White House to Accelerate Vaccine Distribution

The White House plans to more than double the number of pharmacy sites offering COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks. The administration’s goal is to ensure that 90% of adults will be eligible for the vaccine, and that 90% of the country have access to a vaccine within five miles of where they live, by April 19. The number of mass vaccination sites will also be increased, from 21 sites to 33 sites. Additionally, the administration announced that the government will provide nearly $100 million in funding to support at-risk adults and those with disabilities in accessing the vaccine.

CMS to Hold Claims Pending Sequester Moratorium Extension

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has instructed Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to hold all claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2021 in anticipation of Congress acting to extend the 2% Medicare sequester suspension in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The move aims to minimize the number of claims that MACs must reprocess if the suspension is extended. The current sequester moratorium ended on April 1. The House of Representatives will not take up a Senate-passed bill to extend the sequester moratorium until 2022 before the chamber returns from recess the week of April 13.

GAO Appoints SAPCDAC Members

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced the appointment of six members to the State All Payer Claims Database Advisory Committee (SAPCDAC). The newly appointed members are Niall Brennan, Cheryl Damberg, Emma Hoo, Frederick Isasi, Mike Kapsa, and Josephine Porter. The committee is required to provide recommendations to the Secretary of Labor within 180 days, as required under the No Surprises Act, enacted as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

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.

Recently Introduced Health Legislation

H.Res.280 — Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that decades of policies rooted in socialism have stifled United States domestic pharmaceutical drug manufacturing and left the United States exposed to the hostile actions and unfair trade practices of the People’s Republic of China; Sponsor: Rep. Jackson, Ronny [R-TX-13]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Foreign Affairs; Energy and Commerce

H.R.2185 — To amend title XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act to provide coverage of comprehensive tobacco cessation services under such titles, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Blunt Rochester, Lisa [D-DE-At Large]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.2193 — To direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an occupational safety and health standard to protect workers from heat-related injuries and illnesses; Sponsor: Rep. Chu, Judy [D-CA-27]; Committees: House - Education and Labor

H.R.2209 — To amend the Controlled Substances Act to list fentanyl-related substances as schedule I controlled substances; Sponsor: Rep. Fitzgerald, Scott [R-WI-5]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Judiciary

H.R.2210 — To ensure that a fair percentage of Federal cancer research funds are dedicated to pediatric cancer research; Sponsor: Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-1]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.2212 — To establish a commission to review certain regulatory obstacles to preparedness for, response to, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and other pandemics, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Foxx, Virginia [R- NC-5]; Committees: House - Oversight and Reform; Rules

H.R.2216 — To provide women with increased access to preventive and life-saving cancer screening; Sponsor: Rep. Gomez, Jimmy [D-CA-34]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.2217 — To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to treat each territory as one of the 50 States for purposes of calculating the Federal medical assistance percentage under the Medicaid program; Sponsor: Resident Commissioner Gonzalez-Colon, Jenniffer [R-PR-At Large]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.2227 — To extend the life of the Minuteman III and redirect savings from development of the new ground-based strategic deterrent program toward the development of a universal coronavirus vaccine, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Khanna, Ro [D-CA-17]; Committees: House - Armed Services; Appropriations

H.R.2228 — To allow for payment of outpatient critical access hospital services furnished through telehealth under the Medicare program; Sponsor: Rep. Kildee, Daniel T. [D-MI-5]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.2255 — To enhance our Nation’s nurse and physician workforce during the COVID-19 crisis by recapturing unused immigrant visas; Sponsor: Rep. Schneider, Bradley Scott [D-IL-10]; Committees: House – Judiciary

H.R.2256 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the distribution of additional residency positions, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Sewell, Terri A. [D-AL-7]; Committees: House - Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce

H.R.2259 — To establish the Office of Supply Chain Preparedness within the Department of Commerce to manage the partnership of the United States with private industry and State and local governments with respect to the manufacturing of critical resources, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Stevens, Haley M. [D-MI-11]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.2264 — To require parity in the coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services provided to enrollees in private insurance plans, whether such services are provided in-person or through telehealth; Sponsor: Rep. Trone, David J. [D-MD-6]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means; Education and Labor

H.J.Res.37 — Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Health and Human Services relating to “Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely”; Sponsor: Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.2274 — To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to improve education opportunities for physician assistants, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Bass, Karen [D-CA-37]; Committees: House - Education and Labor

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