Health Policy Update Archive

The Health Policy Update is a bi-weekly newsletter from McKesson for specialty community providers with legislative updates and resources to help community providers advocate for their practices and patients.

2021 Q4 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – February 8, 2022 (PDF, 122 KB)

  • Congress Looking at Another Stopgap Funding Bill, Build Back Better Legislation Remains Stalled, Concerns Raised with Califf’s Nomination
  • Telehealth Extension Bill Introduced in Senate, The Network Joins Stakeholders in Urging Congress to Take Action on Telehealth Flexibility
  • Biden Administration Relaunches Cancer Moonshot
  • More Manufacturers Limit 340B Drugs Through Contract Pharmacies, Safety Net Hospitals Cry Foul

Health Policy Update – January 25, 2022 (PDF, 130 KB)

  • Senate HELP Committee Advances Biden’s FDA Commissioner Nominee
  • Stakeholders Call for Permanent Telehealth Flexibilities as HHS Extends Public Health Emergency
  • CMS Proposes Restricting Medicare Coverage for Aduhelm to Clinical Trial Participants
  • Top CMS Officials Outline 2022 Strategic Direction for Medicare
  • MedPAC Addresses Physician Payment and MA Growth at January Meetings
  • American Cancer Society Report: Cancer Death Rate on Decline

Health Policy Update – January 11, 2022 (PDF, 135 KB)

  • Network Physician Urges Ohio Lawmakers to Protect Patients from Insurer “White Bagging” Tactics
  • Negotiations on Build Back Better Act Stall in the New Year
  • CMS Proposes Action on DIR Fees
  • CMS Officially Rescinds 'Most-Favored Nation' Drug Payment Model
  • Bipartisan Lawmakers Introduce Telehealth Extension Act
  • Biden Administration Appeals 340B Ruling on Contract Pharmacies

2021 Q3 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – December 14, 2021 (PDF, 139 KB)

  • President Biden Signs Medicare Payment Fix into Law
  • Senate Work Continues on Build Back Better Act
  • 340B Case Proceeds to The Supreme Court
  • New Reports Issued on Drug Access and PBM Accountability
  • FDA Nominee Califf Testifies to Senate HELP
  • Oversight Committee Holds Final Hearing on Drug Pricing Probe

Health Policy Update – November 16, 2021 (PDF, 161 KB)

  • Congress Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Delays Reconciliation Bill Vote
  • Lawmakers Reach Drug Pricing Deal in Proposed Reconciliation Package
  • Biden Administration Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
  • Final 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Allows Conversion Factor Bump to Expire
  • CMS Finalizes OPPS Final Rule as Stakeholders Call for RO Model Changes
  • Federal Courts Issue Conflicting Opinions on Controversial 340B program
  • New Study Finds Hospitals Upcharge Private Insurers

Health Policy Update – November 2, 2021 (PDF, 132 KB)

  • Network Advocates Meet with Congressional Lawmakers
  • Lawmakers Make Headway on Reconciliation and Infrastructure Bills
  • Biden Meets Potential FDA Nominee Even as Some Senators Express Skepticism
  • CMMI Aims to Streamline Payment Models, Improve Health Equity with New Strategic Plan
  • Senator Wyden Urges CMS Review of Pharmacy Closures and Role of DIR Fees
  • Bill Streamlining MA Prior Authorization Gains House Majority Support as Companion Bill Introduced in the Senate

Health Policy Update – October 19, 2021 (PDF, 128 KB)

  • Negotiations on Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills Continue, Bill Authorizing ARPA-H Introduced in the House
  • President Biden Considering Robert Califf as FDA Administrator as Francis Collins Steps Down as NIH Chief
  • Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Urge Action to Avert Looming “Medicare Cliff”
  • CMMI Director Fowler Discusses Future of Value-Based Care Models
  • Medicare Advisors Consider Options for Addressing High Drug Costs
  • With COVID-19 Endangering Cancer Patients, Lawmakers Call for More Early Cancer Detection

Health Policy Update – October 5, 2021 (PDF, 123 KB)

  • Congress Averts Government Shutdown as the Future of Bipartisan Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills Remain Uncertain
  • The Network Joins Stakeholders, Lawmakers in Urging Biden Administration to Address Pending Radiation Therapy Cuts
  • The Network Joins Healthcare Groups in Letter to CMMI Encouraging Transparency and Communication
  • New Coalition Seeks Increased Transparency from Pharmacy Benefits Managers

