Tag Archives: Health Workforce

Patient access to health information at the forefront of government initiatives and scrutiny

Even amidst the chaos of a global pandemic, this year multiple U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies have dialed in on promoting and enforcing patients’ rights to access their health information. In just the past month, HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the agency that enforces the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability … Continue Reading

OIG releases strategic plan for oversight of COVID-19 response

Following the distribution of billions of relief aid to healthcare providers and amidst the guidance issued around reopening of nursing homes throughout the country, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) unveiled a COVID-19 Response Strategic Plan on May 26, 2020 after updating its Workplan a few days earlier. … Continue Reading

Sweeping “CARES Act” Legislation Will Have Wide Impact on Health Care, Life Sciences Companies

The recently passed “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act) is sweeping legislation that will have widespread impact on companies in the health care and life sciences space. In addition to expanding coverage of COVID-19 testing and preventive services, the Act includes provisions to address health care workforce needs, eases restrictions surrounding telehealth … Continue Reading

CMS Offers Guidance to Health Care Providers on Limiting Elective Surgeries, Other Nonessential Procedures During Coronavirus Outbreak

In a recent guidance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) encouraged health care providers (HCPs) to limit elective surgeries and nonessential procedures during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. CMS offered a number of recommendations to help HCPs decide how to best serve patients requiring emergent or urgent attention. In addition to clinical … Continue Reading

House Clears Prescription Drug Price Transparency, Health Workforce Legislation

The House of Representatives has approved — without objection — a series of bills intended to promote prescription drug pricing transparency and invest in the health care workforce. With regard to drug pricing transparency, the House approved HR 2115, the Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act, as amended to include HR 3415, the Real-Time Beneficiary … Continue Reading

Wrap-Up of October Congressional Health Policy Hearings

October Congressional hearings have focused on the following health policy topics: A House Ways and Means Committee hearing addressed “Investing in the U.S. Health System by Lowering Drug Prices, Reducing Out-of-Pocket Costs, and Improving Medicare Benefits.” A House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, “Sabotage: The Trump Administration’s Attack on Health Care,” featured testimony from CMS … Continue Reading

Roundup of Recent Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Several recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues. For instance, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held hearings on Food and Drug Administration regulation of over-the-counter drugs and Public Health Service Act health workforce programs. The Senate Finance Committee held hearings on the Graham-Cassidy health insurance reform bill, CHIP funding reauthorization, and health … Continue Reading

CMS Summit on Potential Behavioral Health Innovative Payment Model (Sept. 8, 2017)

The CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is holding a public summit on September 8, 2017 to explore creating a behavioral health innovative payment model intended to improve health care quality and access, while lowering the cost of care for Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions. The … Continue Reading

CMS Seeks Input on Ways to Accelerate Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services

CMS is requesting public input on policy options it can consider to accelerate the provision of home and community-based services (HCBS) to Medicaid beneficiaries.  Note that while supporting increased availability of quality HCBS services has been a priority for the Obama Administration, it is unclear what priority future HHS and CMS leadership in the Trump … Continue Reading

GAO Assesses Availability of Data on Long-Term Care Workforce

In response to concerns about potential future shortages of direct-care workers to provide hands-on long-term services and supports (LTSS), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining federal and state data available on the paid direct-care workforce (e.g., home health aides, psychiatric aides, nursing assistants, and personal care aides).  While a variety of … Continue Reading

Energy and Commerce Committee Clears Public Health Bills

On September 21, 2016, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the following public health bills: H.R. 4365, Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act – to amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to enable paramedics and other emergency medical services (EMS) professionals to continue to administer controlled substances to patients under standing orders … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Improvements to HHS Oversight of Health Care Workforce Programs

The GAO has reviewed HHS management of the 72 health care workforce programs administered by HHS and its agencies. The GAO concludes that HHS “lacks comprehensive planning and oversight to ensure that its many workforce efforts address identified national needs.” The GAO recommends that HHS establish a comprehensive and coordinated workplace development program planning approach … Continue Reading

Recent Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues, including the following: A Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing titled “Sudden Price Spikes in Off-Patent Drugs: Perspectives from the Front Lines.”  A Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing on “Opioid Abuse in America: Facing the Epidemic and Examining Solutions.” A … Continue Reading

CMS Equity Plan Tackles Health Disparities

On September 8, 2015, CMS released its first “CMS Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare,” which seeks to reduce health disparities among Medicare populations that experience disproportionately high burdens of disease, lower quality of care, and barriers accessing care. Such populations identified by CMS include: racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, people … Continue Reading

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). A House … Continue Reading

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. The Energy and Commerce Committee also recently held hearings on: the Administration’s HHS budget proposal; the Center for Consumer … Continue Reading

Meetings on Designation of Medically Underserved Populations & Health Professional Shortage Areas (June 22-24)

The Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Designation of Medically Underserved Populations and Health Professional Shortage Areas is meeting June 22 -24, 2011. The purpose of the Committee is to establish criteria and a comprehensive methodology for designation of medically underserved populations and primary care health professional shortage areas, using a negotiated rulemaking process. … Continue Reading

Congressional Hearings on Health Policy Issues

A number of Congressional panels have held hearings recently on health policy issues, including: a Senate Judiciary Crime Subcommittee hearing entitled “Responding to the Prescription Drug Epidemic: Strategies for Reducing Abuse, Misuse, Diversion, and Fraud”;  House Energy and Commerce hearings on interstate health insurance purchasing and creation of an interoperable public safety network; and a Joint … Continue Reading

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee to Meet on Medically-Underserved Populations/Health Professional Shortage Areas

The Health Resources and Services Administration has scheduled meetings of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Designation of Medically Underserved Populations and Health Professional Shortage Areas for January 18-20, 2011 and February 16-18, 2011. The Committee, which was authorized by the ACA, will be focusing on the various components of a possible methodology for identifying areas … Continue Reading

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Meeting on Medically Underserved Populations/Health Professional Shortage Areas

On November 17 and 18, 2010, the Health Resources and Services Administration is hosting a meeting of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Designation of Medically Underserved Populations and Health Professional Shortage Areas. The Committee, which was authorized by the ACA, will be focusing on the various components of a possible methodology for identifying areas of shortage … Continue Reading

Health Care Workforce Commission Appointments Announced

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has announced the appointment of 15 members to the new National Health Care Workforce Commission authorized by the ACA. The Commission is charged with making recommendations on how to: align federal health care workforce resources with current national needs; coordinate activities at the federal, state, and local levels; and encourage innovations … Continue Reading

Health Policy Legislation Advances in Congress

The House and Senate have approved the following health policy bills, which now await the President’s signature: H.R. 2923, the Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act; S. 1674, the Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act (to provide for an exclusion under the Supplemental Security Income program and Medicaid for compensation of individuals who participate in clinical trials … Continue Reading

GAO Seeks Nominees for Panels on Comparative Effectiveness and Health Care Workforce

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is seeking nominations for the ACA’s Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Governing Board, which is charged with identifying national priorities for comparative effectiveness research.  Likewise, the GAO is seeking nominations for the National Health Care Workforce Commission, also established by the ACA.  Nominations for both panels are due June 30, … Continue Reading