Congressional committees with jurisdiction over health care legislation continue to focus on the opioid crisis:

  • The Energy and Commerce held a hearing on “Combating the Opioid Crisis: Improving the Ability of Medicare and Medicaid to Provide Care for Patients” and a roundtable discussion on “Personal Stories from the Opioid Crisis.”
  • The House Oversight Healthcare Subcommittee examined “Local Responses and Resources to Curtail the Opioid Epidemic.”
  • A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused on “Defeating Fentanyl: Addressing the Deadliest Drugs Fueling the Opioid Crisis.”
  • The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on S.2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018; the Committee is scheduled to vote on the legislation April 24.
  • The House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing April 25 on “The Opioid Crisis: Stopping the Flow of Synthetic Opioids in the International Mail System.”

In other policy areas:

  • The House Oversight Committee held a hearing on federal and state efforts to identify, prevent, and recover improper payments made through state Medicaid programs (a related OIG report is available here).
  • On April 24, the Senate HELP Committee will consider three pending Senate bills (in addition to the opioid legislation noted above): S.2315, to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to clarify the regulatory framework with respect to certain nonprescription drugs that are marketed without an approved new drug application; S.2597, to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the program of payments to children’s hospitals that operate graduate medical education programs; and S.382, to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a voluntary registry to collect data on cancer incidence among firefighters.
  • The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee is holding an April 26 hearing on innovative practices and technology that physicians, other providers, and various organizations are implementing.