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Congress

June 17, 2020 | Daily News

Senate health committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) recommended that Congress permanently eliminate the Medicare telehealth originating site requirement and allow Medicare and Medicaid to expand upon the types of providers that can be reimbursed for telehealth as the Senate health committee considered which relaxed requirements should be continued after the pandemic on Wednesday (June 17).

June 17, 2020 | Daily News

More than 100 House Democrats are asking FDA to lift restrictions on abortion drug mifepristone so that, at a minimum, doctors can mail the medication to patients’ homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 16, 2020 | Daily News

CMS hasn’t given Congress Medicare data on COVID-19 outcomes broken down by race that the agency has been promising for months, and House Energy & Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is threatening to force the agency to provide that data.

June 16, 2020 | Daily News

The House’s select subcommittee on coronavirus on Tuesday (June 16) launched a probe into CMS’ response to and prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes following agency reports earlier this month that 32,000 nursing home residents have died.

June 16, 2020 | Daily News

Democratic health care leaders Monday (June 15) blasted HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma for ignoring their constitutional obligation to respond to Congressional inquiries on special enrollment periods and the lawmakers said if the officials fail to reply by Friday (June 19) to series of questions first asked in April, the lawmakers will consider “additional measures."

June 16, 2020 | Daily News

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a non-profit think tank that focuses on public policy and innovation, is concerned the Trump administration’s latest push to “Buy American” could have unintended consequences on the medical product supply chain, despite the administration’s assertions that it could help ease American reliance on foreign drug production.

June 15, 2020 | Daily News

A group of bipartisan senators, led by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), want telehealth provisions included in previous COVID-19 emergency legislation to be made permanent, as some provider groups turn to Congress to make statutory changes to allow for expanded telehealth flexibilities after the pandemic.

June 12, 2020 | Daily News

Stakeholders continue to call for some of the relaxed telehealth requirements to be continued after the pandemic, with some turning their focus towards Congress, while beneficiary advocates caution against moving too quickly to make certain telehealth aspects permanent.

June 11, 2020 | Daily News

House Democratic leaders have set the week of July 4 to bring to the floor a legislative package that aims to improve the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) revealed at separate events Wednesday (June 10).

June 09, 2020 | Daily News

House lawmakers and public health experts on Tuesday (June 9) called for FDA to quickly remove unauthorized COVID-19 serology tests from the market pending agency review to prevent so-called junk tests from being marketed and sold to doctors and consumers.

June 05, 2020 | Daily News

More than 60 House lawmakers from both parties asked HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Friday (June 5) how HHS is making sure that data collected on COVID-19 includes patients’ pregnancy status so that the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant patients can be better understood for future policy making.

June 04, 2020 | Daily News

As nationwide protests spark concerns about a second wave of COVID-19, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield avoided directly answering lawmakers’ questions about whether he has advised President Donald Trump, police agencies and the military against using tear gas on protesters because of concerns it causes coughing, which helps spread the disease. He responded that CDC has “advocated strongly” for face masks and coverings to be made available to protesters and that lawmakers raised a good point.

June 03, 2020 | Daily News

Congressional leaders from both parties wrote to HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday (June 3) pressing him to immediately distribute emergency relief money from the CARES Act to Medicaid-dependent providers.

June 03, 2020 | Daily News

The Congressional Research Service says Congress could rein in FDA’s broad discretionary authority over vaccine clinical trial policies by legislating how the agency and Institutional Review Boards approach clinical trial designs and reviews for the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for future emergencies.

June 03, 2020 | Daily News

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday (June 2), the head of Congress’ oversight arm’s health division called FDA out for what she asserts are significant problems with the way the agency manages its foreign drug inspection program, and she questioned the agency’s decision to halt foreign inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 02, 2020 | Daily News

Democrats continued to emphasize a need for the federal government to take the lead on the COVID-19 testing supply at a House Energy & Commerce subcommittee hearing where three governors, including two Democrats and one Republican, testified Tuesday (June 2) on their states’ responses to the pandemic.

May 29, 2020 | Daily News

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) revealed Friday (May 29) that the House will to vote in July on legislation aimed at expanding and improving the Affordable Care Act.

May 29, 2020 | Daily News

The Federation of American Hospitals is urging the Senate to quickly pass another COVID-19 response bill, saying some providers will soon see their Medicare pay garnished to pay back loans unless Congress makes CMS’ programs more flexible.

May 28, 2020 | Daily News

The Trump administration is pushing Congress to ban surprise medical bills outright, instead of stipulating who pays for services provided by out-of-network doctors.

May 28, 2020 | Daily News

A group of Democratic senators, led by health committee ranking Democrat Patty Murray (WA), say FDA should make public a list of marketed e-cigarettes and other deemed tobacco products for which the agency receives premarket applications by Sept. 9, the deadline by which all deemed products must submit premarket tobacco applications and substantial equivalence reports.

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