2021 Q2 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – September 21, 2021 (PDF, 136 KB)

  • Medicare Negotiation Proposal Narrowly Defeated in One Committee; Approved by Another
  • The Network Submits Physician Fee Schedule Comments
  • The Network Responds to Radiation Oncology Model Proposed Rule
  • Biden Administration Issues Vaccine Mandates, Unveils New Pandemic Strategy
  • HHS to Provide Additional $25.5 billion in COVID-19 Provider Relief
  • Report: 340B Hospitals Profiting from Cancer Drugs

Health Policy Update – September 8, 2021 (PDF, 133 KB)

  • House Passes $3.5 Trillion Budget Resolution, Advancing Process for Expansive Reconciliation Bill
  • HHS to Establish Bureau to Oversee Pandemic Provider Relief
  • CMS Delays Enforcement of Insurer Transparency Rules by 6 Months, Chamber of Commerce Drops Lawsuit
  • Bipartisan Lawmakers Urge Creation of Non-Branded Specialty Formulary Tier
  • Medicare Trustees Report Finds Part A Reserves to be Exhausted by 2026
  • Employers Could Save $14.1 Billion Annually by Shifting Care Away from Hospital Outpatient Departments

Health Policy Update – August 24, 2021 (PDF, 130 KB)

  • President Biden Delivers Prescription Drug Pricing Speech, Urges Congress to Pursue Medicare Negotiation in Reconciliation Bill
  • CMS Leaders Outline the Future of Value-Based Care
  • Biden Administration Recommends COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots
  • HHS Yet to Issue Hospital Fines for Price Transparency Rule Noncompliance as PCMA, Chamber, Sue Merck Requires Hospitals to Share Claims Data to Receive 340B Discounts

Health Policy Update – August 10, 2021 (PDF, 176 KB)

  • US Oncology Network Commentary: The Promise of the Oncology Care Model
  • CMS Rescinds Most Favored Nation Model
  • Senate Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
  • Senate Adopts Budget Resolution, Kickstarting Reconciliation Process
  • Senate Advancing Legislation to Increase Generic, Biosimilar Access
  • FDA Approves First Interchangeable Biologic
  • Broad Coalition Urges Telehealth Extension

Health Policy Update – July 27, 2021 (PDF, 133 KB)

  • Senate Democrats Unveil $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan, Talks Continue on Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
  • CMS Releases CY 2022 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule
  • Radiation Oncology Model Included in CY 2022 OPPS Rule
  • CMS Plans to Increase Penalties for Hospital Non-Compliance with Transparency Rule
  • House Oversight Committee Report Shows Pharma Spends More on Buybacks, Dividends, and Executive Compensation than R&D

Health Policy Update – July 14, 2021 (PDF, 137 KB)

  • President Biden Signs Executive Order Promoting Competition in the American Economy
  • Biden Administration Announces New CMS, Cancer Moonshot Leadership
  • Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Site Neutral Policy, Will Take Up 340B Payments & Mail Order Prescription Discrimination Case
  • Congress Preparing Hearings on FDA Approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s Drug, FDA Chief Asks for OIG Investigation
  • New Report: Majority of U.S. Physicians Now Employed by Hospitals or Corporations

2021 Q1 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – June 29, 2021 (PDF, 140 KB)

  • Senate Finance Chair Releases Drug Pricing Principles as Republican Lawmakers Re-Introduce Lower Costs, More Cures Act
  • Affordable Care Act Survives Third Supreme Court Challenge
  • Bipartisan Pharmacy DIR Reform Introduced in Congress
  • HHS Rescinds 340B Advisory Opinion After Court Declines to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Agency’s Authority
  • MedPAC Recommends Streamlining CMMI Models

Health Policy Update – June 15, 2021 (PDF, 131 KB)

  • President’s Budget Hearings, FDA Approval of Alzheimer’s Drug Aduhelm Stir Up Drug Pricing Debate
  • HHS Provides Additional Guidance on Terms and Conditions Associated with Provider Relief Fund
  • CMMI Director Fowler Discusses Mandatory Payment Models, Public Option, Drug Pricing Reform
  • Lawmakers Send Letter to CMMI Director Fowler Urging Improved Transparency, Stakeholder Engagement
  • 340B Update: Biden Administration Asks Congress for More Resources to Audit Drug Discount Program
  • ICER Announces New Project to Study Insurer Drug Coverage Policies

Health Policy Update – June 2, 2021 (PDF, 123 KB)

  • Biden Administration Releases Long-Awaited FY 22 Budget Proposal
  • Senate Confirms Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to Head CMS
  • Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Telehealth as House Legislation is Introduced to Make Some Temporary Flexibilities Permanent
  • Amid Concerns Over Accelerating Hospital Consolidation, Lawmakers Explore Policy Options
  • Survey: Large Majority of Medical Groups Facing an Increase in Prior Authorization Since 2020

