United States: Health Care Policy Newsletter - 30 July 2018

The Week in Health Care Policy (July 23-27, 2018)

Congress

Legislation and Committee Activity

Politico: Timetable For Senate Opioid Bill May Slip – The Senate is increasingly unlikely to vote on sweeping opioid legislation by Labor Day, potentially depriving Democrats in some hard-hit states of a vote on a bill before going home to voters. The looming fight over the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh combined with negotiations over what gets into the bill are threatening to delay a vote on the bipartisan response to the crisis, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said was among his priorities after scrapping the August recess. Read More

House Passes Four Bipartisan Bills to Advance Public Health – On Monday, The House of Representatives passed four bipartisan bills that will advance our public health efforts – the Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency Readiness (EMPOWER) Act (H.R. 3728), the Dr. Benjy Frances Brooks Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 5385), the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (H.R. 1676), and the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 959).

USA Today: House Votes To Delay Obamacare Insurance Tax, Loosen Health Savings Accounts Restrictions – On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted on bills to delay an Affordable Care Act tax and allow consumers broader use of health savings accounts. In a 242-176 vote, House Republicans joined one dozen Democrats to support a bill that would postpone the health insurance tax through 2021. The tax, which already had been delayed through 2019, is intended to help fund the health law's insurance expansion. Read More

House Passes Bill Providing Lower Costs For Consumers Seeking Relief From Rising Premiums – On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018 (H.R. 6311), by a vote of 242-176. Read More

The Hill: House Dems Introduce Bill To Allow Medicare To Negotiate Drug Prices – House Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, hoping to lay the groundwork for a push on the issue next year. Read More

Senate Committee Approves Bill Allowing Pharmacists to Tell Patients That a Drug is Cheaper if They Use Cash Instead of Insurance – On Wednesday, The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved four important pieces of legislation, including a bill that will help Americans who are struggling to afford their prescriptions, and a bill that will encourage research to help treat sickle cell disease. Read More

Hearing Continues Committee's Bipartisan Investigation into Patient Brokering – On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), held a hearing examining practices within the substance use treatment industry, including advertising and marketing practices. The hearing builds on the committee's ongoing bipartisan investigation into patient brokering, which began one year ago. Read More

Modern Healthcare: As Opioid Crisis Fuels Patient-Brokering Fraud, Congress Urged To Act – A representative of the addiction treatment industry on Tuesday urged a key House panel to consider policies to crack down on patient-brokering—a complicated, fraudulent practice stemming from the opioid epidemic that insurance companies have been navigating for the past few years. Read More

House SubHealth Hears from FDA and NIH on Implementation of Landmark 21st Century Cures Act – On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), held a hearing continuing its review of the implementation of the landmark 21st Century Cures Act (Cures), with a focus on the work being done at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read More

House SubHealth Gets Update on Implementation of MIPS – On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, held a hearing continuing its review of the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. Read More

Administration

The Hill: High Hopes For President Trump's Drug Pricing Plan – In May, the President gave his first major speech on lowering drug prices, making good on his campaign promise to go after drug makers to get lower prices for consumers. Following the speech, the White House released the Administration's blueprint for lowering drug prices. Two months later, we are starting to see results, as some of the details of the plan are starting to come into focus. Read More

HHS

Modern Healthcare: Azar Promises Continued Medicare Billing Overhaul, Regulatory Relief – On Thursday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar doubled down on promises to overhaul the Medicare billing structures to drive down government costs and vowed to put out new guidance for providers on the anti-kickback laws and HIPAA. HHS will write new guidance for laws that "stand in the way of healthcare providers" and hold back the healthcare system's transition to value-based care, Azar told a conservative audience at the Heritage Foundation. Read More

Bloomberg Government: HHS Expected to Allow States to Waive Obamacare Provisions – States may receive more flexibility to make changes to their Obamacare markets under new rules likely to be issued soon by the Trump administration. Read More

2017 Annual Report Of HHS Projects To Build Data Capacity For Patient-Centered Outcomes Research – On Tuesday, HHS released a report on HHS Projects To Build Data Capacity For Patient-Centered Outcomes Research that were active in 2017. Read More

Data Point: Savings Available Under Full Generic Substitution Of Multiple Source Brand Drugs In Medicare Part D – The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at HHS analyzed Part D prescription drug event data from 2016 to estimate spending on brand drugs with generic therapeutic equivalents. Read More

CMS

CMS Empowers Patients and Ensures Site-Neutral Payment in Proposed Rule – On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took steps to strengthen the Medicare program with proposed changes to ensure that seniors can access the care they need at the site of care that they choose. In addition, as part of the agency's ongoing efforts to lower drug prices as outlined in the President's Blueprint, CMS included a Request for Information on how best to develop a model leveraging authority provided to the agency under the Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP) to strengthen negotiations for prescription drugs. Read More

CMS Adopts the Methodology for the Permanent Risk Adjustment Program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for the 2017 Benefit Year – On Tuesday, CMS posted a final rule that reissues, with additional explanation, the risk adjustment methodology that CMS previously established for transfers related to the 2017 benefit year. This important step fills a void created by a federal district court's vacating of the previously issued methodology, and enables the agency to resume the CMS-operated risk adjustment program in the individual and small group markets. Read More

