With midterm elections only a few months away, lawmakers are grabbing every possible chance to move forward on legislative priorities and speak up on important issues. Hearings this week focus on Obamacare implementation, Ebola, scheduling at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and telehealth. Additionally, the House is expected to consider several pieces of health care legislation, including: S. 2154, the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014, as amended; H.R. 4276, the Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Care Improvement Act of 2014; and H.R. 4994, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014, as amended.
On Wednesday, September 17, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will meet in executive session to consider several actions, including S. 2141, the Sunscreen Innovation Act. The House passed a similar bill, H.R.4250, the Sunscreen Innovation Act, in July.
This Week’s Hearings:
- Tuesday, September 16: The Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a roundtable meeting titled “Harnessing the Power of Telehealth: Promises and Challenges?” The Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will hold a joint hearing titled “Ebola in West Africa: A Global Challenge and Public Health Threat.” The Senate Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Health Care will hold a hearing titled “The Children’s Health Insurance Program: Protecting America’s Children and Families.”
- Wednesday, September 17: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations will hold a hearing titled “Global Efforts to Fight Ebola.” The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Scheduling Manipulation and Veteran Deaths in Phoenix: Examination of the OIG’s Final Report.”
- Thursday, September 18: The House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Health and Technology will hold a hearing titled “An Update on the Small Business Health Options Program: Is It Working for Small Businesses?” The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing titled “Examining Obamacare’s Failures in Security, Accountability, and Transparency.” The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing titled “The Science of Dyslexia.” The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “Suicide Prevention and Treatment: Helping Loved Ones in Mental Health Crisis.” The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will hold a hearing titled “Fulfilling the Promise: Overcoming Persistent Barriers to Economic Self-Sufficiency for People with Disabilities.”
- Friday, September 19: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “21st Century Cures: Examining Ways to Combat Antibiotic Resistance and Foster New Drug Development.”
ONC Issues Final Rule On Electronic Health Records Certification Criteria
On Wednesday, September 10, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule titled “2014 Edition Release 2 Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification Criteria and the ONC HIT Certification Program; Regulatory Flexibilities, Improvements, and Enhanced Health Information Exchange.” The rule introduces regulatory flexibilities and improvements for certification to the 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria. It codifies several revisions and updates to the ONC HIT Certification Program and makes administrative updates to the Code of Federal Regulations.