Legislative Activity

Ways and Means Committee to Consider Proposals to Advance Hospital Reforms and Improve TANF

On Tuesday, May 24, the House Committee on Ways and Means will continue their bipartisan work by marking up three pieces of legislation, including two bills to reform the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program and the much anticipated Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016. The markup, titled “Commonsense Proposals to Advance Hospital Reforms and Improve TANF,” is part of the Committee’s continued effort to promote greater access, increase choice, and improve health care quality. It follows a Full Committee markup held on Wednesday, May 11, where four pieces of legislation to reform the TANF program were passed unanimously.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Monday, May 23: The House Committee on Rules will hold a meeting on three bills including H.R. 897, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015, cited as the Zika Vector Control Act.
  • Tuesday, May 24: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will hold a hearing on 17 FTC Bill including H.R. 4460, Youth Sport Concussion Act.
  • Tuesday, May 24: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “Medicare and Medicaid Program Integrity: Combatting Improper Payments and Ineligible Providers.”
  • Tuesday, May 24: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Legislative Hearing on Draft Legislation to Establish a Permanent Veterans Choice Program and H.R. 5083, the VA Appeals Modernization Act of 2016.”
  • Tuesday, May 24: The House Committee on Ways and Means will hold a markup titled “Commonsense Proposals to Advance Hospital Reforms and Improve TANF.” The bills being considered include H.R. 5273, Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016, to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for regulatory relief under the Medicare program for certain providers of services and suppliers and increased transparency in hospital coding and enrollment data, and for other purposes; H.R. 2952, Improving Employment Outcomes of TANF Recipients Act, to provide payments to States for increasing the employment, job retention, and earnings of former TANF recipients; and H.R. 5169, What Works to Move Welfare Recipients into Jobs Act, to strengthen welfare research and evaluation, and for other purposes.
  • Tuesday, May 24: The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing on several bills including S. 2896, Care Veterans Deserve Act of 2016; S. 2888, Janey Ensminger Act of 2016; S. 2883, Appropriate Care for Disabled Veterans Act of 2016; S. 2679, Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act; S. 2520, Newborn Care Improvement Act; S. 2487, Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act; S. 2049, To establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs a continuing medical education program for non-Department medical professionals who treat veterans and family members of veterans to increase knowledge and recognition of medical conditions common to veterans and family members of veterans; S.___, To reform the rights and processes relating to appeals of decisions regarding claims for benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs; S.___, Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2016; S.___, To expand eligibility for hospital care and medical services under section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to include veterans in receipt of health services under the pilot program of the Department of Veterans Affairs for rural veterans; a Discussion Draft including provisions from the Construction Reform Act of 2016, a bill to make certain improvements in the administration of Department medical facility construction projects; and a Discussion Draft including a Department of Veterans Affairs proposal to modify requirements under which the Department is required to provide compensation and pension examinations to veterans seeking disability benefits.
  • Wednesday, May 25: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Examining Cybersecurity Responsibilities at HHS.”
  • Wednesday, May 25: The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing titled “Science of Zika: The DNA of an Epidemic.”
  • Thursday, May 26: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing titled “Social Security Administration: Information Systems Review.”
  • Thursday, May 26: The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues will hold a hearing titled “Cartels and the U.S. Heroin Epidemic: Combating Drug Violence and Public Health Crisis.”

Regulatory Activity

HRSA Delays the Release of 340B Rules

On Friday, May 20, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) delayed the release of outstanding rules and guidance for the 340B program. HRSA has been working on 340B guidance for a number of years and announced the program guidance is not expected until the end of 2016. Stakeholders are waiting for HRSA to finalize the 340B “mega-guidance” which was released in August and consolidates and updates the previous guidance while implementing a number of program integrity mandates added to the 340B statute when the Affordable Care Act became law. HRSA was also set to release the final rule on 340B civil monetary penalties in May. Because the rule was re-opened for additional comment in April, many believe it could change course and estimate it will be released in November.