Health Policy Update – May 18, 2021 (PDF, 152 KB)

  • Houston Committees Hold Hearing on H.R. 3 as Moderate Democrats Urge Bipartisan Cooperation on Drug Pricing
  • HHS Secretary Becerra Testifies Before E&C Committee, Lawmaker Announces Plans to Include ARPA-H in Cures 2.0 Bill
  • Biden Administration Supports Using TRIPS Waiver to Lift COVID-19 Vaccine Patents
  • Study: Physician Practice Consolidation Associated with Higher Medicare Costs
  • CMS Sends Warning to Hospitals Not Complying with Price Transparency Rules
  • Analysis Shows Emerging Crisis of Undiagnosed Cancers as the Pandemic Enters its Second Year
  • Stakeholders Share Feedback on ONC Interoperability, Info-Blocking Rules

Health Policy Update – May 4, 2021 (PDF, 144 KB)

  • Oncology Leaders Examine Practice Efficiency
  • President Biden Outlines American Families Plan, Ambitious Legislative Agenda in Address Before Congress
  • FDA Reviews Status of Oncology Drugs that Received Accelerated Approval
  • New CMMI Director Fowler Outlines Path Forward for Alternative Payment Models
  • Dozens of Healthcare Organizations Urge CMS to Reverse Trump Administration Policy Allowing Step Therapy in MA Plans
  • Bipartisan Members of Congress Urge Biden Administration to Ban Insurer Co-Pay Accumulator Programs

Health Policy Update – April 20, 2021 (PDF, 141 KB)

  • Biden Administration Releases FY 2022 Discretionary Budget Request
  • Senate Finance Committee Held Confirmation Hearing for CMS Administrator, HHS Deputy Secretary
  • APMs, Private Equity, Clinical Lab Payment Rates Focus of MedPAC’s April Meeting
  • AMA Survey Finds Widespread Insurer Use of Prior Authorization
  • Energy & Commerce Committee Leadership Urges HHS to Step Up Enforcement of Price Transparency Rules
  • CBO Report Analyzes Pharmaceutical R&D Spending as PhRMA Unveils New Policy Priorities
  • Hospital Groups Seek Meeting with FDA Over Insurer “White Bagging” Policies

Health Policy Update – April 6, 2021 (PDF, 125 KB)

  • Congress Expected to Extend Medicare Sequester Relief Through End of 2021
  • Congressional Democrats Consider Drug Pricing Reforms for Next Legislative Package
  • Senate Confirms Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General, Rachel Levine as HHS Assistant Secretary for Health
  • Biden Administration Extends ACA Enrollment Period, New ACA Premium Subsidies Go into Effect
  • HHS Inspector General Greenlights Novartis Patient Assistance Program for CAR-T Treatment
  • Pandemic Accelerated Physician Practice Consolidation, Analysis Shows
  • New Report Shows Cancer Screening Bounced Back After Pandemic-Related Declines

2020 Q4 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – March 23, 2021 (PDF, 136 KB)

  • U.S. House Votes to Suspend Medicare Sequester Cuts Through December
  • Biden Signs COVID-19 Relief Bill
  • Senate Confirms Becerra to Lead HHS
  • MedPAC Report Urges Caution on Permanent Telehealth Expansion
  • Biden Administration Rescinds, Delays Trump-Era Rules
  • Healthcare Groups File Lawsuit to Strike HHS Sunset Rule; HHS Delays to 2022
  • Deloitte: Hospital Price Transparency Compliance Low

Health Policy Update – March 9, 2021 (PDF, 173 KB)

  • Congress Tees Up COVID-19 Relief Legislation
  • Senate Floor Vote on Becerra Nomination Expected, Tanden Withdraws from Consideration to Lead OMB
  • Biden Yet to Name Choice for FDA Commissioner
  • Coalition of Cancer Care Stakeholders Share RO Model Concerns with CMS
  • House E&C Health Subcommittee Holds Telehealth Hearing
  • Patient Groups Urge Biden Administration to Reject Proposed Changes to Medicare’s Protected Drug Classes Policy
  • New Study Highlights Cost Differences in Health Care Services by Site of Treatment

Health Policy Update – February 23, 2021 (PDF, 139 KB)

