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Congress

March 01, 2021 | Daily News

Providers’ coveted $35 billion in additional relief and an extension of sequester cuts are absent from Senate Democrats’ draft update to the House-passed pandemic relief bill, though the upper chamber’s draft would change hospital pay in states that are considered all urban areas and ensure ambulance providers get paid the same when COVID-19 keeps them from moving a Medicare patient to an approved location.

March 01, 2021 | Daily News

Providers’ coveted $35 billion in additional relief and an extension of sequester moratorium are absent from Senate Democrats’ draft update to the House-passed pandemic relief bill, though the upper chamber’s draft would change hospital pay in states that are considered all urban areas and ensure ambulance providers get paid the same when COVID-19 keeps them from moving a Medicare patient to an approved location.

March 01, 2021 | Daily News

The HHS Office of Minority Health offered to meet with House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) about the Biden administration’s health equity goals for pandemic response, as part of a Feb. 19 letter to Neal that generally described the last administration's accomplishments.

February 26, 2021 | Daily News

Democrat Sens. Tim Kaine (VA) and Michael Bennet (CO) on Tuesday formally introduced updated legislation that would phase-in a public option based on the Medicare framework and available in the individual and small group exchanges.

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

States would be given a seven-year authorization to offer 12 months of Medicaid and Children’s Insurance Program coverage to postpartum individuals under the manager’s amendment to the House COVID-19 relief legislation, which is set to be voted on Friday (Feb. 26).

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

As the American Hospital Association urges lawmakers to include another $35 billion in provider relief in the latest COVID-19 stimulus package, there’s confusion over how much money is left in the $178 billion fund meant to help hospitals and other providers offset lost funds and increased costs due to the pandemic.

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

The House passed legislation Thursday (Feb. 25) to effectively scrap a Trump administration rule that didn’t recognize gender identity discrimination under the umbrella of sex discrimination in the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1557.

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra promised senators Wednesday that if confirmed he will work with FDA and other agencies to address drug shortages and increase manufacturing of drugs that are inexpensive to make but not seen as profitable by drug makers.

February 25, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra sidestepped a question about whether he thinks the government can seize patents on government-funded drugs to help spur generic competition, coming months after he called on the federal government to use so-called march-in rights to help develop lower-cost generic versions of Gilead’s COVID-19 therapy remdesivir.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra told Senate Finance committee members Wednesday (Feb. 24) he thinks better data will help them address issues with maternal health disparities, and he supported extending broadband connections to make telehealth available to everyone.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra on Wednesday again stressed that despite his long-held support of Medicare for All, if confirmed he will be serving at the pleasure of the President Joe Biden who has made clear that he wants to achieve universal health care by building off the Affordable Care Act.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

With former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) out of the way, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said it’s possible to pass the bipartisan drug pricing bill he helped negotiate in 2019, and he asked HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra whether the Biden administration would support that bill, but the California attorney general didn’t answer.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

Lawmakers told the nation’s top physician lobby group they will consider extending the Medicare sequestration moratorium, easing prior authorization requirements and tackling other health care priorities like telehealth and graduate medical slots after Congress passes the pandemic relief package.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

Stakeholders that offer or manage tax-preferred health savings or flexible spending accounts want Congress -- or the administration -- to tweak IRS rules to clarify that personal protective equipment like masks, shields or hand sanitizer can be considered a qualified medical expense and thus reimbursable for accountholders.

February 24, 2021 | Daily News

The American Hospital Association asked HHS in a letter Monday (Feb. 22) to tell hospitals how their data’s being used to respond to COVID-19 and to give hospitals advance notice before adding more data reporting fields or changing the reporting platform again.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra told Senate health committee members Tuesday (Feb. 23) he would follow the data to set the length of the public health emergency, use provider relief funds to help nursing homes and back President Joe Biden’s push for a Medicare buy-in program.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

The Biden administration came out in strong support of House legislation that would essentially codify this summer’s Supreme Court ruling that found a ban on sex discrimination extends to gender identity and sexual orientation, and ensure the ruling applies to health care. The bill is expected to pass the House on Thursday, but its fate in the Senate is less secure.

February 23, 2021 | Daily News

HHS Secretary-nominee Xavier Becerra defended his role in pushing for FDA to loosen in-person prescribing requirements for the abortion pill mifepristone, telling members of the Senate health committee Tuesday (Feb. 23) he thinks women should be able access the drug through telemedicine during the pandemic so that they don’t have to get it in-person at a clinic, as that puts them at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

February 22, 2021 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) Monday (Feb. 22) expressed confidence that subsidies for COBRA coverage will make it into the final COVID-19 relief package, and he affirmed that while a public option is not in the current bill, he strongly supports the policy as a way to constrain costs.

February 22, 2021 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats are attempting to use the COVID-19 relief package to revamp a Trump-era rule that left 4 million Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine because they didn’t meet the full benefit threshold.

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