POLICY BRIEFINGS


Democrats Introduce HCBS Bill


Democrats in the Senate have unveiled legislation containing proposals from the President’s American Jobs Plan to expand access to home care and community supports and make investments in the home care workforce. The Better Care Better Jobs Act (S. 2210/H.R. 4131) would provide states with enhanced Medicaid funding for home and community- based services if the states take certain actions to support expanding access to these services and strengthen the workforce providing them. The bill would also provide funding to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to carry out the programs and conduct oversight. The bill, which was introduced by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Special Aging Committee Chair Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), is supported by 40 Senate Democrats. Companion legislation in the House of Representatives was introduced by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.).


McCarthy Announces GOP Task Force Membership


Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced memberships for seven issue-specific Republican task forces. The key health-related task force is the Healthy Future Task Force which will be convened to “examine policies to modernize and personalize America’s health care system, support innovative treatments, restore the doctor/patient relationship, and provide all Americans more affordable health care options that fit their individual needs.” The task force will also focus on pandemic preparedness and resilient medical supply chains. The group will be led by Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Ranking Member Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). The full list of members serving on each task force can be found here.


GAO Releases Report on VA Community Care


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report detailing the scheduling challenges faced by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Care Program. Wait times for community care have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic according to schedulers, though GAO details the VA’s lack of a wait-time measure for the Community Care Program, making it difficult to determine how much the pandemic has actually impacted appointment timeliness. GAO also reports that the VA has yet to implement previous recommendations from the agency regarding the need for medical facilities to assess community care staffing needs.


New Analysis Tracks Increase in Physician Acquisitions


The number of U.S. physicians employed by hospitals or corporate entities has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic according to a new analysis conducted by Avalere Health on behalf of the Physicians Advocacy Institute. Approximately 48,400 physicians became employees of hospitals or other corporate entities since January 1, 2019, with 22,700 of those physicians leaving independent practice since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – a 12% increase in the percentage of employed physicians over the two-year period. Nearly half of physicians were employed by hospitals or health systems by the end of 2020, while an additional 20% of physicians employed by corporate entities by the close of last year.


Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups


House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies markup of fiscal year 2022 appropriations legislation; 11:00 a.m.; July 12

House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight hearing “Principles for Outbreak Investigation: COVID-19 and Future Infectious Diseases;” 12:00 p.m., July 14

House Appropriations Committee markup of fiscal year 2022 appropriations legislation for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; time TBD; July 15


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.R.4171 — To remove barriers to health professions by providing resources to access foundational educational training, such as English as a foreign language and adult basic education, and to require the provision of child care, in demonstration projects funded under the health profession opportunity grant program under section 2008 of the Social Security Act; Sponsor: Rep. Chu, Judy [D-CA-27]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4187 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide coverage for certain vision items and services under part B of the Medicare program; Sponsor: Rep. Schrier, Kim [D-WA-8]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.Res.506 — Expressing support for the designation of the month of June 2021 as “National Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Month” and June 27, 2021, as “National Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day”; Sponsor: Rep. Peters, Scott H. [D-CA-52]; Committees: House - Armed Services; Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.4194 — To establish within the Department of Health and Human Services a Division on Community Safety, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Bush, Cori [D-MO-1]; Committees: House - Judiciary; Energy and Commerce; Education and Labor; Transportation and Infrastructure; Financial Services

H.R.4196 — To nullify the order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention titled “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions To Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19”; Sponsor: Rep. Duncan, Jeff [R-SC-3]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4198 — To establish the Mental Health in Schools Excellence Program to increase the recruitment and retention of school-based mental health services providers, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-1]; Committees: House - Education and Labor

H.R.4200 — To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to reauthorize the residential substance use disorder treatment program, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Jackson Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18]; Committees: House – Judiciary