  • Becerra Faces Confirmation Hearings, President Biden Nominates Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to lead CMS, Elizabeth Fowler for CMMI
  • Hospital Groups Appeal 340B, Site Neutral Payment Rulings to the Supreme Court
  • House Lawmakers Continue Work on COVID-19 Relief Bill
  • Hospitals Push Back on Insurer White & Brown Bagging Practices
  • Analysis: One-Third of Hospitals Not Complying with Price Transparency Rule
  • Biden Administration Changes DOJ's Position in Pending Supreme Court ACA Case

Health Policy Update – February 9, 2021 (PDF, 126 KB)

  • Congressional Democrats Push Forward with Budget Reconciliation to Pass Biden’s COVID-19 Relief Package
  • President Biden Issues Executive Order to Re-Open Federal Health Insurance Exchanges
  • Medicare Part D Rebate Rule Delayed to 2023
  • Incoming Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden Talks Drug Pricing Reforms
  • CMS Issues Mid-Build Exception Determinations Under Site Neutral Law
  • States Move Forward with Drug Importation, Reference Pricing Legislation Law

Health Policy Update – January 26, 2021 (PDF, 124 KB)

  • Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Sworn in as 46th President of the United States
  • Biden Administration Issues 60-Day Freeze on Pending & Recently-Finalized
  • Regulations, Including Last-Minute Prior Authorization Rule
  • Outgoing Trump Administration Finalizes 2022 Medicare Advantage/Part D Rule
  • Pharmacy Benefit Manager Groups Sue HHS Over Drug Rebate Rule
  • Federal Trade Commission Looks into Hospital Acquisitions of Physician Practices
  • Drug Manufacturers Continue 340B Pharmacy Restrictions After HHS Nonbinding Opinion as Additional Companies Join Legal Challenge

Health Policy Update – January 13, 2021 (PDF, 118 KB)

  • HHS Won’t Appeal Rulings in Most Favored Nation Lawsuits
  • Outcome of Georgia Run-offs Flips Senate to Democratic Control, Changing Healthcare Prospects
  • HHS Secretary Alex Azar Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
  • Hospital Price Transparency Rule Goes into Effect
  • HHS Sides with 340B Providers in Contract Pharmacy Dispute

2020 Q3 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – December 22, 2020 (PDF, 135 KB)

  • Lawsuits and Opposition to MFN Rule Continue to Pile Up
  • Congress Strikes Deal on COVID-19 Relief Package, Omnibus Spending Bill
  • Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Arkansas Law Regulating PBMs
  • CMS Unveils Proposed Rule to Streamline Prior Authorization
  • HHS Unveils HIPAA Reform Proposal
  • HHS Finalizes 340B Dispute Resolution Rule as Hospital Groups Sue Over Program Enforcement
  • JAMA Study Analyzes COVID-19 Infection Risk and Racial Disparities Among U.S. Cancer Patients

Health Policy Update – December 8, 2020 (PDF, 144 KB)

  • The Network Featured in American Journal of Managed Care Article, Podcast
  • President-elect Joe Biden Announces Nomination for HHS Secretary and Other Key Members of Health Team
  • CMS Finalizes 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, Quality Payment Program and Hospital Outpatient Department & Ambulatory Surgery Center Payment Rules
  • Contact Your Member of Congress to Stop Physician Payment Cuts
  • Lawsuits Filed to Stop Trump Administration Most Favored Nation and Drug Importation Rules
  • Congress Continues to Debate End-of-Year Spending Package, COVID-19 Relief
  • White House Finalizes Overhaul of Stark Anti-Kickback Statues

Health Policy Update – November 24, 2020 (PDF, 132 KB)

  • The US Oncology Network Issues Statement Warning “Most Favored Nation” Model Will Disrupt Cancer Care Access
  • Administration Finalizes Regulations in “Midnight Rulemaking” Spree
  • Provider Groups Urge CMS to Suspend Scheduled Medicare Payment Cuts
  • Patient Groups Support Bill to Delay CMS Copay Coupon Rule
  • Study Highlights Increased Risk Faced by Cancer Patients from COVID-19 as Vaccine Manufacturers Continue to Make Progress
  • Study Finds Affordable Care Act Tied to an Increase in Early Cancer Diagnoses
  • Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act

Health Policy Update – November 11, 2020 (PDF, 117 KB)

  • Joe Biden Elected 46th President of the United States
  • President-Elect Biden Announces COVID-19 Advisory Board to Aid Transition Team
  • The Network’s Dr. Marcus Neubauer and Ben Jones Discuss Impact of COVID-19 on Value-Based Care and Path Forward in AJMC Article
  • Appeals Court Denies Hospitals’ Request to Revisit 340B, Site Neutral Payments Cases
  • HHS Releases Insurer Price Transparency Final Rule
  • JAMA: Independent Oncology Practices in the COVID-19 Era—Does U.S. Cancer Care Need a Bailout?
  • USPSTF Issues Updated Draft Recommendations for Colorectal Cancer Screening

