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.


House/Senate Schedule

Before recessing for a week, the Senate voted 96-1 to pass S. 3187, legislation reauthorizing existing and new FDA user fee programs (see below).  The Senate also voted down a Republican proposal to repeal the PPACA Prevention and Public Health Fund to pay for a one-year extension of current federal student loan rates.  The House returns from recess to take up on Wednesday an FDA reauthorization bill under suspension of the rules (H.R. 5651).  Also, up for a vote that day is H.R. 3541, the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011 that would, among other things, impose certain criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly or knowingly attempts to perform an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child or the race of a parent.  On Thursday, the House is scheduled to take up H.R. 5854, the FY 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act and, possibly, H.R. 5325 which provides appropriations for energy and water related agencies.  The House Majority Leader also said the House will soon take up legislation to repeal the PPACA 2.3% medical device tax; the House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a markup on May 31st.

New MedPAC Board Members Named

The GAO Comptroller General has appointed five new members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and reappointed Glenn Hackbarth as Chairman.  The new members are: Alice Coombs, a critical care specialist and anesthesiologist at Milton Hospital and South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass; Jack Hoadley, a research professor at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute; David Nerenz, director of the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit; Rita Redberg, a cardiologist and professor of clinical medicine at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center; and Craig Samitt, president and chief executive officer of Dean Health System Inc., in Madison, Wis.

Grants for CCER

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced that applications are due by July 31 in regard to primary research funding for the first round of grants to support comparative clinical effectiveness research.  About $96 million in grants will be awarded for projects to assess different prevention, diagnosis and treatment options; improve health care systems; compare approaches to communication and dissemination of comparative effectiveness research information; and address and potentially eliminate disparities across patient populations.

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