POLICY BRIEFINGS


Coronavirus Oversight Democrats Launch Probe into WH Contracts


House Democrats on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis have launched a probe into contracts procured by the Trump administration for personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supplies. The lawmakers sent letters to the companies that were awarded the contracts that they deem questionable. They cite reports that the contracts were awarded to businesses without federal contracting experience that had political connections to the White House. The panel is investigating reports of whether some of the companies failed to provide the necessary supplies.


Lawmakers Question FDA Actions to Improve COVID Testing Accuracy


House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Health Subcommittee Chair Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), and Oversight Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) have written to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen Hahn regarding the agency’s efforts to determine the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic and serological tests. The letter underscores the importance of diagnostic tests in the ability to quickly trace the path of the disease as outbreaks across the United States continue to rise. The lawmakers request information about what post-market actions the FDA is taking to evaluate the reliability of COVID-19 in vitro diagnostic tests, including serology tests, and about any issues FDA has become aware of in reviewing emergency use authorization (EUA) submissions.


House Dems Call for Verma to Step Down


Agroup of House Democrats are once again calling for the resignation of Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma following a new report from the Health and Human Services inspector general that found she mishandled millions of dollars on government contracts and private consultants. The letter argues that Verma used her position as CMS administrator for her personal benefit and lied under oath about her spending and decision making. The letter, which was signed by eight lawmakers, was led by Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.). Democratic leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee separately announced that they are nearing the end of their investigation into Verma’s actions, noting that their report will build upon the findings of the inspector general.


House Files Brief Supporting Protections Against LGBTQ Discrimination


The House of Representatives has filed an amicus brief calling on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to prohibit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from implementing a recent rule from the Trump administration that would remove bias protections for gay and transgender people in the provision of health care. HHS is set to begin enforcing the regulation on August 18. Whitman-Walker Clinic Inc. and other providers are suing HHS to stop it.


MedPAC 2020 Data Report


The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its latest data book on health care spending and the Medicare program. The 2020 report includes information on Medicare spending, demographics of the Medicare population, beneficiaries’ access to care, and quality of care in the program. The book can be found here.


Hart Health Strategies COVID-19 Resources


Hart Health Strategies Inc. continues to update the following resources related to the coronavirus pandemic. Please remember to clear your cache to ensure you download the most recent documents.


Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups


House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing “The Urgent Need for a National Plan to Contain the Coronavirus;” 9:00 a.m., 2154 Rayburn Bldg.; July 21 Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Seniors: A Look at Racial Health Disparities;” 9:30 a.m., 562 Dirksen Bldg.; July 21

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing “Pathway to a Vaccine: Efforts to Develop a Safe, Effective, and Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine;” 10:00 a.m., via Cisco Webex; July 21

House Homeland Security Committee hearing “Examining the National Response to the Worsening Coronavirus Pandemic: Part II;” 9:00 a.m., 2118 Rayburn Bldg.; July 22

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation markup of legislation including the Data Mapping to Save Moms’ Lives Act (S. 3152), the Fundamentally Understanding the Usability and Realistic Evolution (FUTURE) of Artificial Intelligence Act of 2020 (S. 3771), and the Advancing Artificial Intelligence Research Act of 2020 (S. 3891); 10:00 a.m., G-50 Dirksen Bldg.; July 22

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing “Stopping the Spread: Examining the Increased Risk of Zoonotic Disease from Illegal Wildlife Trafficking;” 10:00 a.m., 106 Dirksen Bldg.; July 22

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup of legislation including the Federal Emergency Pandemic Response Act (S. 4204), the Securing Healthcare and Response Equipment Act of 2020 (S. 4210), the National Response Framework Improvement Act of 2020 (S. 4153), the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center Pandemic Modeling Act of 2020 (S. 4157), the PPE Supply Chain Transparency Act of 2020 (S. 4158), the Information Technology Modernization Centers of Excellence Program Act (S. 4200), the Achieving Racial and Ethnic Equity in Disaster Response, Recovery, and Resilience Act of 2020 (S. 3658), the Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act of 2019 (S. 3038); 10:00 a.m., 215 Dirksen Bldg.; July 22


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.R.7574 — To amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to the Strategic National Stockpile, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Slotkin, Elissa [D-MI-8]; Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.7593 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to increase the use of telehealth for substance use disorder treatment, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. McKinley, David B. [R-WV-1]; Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, and the Judiciary.

H.R.7596 — To direct the Secretary of Defense to provide medical providers of the Department of Defense mandatory training with respect to the potential health effects of burn pits; Sponsor: Rep. Ruiz, Raul [D-CA-36]; Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.

H.R.7597 — To direct the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a report on the research and studies being conducted or funded by the Department of Defense to assess the health effects of burn pits; Sponsor: Rep. Ruiz, Raul [D- CA-36]; Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.

H.R.7598 — To direct the Secretary of Defense to include information on exposure to open burn pits in postdeployment health reassessments of members of the Armed Forces; Sponsor: Rep. Ruiz, Raul [D-CA-36]; Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.

H.R.7606 — To require the Comptroller General to submit to Congress a report on the impact of the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation, to limit the authority for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Williams, Roger [R-TX-25]; Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R.7618 — To establish a grant program to provide funds for health care entities to establish or improve bias and anti-racism training to help reduce racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 testing, treatment, health outcomes, and vaccine access; Sponsor: Rep. Adams, Alma S. [D-NC-12]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.7627 — To promote affordable access to evidence-based opioid treatments under the Medicare program and require coverage of medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, opioid overdose reversal medications, and recovery support services by health plans without cost-sharing requirements; Sponsor: Rep. Dean, Madeleine [D-PA-4]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce

H.R.7647 — To provide for a COVID-19-related delay regarding annual limitation on cost-sharing for group health plans and individual and small group health insurance coverage; Sponsor: Rep. McEachin, A. Donald [D-VA-4]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce; Education and Labor

H.R.7649 — To establish an initiative for national testing, contact tracing, and pandemic response, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Morelle, Joseph D. [D-NY-25]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Education and Labor

H.R.7654 — To require the Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to submit reports regarding coronavirus testing data; Sponsor: Rep. Richmond, Cedric L. [D-LA-2]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.7659 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require the inclusion of certain audio-only diagnoses in the determination of risk adjustment for Medicare Advantage plans, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Sewell, Terri A. [D-AL-7]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce

H.R.7663 — To amend title XI of the Social Security Act to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive or modify application of Medicare requirements with respect to telehealth services during any emergency period, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Thompson, Mike [D-CA-5]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce



July 20, 2020: | Page 1 Page 2

SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


 -  2020


 +  2019


 +  2018