Health Policy Update – October 20, 2020 (PDF, 123 KB)

  • The Network, Specialty Provider Groups Urge CMS to Waive Budget Neutrality in Final Physician Fee Schedule Rule
  • The Network Outlines Concerns with Radiation Oncology Model in Letter to CMS
  • Gridlock Over COVID-19 Relief Continues, Package Unlikely Before Election Day
  • Amy Coney Barrett’s Judiciary Confirmation Hearings
  • Supreme Court Hears Suit Over Arkansas PBM Law
  • Concerns Mount Over Administration Proposal to Issue Prescription Discount Cards
  • Humana Achieves Significant Cost Savings Moving Doctors Off Fee-for-Service
  • CMS Announces 2021 Medicare Highlights as Open Enrollment Begins
  • Lawmakers Solicit Recommendations for 340B Reform as Provider Groups Take Legal Action

Health Policy Update – October 6, 2020 (PDF, 118 KB)

  • President Trump Makes Series of Health Care Announcements Ahead of Election
  • Amy Coney Barrett Nominated to Replace Justice Ginsberg on the Supreme Court
  • President Trump Signs Bill to Fund Government Through Early December, House Passes Updated COVID-19 Relief Package
  • CMS Finalizes Radiation Oncology Model
  • Dispute Over 340B Discounts Continues as HRSA, Lawmakers Weigh In
  • New Research Highlights Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Cancer Cases, Health Disparities
  • Pharmaceutical Executives Testify at House Oversight Committee Hearing

2020 Q2 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – September 22, 2020 (PDF, 127 KB)

  • White House Unveils Most Favored Nation Drug Pricing Executive Order, Expands Scope to Include Part D Drugs
  • Partisan Divide Casts Bleak Outlook on Coronavirus Relief Deal Before November Elections
  • Taskforce on Telehealth Policy (TTP) Releases Recommendations
  • 340B Providers Plan Their Next Move as Congress Weighs In
  • CMS Releases New Value Based Care Guidance for Medicaid
  • Study Shows Substantial Increase in Healthcare Provider Consolidation
  • Public Health Agencies Face Allegations of Political Interference

Health Policy Update – September 9, 2020 (PDF, 183 KB)

  • The Network Shares Experience with Oncology Care Model Following Release of Latest Evaluation Report
  • Senate Tees Up Vote on “Skinny” COVID-19 Relief Package
  • Status of Administration’s Most Favored Nation Plan Remains in Limbo
  • New Analysis Estimates Costs and Fiscal Impact of Biden Campaign’s Healthcare Plan
  • CMS Proposes Pathway for Coverage of “Breakthrough” Devices and Technologies
  • Tensions Continue Among 340B Program Stakeholders
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee to Hold Public Hearing on FDA Independence, Pharma Companies Pledge to “Stand with Science” on COVID-19 Vaccines

Health Policy Update – August 25, 2020 (PDF, 116 KB)

  • Biden Chooses Kamala Harris as Vice Presidential Running Mate
  • No Agreement in Sight on Next Phase of COVID-19 Relief
  • Federal Appeals Court Overturns North Dakota Law Regulating PBMs
  • Drug Companies Seek Information on 340B Provider Discounts
  • House Lawmakers Urge Leadership to Stop CMS’ Scheduled Reimbursement Cuts to Specialists
  • CMS Announces New Alternative Payment Model for Rural Health

Health Policy Update – August 11, 2020 (PDF, 133 KB)

  • Federal Circuit Court Rules CMS Has Authority to Implement 340B Payment Cuts
  • President Signs “Buy American” Executive Order for Essential Medicines
  • COVID-19 Relief Package Stalls in Congress; Trump Takes Executive Action
  • The Network Responds to National Cancer Institute RFI on Cancer CareTelehealth
  • Telehealth Update: President Signs Executive Order Expanding Telehealth Access, Legislation Gains Traction in Congress

Health Policy Update – July 28, 2020 (PDF, 118 KB)

  • The Network Submits Comments on Medicaid Value-Based Purchasing Proposed Rule
  • Congress Begins Discussions on Latest COVID-19 Relief Package
  • CMS Administrator Verma Discusses Impact of Expanding Medicare Telehealth as Congress Weighs Legislative Action
  • HHS Secretary Signs 90-Day Public Health Emergency Extension
  • The Network Joins Coalition in Urging Top HHS Officials to Lift Prior Authorization Restrictions for Part B Drugs in Medicare Advantage Plans
  • New Research Estimates Impact of Delayed Cancer Screenings

