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Congress

March 12, 2019 | Daily News

Lawmakers in the House and Senate reintroduced a bill to count beneficiaries’ time spent under observation toward the three-day hospital stay required before Medicare covers nursing home care, and a wide-ranging group of stakeholders says support for the policy shift continues to grow.

March 12, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (OR) Tuesday (March 12) invited five executives of pharmacy benefit manager companies to testify before the committee on April 3.

March 12, 2019 | Daily News

Major hospital groups came out swinging against Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Michael Bennett’s (D-CO) Medicare-X proposal and released a report showing that such a public option could result in a nearly $800 billion cut for hospital payments over a 10-year period with no additional revenue boosts.

March 11, 2019 | Daily News

The White House’s fiscal 2020 skinny budget released Monday (March 11) increases focus on FDA-related proposals that the administration believes could help lower drug costs by increasing competition.

March 11, 2019 | Daily News

Lawmakers, insurers, hospital groups and advocates have asked the Trump administration not to finalize a proposal requiring insurers that offer Affordable Care Act plans that cover abortion to also offer at least one other identical plan that does not cover abortion.

March 08, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and health subcommittee Chair Pat Toomey (R-PA) on Friday (March 8) lambasted CMA for failing to recoup improper Medicaid eligibility-related payments in excess of 3 percent made by states since 1992 and asked the agency to respond by March 15 on how they plan to fix the situation and whether they need Congress’ help to do so.

March 08, 2019 | Daily News

The House Judiciary Committee heard competing views from stakeholders on the effects of rural hospital mergers: Economics and health policy experts testified to sympathetic lawmakers that the mergers hurt competition and thus hike prices and lower quality, but the American Hospital Association argued in a statement that rural hospital mergers improve value-based care.

March 07, 2019 | Daily News

The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) agreed to provide more information to the chair of the House Oversight & Reform Committee on the office’s drug policy strategy after a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday (March 7) found that the strategy lacked required information, such as measurements of performance goals.

March 07, 2019 | Daily News

Congressional Medicare advisers Thursday (March 7) debated the merits of two of Washington’s hottest drug-pricing policy topics: reference pricing and binding arbitration.

March 07, 2019 | Daily News

The medical device lobby applauded a bill rolled out by a bipartisan duo of senators on Thursday (March 7) that would do away with the Affordable Care Act’s 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices.

March 07, 2019 | Daily News

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) Wednesday (March 6) introduced a bill to increase transparency around the web of patents that biologics manufacturers create to insulate drugs from biosimilar competition.

March 06, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee members questioned whether the nursing home star ratings system is useful -- and how it might be improved -- one day after CMS announced improvements to the system Tuesday (March 5).

March 06, 2019 | Daily News

House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee Republicans debated the usefulness of Democratic legislation to prop up the Affordable Care Act markets via reinsurance and increased funding for exchange programs, arguing the Democrats’ reinsurance proposal would not give states enough flexibility and a boost in navigator funding would not be worth it because navigators don’t sign up enough people.

March 06, 2019 | Daily News

Shortly after saying he planned to resign from the agency, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced a series of steps the agency will take to improve its oversight of the cosmetic industry -- a plan that includes working with Congress to update the 80-year-old regulatory framework and set in place new requirements for the cosmetic industry.

March 06, 2019 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Charles Grassley said most senators in both parties think capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs in Part D is a good idea, though he hasn’t begun negotiating that legislation, which he said would likely be wrapped into a bigger health care bill.

March 06, 2019 | Daily News

Specialists in the fields of addiction and mental health urged Congress on Wednesday (March 6) to give more federal money to providers on the front lines of the opioid crisis -- including by funding several programs that were authorized in last year’s major opioid bill.

March 06, 2019 | Daily News

Provider groups and insurance plans applauded a CMS proposal to increase access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone included in the agency’s 2020 draft Medicare Advantage and Part D call letter, but some groups called for CMS to reconsider a proposal on co-prescribing the drug with opioid prescriptions, saying that decision should be left between a provider and patient.

March 06, 2019 | Daily News

A bipartisan House bill introduced last Thursday (Feb. 28) would give Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries greater access to their health care records via mobile apps, supporting a proposed rule released by CMS in early February requiring some plans to test application programming interface (API) for health information and to make provider networks available via API.

March 05, 2019 | Daily News

HHS Secretary Alex Azar will testify about drug prices Tuesday (March 12) at a House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee hearing on the president’s 2020 budget, which the administration will unveil Monday, according to an E&C release.

March 05, 2019 | Daily News

The moderate New Democrat Coalition is urging the committees of jurisdiction over health care to prioritize policies that would strengthen the Affordable Care Act while continuing to build a path toward affordable coverage for all Americans.

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