy rights and set standards for data security. Bill Text Press Release

Introduced Legislation –

  • On May 20, Sens. Cruz (R-TX), Britt (R-AL), Lummis (R-WY), and Budd (R-NC) introduced the IVF Protection Act (S. 4368), which would require, as a condition of receiving Federal Medicaid funding, that States do not prohibit in vitro fertilization (IVF) services. Bill Text Press Release
  • On May 21, Rep. Thomson (R-PA) introduced the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 (H.R. 8467), which would support access to families formerly disallowed to receive nutrition benefits, refocus work programs to support upward mobility, invest in and modernize food distribution programs to create parity with urban programming, promote program integrity and State accountability, and advance policies related to healthy eating, healthy behaviors, and healthy outcomes. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on May 21, Rep. Bush (D-MO) and eight cosponsors introduced the Helping Families Heal Act (H.R. 8470), which would increase or improve access to comprehensive mental and behavioral health services for individuals exposed to violent encounters involving law enforcement personnel. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on May 21, Reps. Mast (R-FL), Bilirakis (R-FL), and Gosar (R-AZ) introduced the Emergency Community Care Notification Time Adjustment Act (H.R. 8481), which would establish an extended deadline for the submission of applications regarding emergency treatment furnished in non-Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on May 21, Sens. Rubio (R-FL), Smith (D-MN), and Scott (R-FL) introduced the Social Engagement and Network Initiatives for Older Relief (SENIOR) Act (S. 4374), which would include screening for loneliness and coordination of supportive services and health care to address the negative health effects of loneliness and require a report on loneliness. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on May 22, Reps. Kelly (R-PA) and Bera (D-CA) introduced the Delivering Unified Access to Lifesaving Services (DUALS) Act (H.R. 8503), which would provide States with support to establish integrated care programs for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Press Release
  • On May 23, Reps. Frankel (D-FL), Salazar (R-FL), Castor (D-FL), and Letlow (R-LA) introduced the Connected Maternal Online Monitoring (MOM) Act (H.R. 8532), which would identify and address barriers to coverage of remote physiologic devices under State Medicaid programs to improve maternal and child health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women. Press Release
  • Also on May 23, Reps. Matsui (D-CA), Bucshon (R-IN), Craig (D-MN), Molinaro (R-NY), and Tonko (D-NY) introduced the Ensuring Excellence in Mental Health Act (H.R. 8543), which would permanently authorize certified community behavioral health clinics. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on May 23, Sens. Booker (D-NJ), Braun (R-IN), and Markey (D-MA) introduced the Substance Use Prevention and Pharmacy Oriented Recovery Treatment Prescription Act (SUPPORT Rx) (S. 4429), which would provide grants to demonstrate pharmacy-based addiction care programs. Bill Text Press Release
  • Also on May 23, Sens. Cantwell (D-WA) and Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Fatal Overdose Reduction Act (S. 4430), which would establish a Health Engagement Hub demonstration program to increase access to treatment for opiate use disorder and other drug use treatment. Bill Text Press Release