What’s Ahead: This Week

Hearings and Markups –

  • Wednesday, October 18
    • Senate Committee on the Budget, “Improving Care, Lowering Costs: Achieving Health Care Efficiency.” Additional Information
    • House Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce, “Safeguarding Data and Innovation: Building the Foundation for the Use of Artificial Intelligence.” Additional Information
    • Senate HELP Committee, “Nomination of Monica Bertagnolli to be Director of the National Institutes of Health.” Additional Information
    • Senate Committee on Finance, “Medicare Advantage Annual Enrollment: Cracking Down on Deceptive Practices and Improving Senior Experiences.” Additional Information
  • Thursday, October 19
    • House Energy & Commerce Committee, “What’s the Prognosis? Examining Medicare Proposals to Improve Patient Access to Care & Minimize Red Tape for Doctors.” Additional Information

Notable Policy Events – 

  • Monday, October 16
    • Cato Institute, “Recovery: A Guide to Reforming the U.S. Health Sector.” Additional Information
    • National Association of Counties (NACOs), “Breaking Down Silos to Address Maternal and Infant Mortality: Lessons from The Local Level.” Additional Information
  • Tuesday, October 17
    • CMS, “Quarterly National Stakeholder Call with CMS Administrator.” Additional Information
    • The Sequoia Project, “2023 Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) Monthly Informational Call.” Additional Information
  • Wednesday, October 18
    • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), “Enabling Patient Access to Health Data for Actionable Results.” Additional Information
    • The Hill, “Every Mind Matters: The Many Dimensions of Mental Illness.” Additional Information
    • Urban Institute, “Advancing Rural Health Equity through Partnerships, Data, and Finance.” Additional Information
  • Thursday, October 19
    • City and State New York, “Hospital Prices: Are we at a tipping point?” Additional Information
    • Health Affairs, “Briefing: Key Challenges Encountered by The Medicare and Medicaid Dually-Eligible Population.” Additional Information
    • Medicare Rights, “Protecting Yourself from Marketing Violations.” Additional Information
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), “National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee Meeting.” Additional Information
  • The Washington Post, “The Patient Experience and the State of Health Care in the U.S.” Additional Information

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

Medicare & Medicaid –

  • On October 11, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report that found an expanded hospital transfer policy for discharges to post-acute care would result in significant cost savings to the Medicare program. Report
  • On October 12, CMS announced that the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $174.70 for 2024, an increase from $164.90 in 2023. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $240 in 2024, an increase of $14 from $226 in 2023. Fact Sheet
  • On October 13, CMS published the Medicare Advantage and Part D Star ratings for 2024. Fact Sheet Press Release Performance Data

Marketplaces – On October 11, CMS published a final rule to specify how and when CMS must calculate and impose civil money penalties when group health plans and non-group health plan responsible reporting entities fail to meet their Medicare Secondary Payer reporting obligations. This final rule is effective on December 11, 2023. Final Rule

Payment & Delivery System Models –

  • On October 11, CMS published an article entitled “Accelerating Care Delivery Transformation — The CMS Innovation Center’s Role in the Next Decade,” which highlights efforts to develop a new framework to measure the impacts of value-based care beyond cost savings, by focusing on quality, equity, outcomes, patient experience, and providers and their care delivery. Article
  • Also on October 11, CMS released a blog post providing an update on the development of three models aimed at improving prescription drug affordability and access for people with Medicare and Medicaid: the Medicare $2 Drug List Model; the Cell and Gene Therapy Access Model; and the Accelerating Clinical Evidence Model. Blog

Public Health Prevention, Preparedness, & Surveillance –

  • On October 11, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) announced a partnership with GE HealthCare to develop a novel AI-augmented ultrasound technology to expand national capabilities to aid rapid diagnosis of traumatic injuries. Press Release
  • Also on October 11, the GAO provided an update on states’ and localities’ COVID-19 relief funding as of March 31, 2023. Press Release Report
  • On October 13, HHS announced the selection of vaccine candidates for Project NextGen. Press Release

Health IT, Privacy, & Digital Health – 

  • On October 11, Rep. Jayapal (D-WA) and Sen. Markey (D-MA), along with other members of Congress, sent a letter to President Biden asking him to incorporate the White House Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights into his upcoming artificial intelligence Executive Order. Press Release Letter
  • On October 12, FDA announced the establishment of the Digital Health Advisory Committee, which would provide advice to the FDA Commissioner on issues related to digital health technologies (DHTs). The request for industry organization nominations and nominations for voting members are Due November 11 and December 11, and the request for consumer organization nominations is due November 26.  Notice of Establishment Request for Nominations (Industry) Request for Nominations (Consumer) Request for Nominations Voting Members

Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices, Biomedical Research, & Health Innovation –On October 12, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) announced the launch of two new programs, the Resilient Extended Automatic Cell Therapies (REACT) program, and the Antigens Predicted for Broad Viral Efficacy through Computational Experimentation (APECx) program. These programs are aimed at improving the ability to fight viruses and treat disease. REACT Program APECx Program

Health Systems & Health Care Workforce – On October 11, Senate HELP Committee Chair Sanders (I-VT) released a report on non-profit hospitals’ tax exempt status, urging action to ensure nonprofit hospitals are held accountable to providing quality, affordable care to low-income patients. Press Release Report

Legislative Activity 
Committee Activity –

  • On October 13, Senate HELP Ranking Member Cassidy (R-LA) penned a letter to Chair Sanders (I-VT) noting ethics concerns over the Chair’s use of committee resources to promote unions’ efforts during recent strikes. Press Release Letter

Introduced Legislation –

  • On October 12, Reps. Ciscomani (R-AZ) and Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) introduced the Veterans Exam Expansion Act (H.R. 5938), which would improve the temporary licensure requirements for contract health care professionals who perform medical disability examinations for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Bill Text Press Release
  • On October 13, Reps. Spanberger (D-VA) and Nunn (R-IA) introduced the Drug-Price Transparency for Consumers Act (H.R. 5958), which would require pricing disclosures in direct-to-consumer advertising for drugs and biologics. Bill Text Press Release