What’s Ahead: This Week

Congressional Schedule

Both chambers will be back in session this week. The House will convene on Monday, November 14, while the Senate will convene on Tuesday, November 15. Leadership elections are expected to be held this week.

Notable Policy Events

  • Saturday, November 12 – Tuesday, November 15
    • American Medical Association (AMA), 2016 Interim Meeting. Additional information: http://bit.ly/2evYqGg
  • Monday, November 14
    • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), “CMS Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) Stakeholder Teleconference Meeting.” Additional information: http://go.cms.gov/2fwNYf2
    • POLITICO, Discussion, “The Diabetes Dilemma: An Agenda to Prevent the Preventable.” Additional information: http://politi.co/2fVsZGp
    • FasterCures, Panel Discussion, “Missing Policy and Politics: Opportunities and Challenges for our President-Elect.” Additional information: http://bit.ly/2fwNDsA
  • Monday, November 14 – Tuesday, November 15
    • National Academy of Science, Conference, “Ensuring Patient Access to Affordable Drug Therapies.” Additional information: http://bit.ly/2fPo3lg
  • Tuesday, November 15
    • Bloomberg Government, Briefing, “The Future of Medicare: What’s Next in Caring for an Aging Population?” Additional information: http://bit.ly/2fPoXOJ
    • Research!America, “Post-Election Briefing.” Additional Information: http://bit.ly/2fPrJU9
    • Telehealth Capitol Connection, Briefing, “Telehealth Lessons from the States.” Additional information: http://bit.ly/2fwLVHX
    • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Webinar, “The 2016 Election Results: Exploring the Impact on Health IT Policy.” Additional information: http://bit.ly/2fwJB3B
  • Wednesday, November 16
    • Alliance for Health Reform, Symposium, “Healthcare Policy in 2017.” Additional information: http://bit.ly/2fPoD2m
    • 340B Health, Briefing, “Post-Election Outlook on Hospitals and the 340B Program.” Additional information: http://svy.mk/2fVm6ou
  • Thursday, November 17
    • Bipartisan Policy Center, Discussion, “Realizing the Promise of Medical Innovation.” Additional information: http://bit.ly/2fwPbmt
  • Thursday, November 17 – Saturday, November 19
    • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), 2016 Annual Meeting. Additional information: http://bit.ly/2fPsdJX

Weekly Wrap Up: Notable Health Care Developments From Last Week


On November 8, GOP candidate Donald Trump was elected to be the next President of the United States, while Republicans maintained their majority in both the Senate (51-48) and the House (239-193). President-Elect Trump released an updated health care policy position on the official website for his transition – www.greatagain.gov – on November 10, and has indicated that repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a high priority for his Administration. Policy position: http://bit.ly/2fPmTGw


  • On November 10, CMS released a draft bulletin outlining a proposed uniform timeline for the submission and release of health insurance rate filings for 2017. Comments are due by December 1. Bulletin: http://go.cms.gov/2fVhxuk Key dates:  http://go.cms.gov/2fVmxiD
  • Also on November 10, CMS released a draft 2018 letter to issuers planning to participate in the federally-facilitated Marketplaces. Comments are due by December 1. Letter: http://go.cms.gov/2fVl77Y


  • On November 10, CMS announced updated premiums and deductibles for Part A and Part B for calendar year (CY) 2017. In CY 2017, the Medicare Part B premium will rise from $104.90 to $109.00 for 70% of beneficiaries and from $121.80 to $134.00 for the remaining 30%. Press release: http://go.cms.gov/2fVs2y3 Part A premium notice: http://bit.ly/2fqGPMT Part A deductible notice: http://bit.ly/2fqIWAb Part B premium notice: http://bit.ly/2fqGmtY
  • On November 10, CMS announced a new collaboration with the Indian Health Service (IHS) to include IHS hospitals in the national Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks contract, which aim to reduce adverse events and hospital admissions. Press release: http://go.cms.gov/2fVdG0m 


  • On November 7, CMS released a proposed notice announcing updates to the Medicaid National Drug Rebate Agreement (NDRA) under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. CMS proposes to update the agreement to incorporate legislative and regulatory changes since the agreement was originally published in 1991. Comments are due by February 7. Notice: http://bit.ly/2fwNSnA
  • On November 10, CMS released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the Medicaid and CHIP Managed Care final rule, which was published in May. FAQ: http://bit.ly/2fPqFzC 

Drug Pricing

On November 8, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley (R-IA) wrote to HHS OIG Levinson asking for a briefing and agency records regarding the misclassification of EpiPen in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. Press release: http://bit.ly/2fOmEHQ Letter: http://bit.ly/2g91msI

Health IT

  • On November 7, Acting CMS Administrator Slavitt, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Califf, and FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical Product and Tobacco Sherman published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) describing the current FDA and CMS approval processes for medical devices and highlighting the agencies’ future focus on shared, real-world evidence to guide their decisions and to accelerate evaluations of promising innovations. Article: http://bit.ly/2fwPVYO
  • On November 7, HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released its annual report to Congress, noting that the number of providers using electronic health record technology has grown substantially since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was passed in 2009. Report: http://bit.ly/2fwPwpb

Zika Virus

  • On November 9, CDC released updated Zika data, indicating that there are now 4,175 and 31,198 cases of the virus in the states and territories, respectively. Data: http://bit.ly/2cddcRi
  • Also on November 9, CMS announced $66.1 million in funding to support prevention activities and treatment services for health conditions related to the Zika virus. Press release: http://go.cms.gov/2fVgf2z


  • On November 7, HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the award of up to $278 million over five years for programs aimed at helping people and communities recover from trauma. Press release: http://bit.ly/2fQMEYj
  • Also on November 9, SAMHSA announced the award of up to $77.2 million in funding over several years to programs promoting screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) programs that help those with substance use disorders. Press release: http://bit.ly/2fVlFdS
  • Also on November 9, National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the development of a new, rapid screening test to identify drug and drug combinations that may help combat drug-resistant bacteria. Press release: http://bit.ly/2fVkHOI
  • On November 10, HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released its 2017 Work Plan, highlighting new and ongoing reviews that OIG plans to pursue. Work plan: http://bit.ly/2fqEl0N
  • Also on November 10, HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a report on U.S. health expenditures in 2014, finding that the top 1% of consumers, as ranked by their health care spending, accounted for 22.8% of all health care spending. Report: http://bit.ly/2fqHSfH
  • Also on November 10, more than 160 bipartisan members of the House signed a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Lowey (D-NY) urging the Committee to fund the NIH at no less than $34 billion in FY 2017. Letter: http://bit.ly/2fqMNgP