AJMC: CMS Expands Site-Neutral Payments, Extends 340B Drug Discounts – CMS announced a draft of proposed changes Wednesday, including expanding its site-neutral payments between what Medicare pays for at physicians' offices and off-campus hospital clinics, where rates are higher because of added hospital facility fees. It is also extending 340B drug discounts to off-site hospital clinics. Read More

Modern Healthcare: CBO underestimates Medicare Part D savings by $4 billion due to oversight lapse – The Congressional Budget Office vowed it would ramp up oversight of its cost-estimate process after it underestimated the impact of a Medicare Part D change made by Congress by $4 billion. After initially estimating that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 would save Medicare $7.7 billion over a decade, the CBO discovered the law's changes to the drug discount program would actually save $11.8 billion during that timeframe. Read More

FDA

FDA Announces Two Initiatives to Modernize Drug Quality Programs – Patients expect and deserve high-quality drugs – this means consistently safe and effective medicines, free of defects and contamination. To satisfy these important expectations, the FDA strives to make sure that FDA-approved drugs are manufactured to meet quality standards to ensure that every dose is safe, effective, and capable of providing its intended benefit. Read More

FDA Continues Taking Key Actions On Bulk Drug Substances Used For Compounding To Advance The Regulatory Framework Governing Compounded Drugs And To Protect Patients – As part of its ongoing implementation of the Drug Quality and Security Act and to advance the goals of its 2018 Compounding Policy Priorities Plan, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is announcing several actions to protect public health related to the compounding of human drug products. Read More

FDA Approves Magnetic Device System For Guiding Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsies In Certain Patients With Breast Cancer – On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a magnetic device system for guiding lymph node biopsies in patients with breast cancer undergoing mastectomy. The Magtrace and Sentimag Magnetic Localization System (Sentimag System) uses magnetic detection during sentinel lymph node biopsy procedures to identify specific lymph nodes, known as sentinel lymph nodes, for surgical removal. Read More

GAO

Improvements Needed to Better Oversee Payment Risks – On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on Medicaid managed care. Almost half—$171 billion—of Medicaid spending in 2017 went to managed care organizations (MCO). In Medicaid managed care, states pay a set periodic amount to MCOs for each enrollee, and MCOs pay health care providers for the services delivered to enrollees. Read More

States

The Hill: States Sue Trump Administration Over Expansion Of Skimpy Group Insurance Plans – A group of 11 states and Washington, D.C., are suing the Trump administration in an attempt to roll back a regulation that allowed for the expansion of certain health plans that skirt ObamaCare regulations. Read More

ABC News: Kentucky Drug Overdose Deaths Jump 11.5 Percent In 2017 – Since 2011, a year when Kentucky was flooded with 371 million doses of opioid painkillers, state officials have cracked down on pain clinics, sued pharmaceutical companies and limited how many pills doctors can prescribe. The result is nearly 100 million fewer opioid prescriptions in 2017 — and an 11.5 percent increase in drug overdose deaths. Read More

The Hill: To Tackle The Opioid Crisis, Look To The States –The opioid crisis is devastating families and communities across the country. To tackle this emergency and reduce the number of overdose deaths, Congress is considering an extensive package of bipartisan legislation to address various specific aspects of the crisis. Read More

WTOP: Appeals Court Won't Rehear Maryland Price-Gouging Law Case – A federal appeals court has turned down Attorney General Brian Frosh's petition for a re-hearing in a lawsuit over Maryland's first-in-the-nation law against pharmaceutical price gouging. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request from Frosh that the full court hear the case in an order published Wednesday. Read More

Bloomberg Law: New Hampshire Seeks Extension of Medicaid Work Rule – New Hampshire has asked federal officials for permission to continue to impose a work requirement on people receiving Medicaid expansion benefits in the state. Federal authorization for New Hampshire's Granite Advantage Health program, which provides Medicaid expansion health benefits to 50,000 people and requires many of them to work, has been in place since May and is set to expire Dec. 31. Read More

Foley Health Care Law Today

Our attorneys at Foley pride themselves on having a first-hand understanding of health care's business and legal challenges. Health Care Law Today is your go-to resource for information and perspectives on the latest news and developments in health care law and how it relates to and impacts the industry and those with related business interests. For some of the blog's top stories see below:

Loan or Other Financial Obligation Forgiveness– A Continuing Fraud and Abuse ChallengeThere are many health care financial arrangements where one entity has a financial obligation to another, with whom it either does business directly, or to which it makes referrals, and that obligation is either past due or for one reason or another cannot be paid. This may come up, for example, in the context of leases to physicians in a hospital owned medical office building (MOB), a loan made to a physician by a supplier or other provider, or a loan by a hospital to a joint venture with physician or suppliers to get it started, in lieu of capital contributions, or a loan from an MSO to a physician organization. Read More

Massachusetts Telehealth Legislation Paves Way for Sweeping ChangesThe Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed sweeping telehealth legislation, accompanying a companion bill passed by the Senate in November 2017. While Massachusetts is often considered a leader in health care innovation, the Commonwealth has not enacted significant legislation in this area for several years, and is among the minority of states without a meaningful telehealth insurance coverage law. Read More

Looking Ahead

The Senate is in session next week and the House is out for August recess.

On Tuesday, the Senate HELP Committee will hold a hearing on reducing health care costs and decreasing administrative spending. Read More

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions