April Congressional Hearings

Recent Congressional hearings on health policy issues include the following:

  • House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act”; the FDA’s proposed changes to generic drug labeling; and legislation intended to improve predictability and transparency in Drug Enforcement Agency and FDA regulation (H.R. 4299, H.R. 4069, and H.R. 4250).
  • House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing on final Treasury Department regulations implementing the employer mandate and employer information reporting requirement provisions of the ACA..

In addition, on April 9, 2014, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is holding a hearing on “Addressing Primary Care Access and Workforce Challenges: Voices from the Field.”

March Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Congressional panels continue to hold hearings to address various health policy issues, including the following:

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

 A number of Congressional committees have held hearings recently to address various health policy issues, including the following:

House Panel, GAO Examine Drug Shortages

On February 10, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing entitled “Examining Drug Shortages and Recent Efforts to Address Them.” In connection with the hearing, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that concluded that the number of shortages remains high, even though the FDA has taken steps to prevent and mitigate shortages (e.g., expediting application reviews and inspections, exercising enforcement discretion in appropriate cases, and helping manufacturers respond to quality problems). Some of the causes of shortages are beyond the agency’s authority, however, since the FDA “does not have control over private companies’ business decisions,” and cannot, for example, require manufacturers to start producing or continue producing drugs, or to build redundant manufacturing capacity. Nevertheless, the GAO called on the FDA to strengthen its internal controls over its drug shortage data, conduct periodic analyses to routinely and systematically assess drug shortage information, and use this information to proactively identify drug shortage risk factors.

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Recent Congressional hearings have addressed a number of health policy issues, including the following:

House Panel to Examine Medicare "Extenders" Policy

On January 9, 2014, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee is holding a hearing on “The Extenders Policies: What Are They and How Should They Continue Under a Permanent SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate) Repeal Landscape?” The so-called extenders are measures that secure the continuation of various temporary Medicare payment and policy revisions impacting hospitals, physicians, therapy providers, and certain other provider types that are routinely extended by Congress (most recently as part of the Pathway for SGR Reform Act).

Senate Finance Committee Schedules SGR Markup

On December 12, 2013, the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to take up legislation to repeal the Medicare PFS sustainable growth rate formula and extend certain expiring health care provisions. While the current Congressional calendar leaves little time to address the latest round of SGR cuts before they take effect on January 1, 2014 (as discussed above), Congress may provide a short-term patch to provide additional time to consider more sweeping overhaul legislation. This situation is still very fluid, however, and the timing and scope of ultimate legislative action is still uncertain.

Congressional Hearings Examine ACA Insurance Developments and Other Health Policies

Recent Congressional hearings on health policy issues have included the following, among others:

Congressional Panels Continue Focus on ACA Insurance Enrollment, Security, and Cost Issues, and Other Health Policy Topics

Congress continues to examine issues associated with enrollment in qualified health plans under Healthcare.gov.  For instance:

In other policy areas, the Senate Special Committee on Aging has scheduled a December 11 hearing on “Protecting Seniors From Medication Labeling Mistakes,” along with a December 18 hearing entitled “The Future of Long-Term Care Policy: Continuing the Conversation.”  In addition, on November 20, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on public health legislation. Specifically, the Subcommittee is considering the following bills: H.R.610, to provide for the establishment of the Tick-Borne Diseases Advisory Committee; H.R.669, to enhance awareness about unexpected sudden death in early life; H.R. 1098, to reauthorize certain traumatic brain injury and trauma research programs; H.R.2703, to provide liability protections for volunteer practitioners at community health centers; H.R.1281, to reauthorize newborn screening programs; draft legislation to reauthorize the poison center national toll-free number, national media campaign, and grant program; and draft legislation to reauthorize a controlled substance monitoring program. 

Congressional Hearings Focus on HealthCare.gov Enrollment, Other Policy Issues

Congressional committees continue to focus on the experience of consumers and insurers since the HealthCare.gov insurance portal launched on October 1, along with potential issues related to the security of personal data transmitted through the site. For instance, House hearings this week include an Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on “ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of HealthCare.gov”; a Homeland Security Committee on “Cyber Side-Effects: How Secure is the Personal Information Entered into the Flawed Healthcare.gov?"; and an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing titled “Obamacare Implementation Problems: More than Just a Broken Website.” Next week, the Energy and Commerce Committee also will examine the security of the HealthCare.gov site

In other policy areas, on November 14, the House Small Business Committee is holding a hearing on “Self-Insurance and Health Benefits: An Affordable Option for Small Business.”  On November 15, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will review the FDA’s implementation of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, and on November 19 the panel will focus on federal regulation of mobile medical apps and other health software. 

Upcoming House Hearings on ACA Implementation (Sept. 18 & 19)

A September 18, 2013 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing will focus on “Federal Implementation of ObamaCare: Concerns of State Governments.” In addition, on September 19, the House Judiciary Committee will host a hearing on the impact of the ACA on competition in health care, and the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee will address the readiness of the CMS Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight for ACA enrollment

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Recent Congressional hearings on health policy issues include the following:

  • A House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee a hearing entitled “PPACA Pulse Check: Part 2,” focusing on ACA readiness and implementation issues (Part 1 of the hearing was on August 1, 2013). 
  • A House Homeland Security Cybersecurity Subcommittee hearing on “The Threat to Americans’ Personal Information: A Look into the Security and Reliability of the Health Exchange Data Hub.”
  • A Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the “Dental Crisis in America: The Need to Address Cost.” 

July Health Policy Hearings

Recent Congressional hearings have addressed the following health policy issues:

HIV Organ Policy Equity Act Advances

On July 17, 2013, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 698, the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act. The legislation would eliminate the restriction on acquiring HIV-positive organs in order to permit research on transplants involving HIV-positive individuals. The Senate approved its version of the bill, S. 330, on June 17, 2013.

House Panel Invites Comments on Draft SGR Reform Legislation

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is inviting comments on advance draft legislation to repeal the Medicare physician fee schedule sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and replace it with a system linking payment to quality of care.   Comments will be accepted until July 9, 2013.  In a related development, on July 10, the Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on "Repealing the SGR (Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate) and the Path Forward: A View from CMS.” 

Health Policy Hearings

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues, including the following:

Health Policy Hearings

Recent Congressional hearings focusing on health policy include the following:

  • The House Energy and Commerce Committee held hearings on health insurance premiums under the ACA and drug compounding. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee also held a hearing on "Reforming SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate): Prioritizing Quality in a Modernized Physician Payment System," which reviewed draft SGR reform legislative language. A June 12 hearing will focus on the state perspective on the need for Medicaid reform, and a June 14 hearing will examine the federal government's response to the prescription drug abuse crisis.
  • A House Ways and Means Committee Health Subcommittee hearing addressed the “President's and Other Bipartisan Proposals to Reform Medicare," and the panel has scheduled a June 14 hearing to concentrate on proposals to reform Medicare post-acute care payments. 
  • The Homeland Security Committee held a second hearing on “Oversight and Business Practices of Durable Medical Equipment Companies.”
  • The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing entitled “10 Years Later: A Look at the Medicare Prescription Drug Program." 

House SGR Reform Efforts Continue - Hearing Today

Today the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee is holding a hearing on "Reforming SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate): Prioritizing Quality in a Modernized Physician Payment System." The panel also is seeking comments on draft legislative language; comments will be accepted until June 10, 2013.

Congressional Health Policy Hearings & Markups

On May 8, 2013, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health approved by voice vote H.R. 1407, legislation to reauthorize and combine the Animal Drug User Fee Act and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act. TheEnergy and Commerce Committee also recently held hearings on: the Administration’s HHS budget proposal; the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight and implementation of the ACA; the lack of transparency and consumer driven market forces in U.S. health care system; and the impact of HIPAA on patient care and public safety. The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee held a hearing on Medicare physician payment reform, and the Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a May 14 hearing on this topic.  Other Senate panels also recently held hearings on health policy issues, including: a HELP Committee hearing on "Successful Primary Care Programs: Creating the Workforce We Need"’ a Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Oversight and Business Practices of Durable Medical Equipment Companies”; and a Special Committee on Aging hearing on "The National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease: Are We On Track to 2025?"

Lawmakers Float Draft Drug Distribution Security Plan; Comment Opportunity

This post was written by Kevin Madagan and Debra McCurdy.

Key members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee have released a bipartisan draft legislative proposal intended to improve drug distribution security. The legislation addresses, among other things: lot-level product tracing requirements for “downstream” pharmaceutical supply chain members (drug manufacturers, repackagers, wholesale distributors, and dispensers); a requirement that manufacturers serialize prescription drugs at the unit level; national licensure standards for wholesale distributors and third-party logistics providers; a requirement that members of the supply chain only transact with registered or licensed entities; and preemption of state product tracing requirements, including paper or electronic pedigree systems. The lawmakers will accept comments on the draft legislation until April 26, 2013. In a related development, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health has scheduled an April 25 hearing on "Securing Our Nation's Prescription Drug Supply Chain,” which will focus on a House companion version of the draft “track and trace” legislation intended to secure pharmaceutical distribution. 

Update:  On May 8, 2013, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved by voice vote an amended version of its “track and trace” legislation intended to secure pharmaceutical distribution.

Older Entries

April 15, 2013 — April Congressional Health Policy Hearings & Markups

March 28, 2013 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

March 27, 2013 — Senate HELP Committee Approves Organ Transplant, Animal Drug User Fee Bills

March 12, 2013 — Congressional Hearings

February 18, 2013 — February Congressional Health Policy Hearings & Markups

February 11, 2013 — House Panel Hearing to Focus on Physician Payment/SGR Reform (Feb. 14)

January 30, 2013 — House Energy and Commerce Committee Approves GME, Pediatric Research, and EMT Bills

January 30, 2013 — Senate HELP Committee Hold Hearings on Mental Health, Primary Care

December 17, 2012 — December Congressional Hearings and Markups

December 5, 2012 — House Panel Schedules Hearing on Implementation of ACA's Exchanges and Medicaid Expansion (Dec. 13)

November 29, 2012 — GAO Assesses CMS Fraud Prevention System Implementation

November 12, 2012 — November Congressional Health Policy Hearings

September 27, 2012 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

September 11, 2012 — Aging Committee Hearing on Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Sept. 12)

September 5, 2012 — Congressional Hearings

July 31, 2012 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

July 19, 2012 — July Congressional Hearings

July 19, 2012 — House Appropriations Panel Votes to Defund ACA, AHRQ

July 6, 2012 — Congressional Panels Schedule Hearings on ACA Issues (Tax Policy, Physician/Economic Impact)

June 18, 2012 — House Panel Clears Legislation to Address Medical Product Theft, Counterfeiting

June 18, 2012 — June Congressional Health Policy Hearings

June 8, 2012 — House Approves ACA Device Tax Repeal Bill in Face of Veto Threat

May 31, 2012 — House Panel Takes Up ACA Medical Device Tax Repeal, Other Health Tax Policy Bills

May 31, 2012 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

May 14, 2012 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

May 11, 2012 — House Panel Unanimously Approves FDA User Fee Act

April 23, 2012 — Ways & Means Bill Would Recapture Additional ACA Subsidy Overpayments.

April 23, 2012 — April Congressional Health Policy Hearings and Markups

March 29, 2012 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

March 14, 2012 — Two House Panels Approve IPAB Repeal Legislation

March 14, 2012 — Congressional Hearings on Drug Issues.

February 24, 2012 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings & Markups

February 10, 2012 — February Congressional Health Policy Hearings

January 25, 2012 — Second House Committee Votes to Repeal ACA CLASS Program

January 25, 2012 — E&C Health Subcommittee Plans FDA User Fee Hearings in February

January 23, 2012 — E&C Health Subcommittee Plans FDA User Fee Hearings in February

December 13, 2011 — December Congressional Health Policy Hearings

December 13, 2011 — Counterfeit Drug Penalties

December 13, 2011 — ACA CLASS Program Repeal Bill Advances

November 29, 2011 — House Panel Votes to Repeal ACA CLASS Program

November 29, 2011 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

November 11, 2011 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings & Markups

October 28, 2011 — Energy & Commerce Hearings on ACA Policy Issues

October 12, 2011 — Hearings this Week on Medicare Reform, Chronic Care, Employer-Provided Insurance

September 29, 2011 — Congressional Hearings Examine Variety of Health Industry Issues

September 22, 2011 — Upcoming House Hearings on Drug Shortages, Device/Drug Regulations

September 8, 2011 — Upcoming Congressional Hearings on Health Care Industry Consolidation, Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Security

September 1, 2011 — Senate HELP Committee Markup of GME/Autism Bills.

July 29, 2011 — Congressional Panels Consider Generic Drug Promotion, Other Health Policy Legislation

July 29, 2011 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

July 18, 2011 — July Congressional Health Policy Hearings/Markups

June 24, 2011 — Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

June 24, 2011 — Upcoming Markup of GME, Autism Policy Legislation

June 13, 2011 — June Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

May 31, 2011 — Senate Judiciary Committee Clears Anti-Fraud Legislation

May 31, 2011 — Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

May 13, 2011 — House Panel Approves Bill to Repeal Medicaid/CHIP Maintenance of Eligibility Requirements

May 13, 2011 — Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

May 13, 2011 — Health Care Liability Reform

April 13, 2011 — House Panel Approves Bills to Roll Back Certain ACA Funding

April 13, 2011 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

April 12, 2011 — Congressional Hearings This Week on FDA Medical Device Approvals, Drug Imports/Diversion

March 29, 2011 — Congressional Hearings on ACA, Medicare & Other Health Policies

March 11, 2011 — Upcoming Congressional Hearings on the Affordable Care Act

March 7, 2011 — Congressional Hearings on the ACA, Health Care Fraud

February 24, 2011 — Upcoming Congressional Hearings on ACA and the States, Health Care Fraud

February 18, 2011 — House Committees Consider Medical Liability, Health Policy Bills

February 18, 2011 — Congressional Hearings

February 4, 2011 — Congressional Hearings on ACA Implementation Issues (Feb. 9-10)

January 28, 2011 — Congressional Hearings

January 11, 2011 — Upcoming Senate Hearings on ACA Implementation

December 15, 2010 — Health Policy Bills Approved

December 15, 2010 — Congressional Hearings

November 29, 2010 — Congressional Hearings & Markups

September 30, 2010 — Congressional Hearings

September 28, 2010 — House E&C Committee Plans Hearing on Drug Safety Bill (Sept. 30)

September 17, 2010 — Health Policy Legislation Cleared by House Panel

September 17, 2010 — September 2010 Congressional Hearings

September 9, 2010 — Upcoming Congressional Hearing on DMEPOS Competitive Bidding (Sept. 15)

July 29, 2010 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

July 21, 2010 — Upcoming House Energy and Commerce Hearing on HITECH Act (July 27)

July 14, 2010 — Ways & Means Hearing on Incentives for Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records (July 20)

July 12, 2010 — Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

June 18, 2010 — Congressional Hearings on Health Care Fraud, Health Policy Issues

June 8, 2010 — Upcoming Hearing on Antibiotic Development and Use

May 28, 2010 — Congressional Hearings

May 13, 2010 — May 2010 Congressional Hearings

April 30, 2010 — Upcoming Hearing on Health Care Pricing Transparency (May 6)

April 29, 2010 — April 2010 Congressional Hearings

March 31, 2010 — Congressional Hearings

March 15, 2010 — Congressional Hearings

March 8, 2010 — House Energy & Commerce Drug Safety Hearing Set for March 10

February 26, 2010 — Congressional Health Policy Hearings

January 27, 2010 — Upcoming Congressional Hearings on President Obama's Budget Request.

December 4, 2009 — Recent Health Policy Hearings; Upcoming Drug Pricing Hearing

November 11, 2009 — Congressional Hearings (Nov. 2009)

October 30, 2009 — Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

October 15, 2009 — Committee Votes on Red Flag Rules, HIV/AIDS Treatment, Generic Drugs, Medical Isotopes

October 15, 2009 — October Congressional Hearings

September 28, 2009 — Congressional Hearings