The House and Senate are considering trade legislation that would be financed in part by $700 million from extended Medicare sequestration authority – much to the consternation of the health care provider community. By way of background, under the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014” (PAMA), Congress “front-loaded” the Medicare reimbursement cuts under the

On April 21, 2015, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 471, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015. The bipartisan legislation would clarify the Controlled Substances Act to establish consistent enforcement standards intended to protect against diversion while promoting patient access to medically-necessary controlled substances.

On August 8, 2014, President Obama signed into law the following two bills approved by the Senate in July:

  • H.R. 4631, the Autism CARES Act, to continue federal research, early identification and intervention, and education related to autism; and
  • H.R. 3548, the Improving Trauma Care Act, to include in the Public Health Service Act definition of trauma injuries caused by thermal, electrical, chemical, or radioactive force.

In addition, prior to beginning the August recess, the House of Representatives approved the following bills: Continue Reading Two Health Policy Laws Enacted, Additional Bills Advance

On July 23, 2013, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved legislation to repeal the Medicare physician fee schedule SGR formula and replace it with a period of stable payment followed by reimbursement linked to quality of care. In the first phase, the legislation would set the fee schedule update for each of years

On September 20, 2012, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved by voice vote H.R. 1063, the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act. The legislation would make a series of procedural changes to MSP rules intended to “speed up the process of returning money to the Medicare Trust Fund while reducing costly legal barriers

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved S. 369, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act, which generally would prohibit brand name drug companies from compensating generic drug companies to delay the entry of a generic drug into the market. As approved by the Committee, the bill would allow certain settlement agreements between drug companies if

The House Judiciary Committee has passed H.R. 3596, the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009. H.R. 3596 would prohibit companies that provide health and medical malpractice insurance from price fixing, bid rigging, or allocating markets while providing coverage for health insurance or medical malpractice claims. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has approved S. 372, the “Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009.” Among other things, the Committee-approved bill would: clarify that federal employees are protected for disclosure of waste, fraud, or abuse made as part of an employee’s job duties; clarify that whistleblowers may disclose evidence of censorship

As previously reported, on June 17, 2009, the chairmen of the three House committees that share jurisdiction over health policy released a “discussion draft” of their comprehensive health reform plan. A revised version of the bill, the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200), was unveiled on July 14, 2009. In short, the

On July 15, 2009, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) approved its health reform plan, the “Affordable Health Choices Act,” on a party-line 13-to-10 vote. In addition to significant insurance reforms, including a public health plan option, the legislation addresses a variety of other health policy issues, such as health care quality, health care workforce issues, preventive care, chronic care management, and a regulatory approval process for follow-on biologicals.
Continue Reading Senate HELP Committee Approves Health Reform Legislation

On March 5, 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amended version of S.386, the “Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act.” Among other things, the bill would “clarify” that the False Claims Act was intended to extend to any false or fraudulent claim for government money or property, whether or not the claim is presented to

On March 4, 2009, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the following health policy bills: H.R. 1256: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; H.R. 1259, the Dextromethorphan Distribution Act of 2009; H.R. 1246, the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2009; H.R. 1253, the Health Insurance Restrictions and Limitations Clarification Act of

On September 10, 2008, the Senate Finance Committee approved an amended version of S. 1070, the “Elder Justice Act of 2008.”  The legislation includes a number of provisions aimed at protecting residents of nursing facilities, including a requirement that crimes occurring in federally-funded long-term care facilities be reported to law enforcement agencies; increased funding