Health Policy Update – July 14, 2020 (PDF, 135 KB)

  • McKesson Participates in Ad Campaign Encouraging Patients to Stop "Medical Distancing"
  • HHS Will Renew COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
  • AMA-led Provider Letter Urges CMS to Waive Budget Neutrality Requirements in Physician Fee Schedule Rule to Prevent 2021 Provider Payment Cuts
  • Paycheck Protection Program Deadline Extended as Loan Data is Released
  • Congress Update: Lawmakers Debate Next Pandemic Relief Package as Grassley Revives Drug Pricing Bill
  • Providers, Lawmakers, HHS Support Making Telehealth Changes Permanent

2020 Q1 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – June 30, 2020 (PDF, 124 KB)

  • Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on TeleHealth
  • CMS Proposal Encourages ‘Value- Based’ Drug Payments in Medicaid
  • Congress Update: House Passes ACA Expansion Bill, Revives Drug Pricing Proposal
  • Federal Court Rejects Challenge to Hospital Price Transparency Rule
  • Appeals Court Strikes Down Rule Requiring Drug List Prices in Ads
  • NCI Director Sharpless Warns Recent Decline in Cancer Screenings Could Lead to Excess Cancer Death

Health Policy Update – June 16, 2020 (PDF, 139 KB)

  • CMS Announces Changes to CMMI Models
  • CMS Reviewing Options to Expand Telehealth Flexibility Permanently
  • Latest Jobs Report Shows Marked Healthcare Sector Improvements, Dentists Leading the Way
  • Analysis Shows Slower Growth in Drug Prices
  • Study Finds High Economic Cost Due to Racial Disparities in Cancer Deaths

Health Policy Update – June 2, 2020 (PDF, 106 KB)

  • COVID-19 Update: HHS Extends Compliance Deadline for Provider Relief Funds & House Passes Revisions to Paycheck Protection Program
  • CMS Finalizes MA and Part D Final Rule, Delays Changes to Drug Program
  • CMS Announces Plan to Lower Medicare Out-of-Pocket Costs for Insulin
  • Report Finds Insurers Rarely Favor Biosimilars over Reference Biologics

Health Policy Update – May 19, 2020 (PDF, 109 KB)

  • COVID-19 Legislative Update: Congress Back in Session, House Passes Sweeping Fifth Coronavirus Response Package
  • CMS Releases FY 2021 IPPS & LTCH Proposed Rule, Hospital Groups Urge Court to Reject Price Transparency Measures
  • CMS Finalizes Co-Pay Accumulator Policy in NBPP Rule
  • Report Shows Critical Decline in Cancer Screenings

Health Policy Update – May 5, 2020 (PDF, 126 KB)

  • Senate Returns to D.C.; Next COVID Relief Bill Still To Be Determined
  • CMS Announces Second Round of Regulatory Relief, Changes to the Advance & Accelerated Payments Program and Provider Relief Fund
  • Members of Congress Urge Leadership to Prioritize DIR Fee Reform in Next Pandemic Relief Package
  • Joe Grogan To Depart White House Domestic Policy Council
  • HHS Delays Enforcement of Interoperability Rules
  • HHS Urges Federal Appeals Court to Reinstate Site Neutral Payments
  • CMS to Move Forward with Survey of 340B Hospitals’ Drug Acquisition Costs

Health Policy Update – April 21, 2020 (PDF, 132 KB)

  • Update on CARES Act Relief
  • Congress Working to Boost Funding for Paycheck Protection Program
  • Medical Practices Continue to Struggle Amid COVID-19 Fallout
  • NAACOS Survey Shows Majority of ACOs Likely to Leave Medicare Cost-Saving Programs Due to COVID-19 Concerns
  • COVID-19 & Cancer Care: Practices Adjust, New Guidelines, and A Patient Registry
  • CMS Boosts Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment Rates for 2021 Coverage Year
  • Administration Draws Strong Opposition from Stakeholders in Response to Drug Pricing Proposals Designed to Boost Generics and Biosimilars

Health Policy Update – April 8, 2020 (PDF, 118 KB)

  • Congress Begins Discussions on Next COVID-19 Relief Bill
  • Administration Rejects ACA Special Enrollment Period as Some States Re-Open Their Own Exchanges
  • COVID-19 Puts Strain on Independent Medical Practices
  • Drug Pricing Legislation Not Included in Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill, Next Opportunity Likely Post-Election
  • Study Finds Oncology Clinical Pathways Decrease Costs in Oncology-Specific APMs
  • CMS Defends Price Transparency Rule in Federal Court

