POLICY BRIEFINGS


Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


THIS WEEK'S BRIEFING - DECEMBER 28, 2015


Administration Launches Plan to Address Multidrug-Resistant TB


The White House announced last week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will lead a national plan to combat multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis (TB) both domestically and abroad. CDC Director Thomas Frieden stated that the goal of the initiative is to find, cure and prevent TB before it develops resistance to last-line antibiotics, and thus eliminate deaths from a curable disease. TB kills almost 30,000 people each week. Inappropriate treatment can lead to multidrug-resistant TB, which is resistant to the two most effective anti-TB drugs. More than 480,000 people will develop multidrug-resistant TB this year alone.


Senators Request Investigation of Pain Management Clinics


Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) have asked that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct an investigation into pain management clinics amid the national opioid epidemic. The lawmakers urge the agency to review rates of opioid prescribing by pain clinics compared to other clinical settings, and to consider whether existing statutory and regulatory guidelines governing pain clinics have had an impact on prescribing practices. The letter also requests that the GAO evaluate the outcomes and quality measures used by pain management clinics, as well as any questionable billing practices, especially as they relate to in-office laboratory drug tests. According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), opioid overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers and heroin hit record levels last year.


Energy and Commerce to Examine Concussions in 2016


The causes, effects, and treatments for concussions will be the subject of a broad review by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2016. Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) announced last week that his committee would work with medical The White House announced last week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will lead a national plan to combat multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis (TB) both domestically and abroad. CDC Director Thomas Frieden stated that the goal of the initiative is to find, cure and prevent TB before it develops resistance to last-line antibiotics, and thus eliminate deaths from a curable disease. TB kills almost 30,000 people each week. Inappropriate treatment can lead to multidrug-resistant TB, which is resistant to the two most effective anti-TB drugs. More than 480,000 people will develop multidrug-resistant TB this year alone. Administration Launches Plan to Address Multidrug-Resistant TB Senators Request Investigation of Pain Management Clinics Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) have asked that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct an investigation into pain management clinics amid the national opioid epidemic. The lawmakers urge the agency to review rates of opioid prescribing by pain clinics compared to other clinical settings, and to consider whether existing statutory and regulatory guidelines governing pain clinics have had an impact on prescribing practices. The letter also requests that the GAO evaluate the outcomes and quality measures used by pain management clinics, as well as any questionable billing practices, especially as they relate to in-office laboratory drug tests. According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), opioid overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers and heroin hit record levels last year. Hart Health Strategies 2 experts to advance the understanding of concussions and the implications of the injuries. “There’s a lot we don’t know about head trauma – how it effects different subsets of the population, the short and long term effects, and other details critical to developing effective diagnostics and treatments,” said Chairman Upton. “Our goal is to bring together experts from across the medical spectrum to increase collaboration, have a thoughtful dialog, and move the conversation forward.” The review will be conducted by the Oversight and Investigations, Health, and Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade



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