H.R.4203 — To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to encourage appropriate prescribing under Medicaid for victims of opioid overdose; Sponsor: Rep. Mullin, Markwayne [R-OK-2]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4211 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to require full inspection, and complete transparency, with respect to entities receiving financial assistance from the National Institutes of Health, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Turner, Michael R. [R-OH-10]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4217 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the establishment of a Task Force on Maternal Mental Health, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Barragan, Nanette Diaz [D-CA-44]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4223 — To provide grants for the conduct of demonstration projects designed to provide education and training for eligible individuals with an arrest or conviction record to enter and follow a career pathway in the health professions through occupations that pay well and are expected to experience a labor shortage or be in high demand, under the health profession opportunity grant program under section 2008 of the Social Security Act; Sponsor: Rep. Davis, Danny K. [D-IL-7]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4233 — To amend title 38, United States Code, to furnish Vet Center readjustment counseling and related mental health services to veterans and members of the Armed Forces using certain educational assistance benefits; Sponsor: Rep. Murphy, Gregory [R-NC-3]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

H.R.4236 — To guarantee that grants are made under the health profession opportunity grant program under section 2008 of the Social Security Act to grantees in each State that is not a territory, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [D-NJ-9]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4244 — To make amendments to the names of certain agencies to help end the stigmatization of substance use disorder, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Trone, David J. [D-MD-6]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.Res.516 — Supporting the designation of July 2021 as Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month; Sponsor: Rep. Scott, David [D-GA-13]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4251 — To amend the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to authorize a special behavioral health program for Indians, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Pallone, Frank, Jr. [D-NJ-6]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Natural Resources

H.R.4263 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for an exception to the definition of an off-campus outpatient department of a provider under the Medicare program for certain departments of a provider if such provider was forced to relocate its campus; Sponsor: Rep. Gottheimer, Josh [D-NJ-5]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4278 — To direct the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on how direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising negatively impacts drug costs to consumers, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Murphy, Gregory [R-NC-3]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4283 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to improve the public health system in tribal communities and increase the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives pursuing health careers, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Ruiz, Raul [D-CA-36]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4285 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for full repayment under National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program in case of a 5-year commitment, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL- 1]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4289 — To amend title II of the Social Security Act to provide for long-term care insurance benefits, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Suozzi, Thomas R. [D-NY-3]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4292 — To provide for the establishment of COVID-19 and pandemic response centers of excellence, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4294 — To amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities to improve their preparedness for power outages; Sponsor: Rep. Wilson, Frederica S. [D-FL-24]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4295 — To require the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct a study to identify supply chains critical to national security, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Van Duyne, Beth [R-TX-24]; Committees: House - Intelligence (Permanent Select)

H.R.4301 — To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow individuals with direct primary care service arrangements to remain eligible individuals for purposes of health savings accounts, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4303 — To require applications for a health profession opportunity grant under section 2008 of the Social Security Act to contain evidence of in-demand jobs or worker shortages; Sponsor: Rep. Boyle, Brendan F. [D-PA-2]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4305 — To amend the Community Mental Health Service Block Grant to authorize a set-aside for crisis care services, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Bustos, Cheri [D-IL-17]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4311 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for coverage of dental, vision, and hearing care under the Medicare program; Sponsor: Rep. Doggett, Lloyd [D-TX-35]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.4316 — To provide a set-aside of funds for Indian populations under the health profession opportunity grant program under section 2008 of the Social Security Act, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Gomez, Jimmy [D-CA-34]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4319 — To require the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track and report on suicides and other issues among public safety telecommunicators, to require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to award grants to advance public safety telecommunicator health and well-being, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4323 — To expand the Medicaid certified community behavioral health clinic demonstration program and to authorize funding for additional grants to certified community behavioral health clinics; Sponsor: Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.4325 — To require preference to be given to applicants for health profession opportunity grants under section 2008 of the Social Security Act who have certain kinds of business and community partners; Sponsor: Rep. Murphy, Stephanie N. [D-FL-7]; Committees: House - Ways and Means

H.R.4341 — To provide support with respect to the prevention of, treatment for, and recovery from, substance use disorder; Sponsor: Rep. Trone, David J. [D-MD-6]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Judiciary; Ways and Means; Education and Labor; Financial Services; Agriculture



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SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


 -  2021


 +  2020


 +  2019


 +  2018