2019 Q4 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – March 24, 2020 (PDF, 141 KB)

  • President Declares National Emergency for COVID-19
  • Congress Passes Second COVID-19 Response Package, Prepares Phase Three
  • CMS Releases Recommendations on Elective Surgeries During COVID-19 Response
  • White House Releases Drug Pricing Principles, CBO Releases Score for Senate Finance Committee Bill
  • New Medicare Part D Model for Insulin Released
  • HRSA to No Longer Issue 340B Guidance, Citing Limited Authority
  • NCCN Releases Recommendations for Standardizing Quality Measurements in Oncology
  • Report Shows Decline in Cancer Death Rates

Health Policy Update – March 11, 2020 (PDF, 135 KB)

  • The Network Urges CMS to Drop Copay Accumulator Provision from 2021 NBPP Proposed Rule
  • Dr. Thaker Discusses How Practices Can Use Big Data Analytics to Prepare for Proposed Radiation Oncology Model in Journal of Oncology Practice
  • Congress Passes Supplemental Funding Bill to Address COVID-19 as Federal Agencies Release Updates
  • CMS and ONC Release Healthcare Interoperability Rules, HHS Releases Strategy to Reduce EHR Administrative Burdens
  • New Research Shows Pharmacy DIR Fees Hit a Record $9 Billion in 2019
  • Study Finds Medicaid Expansion Fails to Spur More Hospital Charity Care Spending
  • Supreme Court Will Hear Third Challenge to Affordable Care Act

Health Policy Update – February 25, 2020 (PDF, 111 KB)

  • New Rule Would Enable Medicare Part D Plans to Create Preferred Specialty Drug Tiers to Help Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs
  • Secretary Azar Defends Administration Budget Request Before Senate Finance Committee
  • CMS Leader Hints at Reforming Prior Authorization Requirements
  • CMS Releases Proposed Three-Year Extension of Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model
  • Report Shows Americans with Employer Coverage Saw Growth in Drug Spending That Outpaced Other Medical Costs
  • Commentary Highlights Forthcoming Expansion of Biosimilars

Health Policy Update – February 12, 2020 (PDF, 127 KB)

  • President Renews Call for Drug Pricing Reform, Highlights Other Healthcare Issues in State of The Union
  • Administration Unveils 2021 Budget Proposal
  • Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Increase CMMI Transparency
  • Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Drug Pricing
  • CMS Clarifies Use of Copay Accumulators
  • CMS Enables States to Restructure Medicaid Program Benefits
  • FDA, FTC Outline Steps to Deter Anticompetitive Practices in Biosimilar/Biologic Advertising
  • CMS Expands Coverage of Next Generation Sequencing Diagnostic Tests
  • Insurer Groups, CMS Announce Efforts Aimed at Improving Prior Authorization

Health Policy Update – January 28, 2020 (PDF, 106 KB)

  • Hospital Groups Sue Over 2020 Site Neutral Payment Cuts
  • Supreme Court Will Weigh Validity of State Laws Regulating PBMs
  • Report Finds Significant Variability in Oncology Drug Costs Across Sites of Service
  • GAO Report Faults HRSA for Lapses in 340B Program Oversight
  • MedPAC Issues Payment Recommendations, 340B Study Following January Meeting

Health Policy Update – January 14, 2020 (PDF, 106 KB)

  • The US Oncology Network Responds to Cures 2.0 RFI
  • President Signs End of Year Spending Deal; Tees Up Health Legislation in Spring
  • Brad Smith Named New Head of CMMI
  • Avalere Releases Analysis on Part D Formularies
  • Study Finds 340B Hospitals Reimbursed at a Significantly Higher Rate Than What They Pay for Drugs
  • Study Finds Increase in Hospital Mergers Has Not Led to Improvements in Quality

2019 Q3 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – December 19, 2019 (PDF, 115 KB)

  • House Passes Drug Pricing Legislation, Republicans Introduce Alternative
  • CMS to Repay 2019 Site Neutral Payment Cuts; Continue Cuts for 2020
  • Hospital Groups Oppose 340B Survey
  • Hospitals Sue HHS Over Price Transparency Rule, Insurers Ask for Delay
  • Two Committees Reach Agreement on Legislation to Lower Health Care Costs
  • Senate Unveils Updated Drug Pricing Bill with White House Support
  • Senate Confirms FDA Nominee Dr. Hahn

Health Policy Update – November 19, 2019 (PDF, 110 KB)

  • Medicare Part B Premiums to Increase in 2020
  • CMMI Extends Oncology Care First Model Comment Deadline to December 13
  • HHS Defends 340B Payment Cuts in Court
  • MedPAC Highlights Hospital Consolidation In New Analysis
  • HHS Releases Price Transparency Rules
  • Op-ed: Reforming CMMI is Not a Partisan Issue
  • Stephen Hahn Nominated to FDA Commissioner

Health Policy Update – November 5, 2019 (PDF, 122 KB)

  • Michigan State Legislature Rejects Proposed CAR-T Regulation
  • CMMI Releases Informal RFI on Oncology Care First Model
  • House Passes Two PBM Transparency Bills
  • Floor Vote on House Drug Pricing Bill Postponed
  • HHS Delays Primary Care First Model to 2021
  • Representative Greg Walden, Ranking Member of House E&C Committee, Announces Retirement
  • New Report Finds Hospital Consolidation Raises Prices; UnitedHealthcare Implements Site of Service Medical Necessity Reviews for HOPDs
  • FDA Releases New Report on Drug Shortages

Health Policy Update – October 22, 2019 (PDF, 157 KB)

  • Network Radiation Oncologists Advocate for Improvements to CMS Radiation Oncology Model
  • Network OCM Practices Earn High Marks from CMS
  • Congress Focuses on Drug Pricing Legislation
  • HHS Announces Plan to Reform Stark Law
  • Amy Bassano Named Acting Director of CMMI
  • Report Examines Medicare Part D Plan Design and Proposed Policy Changes
  • Cardiac Tests in Hospital Outpatient Departments Generated $661 Million in Extra Costs

Health Policy Update – October 2, 2019 (PDF, 125 KB)

  • The Network Submits Comments on Physician Fee Schedule, Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rules
  • House Committees Hold Hearings on Pelosi Drug Pricing Plan, Ways & Means Committee Report
  • Judge Rules Against CMS Site Neutral Payment Policy
  • Senate Finance Committee Urges DIR Payment Reforms
  • Healthcare Groups Urge Congress to Protect Medicare Advantage Patients from Prior Authorization
  • New Study Examines Hospital Profits from Physician-Administered Drugs

2019 Q2 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – September 17, 2019 (PDF, 207 KB)

  • Pelosi Drug Pricing Plan Revealed, Talks Continue on Senate Finance Bill
  • Dr. Stephen Hahn Top Contender to Lead FDA, Brad Smith Leading Candidate for CMMI
  • House Small Business Committee Holds Hearing on Prior Authorization Burden
  • Coalition of Patient and Employer Groups Urge HHS to End Part B Cost Sharing for Biosimilars
  • Hospital Groups Double Down on Claim that Mergers Lower Costs, Experts Disagree
  • Study Finds Administering Specialty Drugs Outside Hospitals Could Save $4 Billion Annually
  • HHS Announces $1.8 Billion in State Grants to Combat Opioid Crisis

Health Policy Update – August 20, 2019 (PDF, 182 KB)

  • CMS Issues National Coverage Determination for CAR-T Therapy
  • ASP Coalition Commends Senate Finance Committee Members for Opposing IPI
  • John O’Brien, Senior Advisory to the Secretary on Drug Pricing Reform, to Leave HHS
  • GAO Report Finds Part D Drug Rebates Growing Fast; PBMs Give Nearly All Rebates To Plan Sponsors
  • UnitedHealth Group Analysis on Rising Cost of Hospital Care

Health Policy Update – August 6, 2019 (PDF, 206 KB)

  • HHS Announces New Plan to Import Prescription Drugs
  • Legislation to Reduce Prior Authorization Barriers Introduced in House
  • CMS Issues 2020 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule
  • CMS Issues 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule
  • Congressional Action to Lower Drug Prices
  • Budget Deal Will Extend Medicare Sequestration To 2029
  • Site Neutral Payment Update

Health Policy Update – July 24, 2019 (PDF, 197 KB)

  • Senate Finance Committee Releases Drug Pricing Package
  • CMS Proposes Mandatory Radiation Oncology Bundled Payment Model as Head of CMMI Announces Departure
  • Judge Blocks HHS Rule Requiring Drug Companies to List Prices in TV Ads
  • Administration Abandons Proposal to Eliminate Certain Drug Rebates
  • HHS Secretary Azar Shifts Position on Drug Importation
  • CMS Releases Quality Payment Program Results
  • Federal Appeals Court Hears Arguments on the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act

Health Policy Update – July 11, 2019 (PDF, 118 KB)

  • CMS Announces Radiation Oncology (RO) Model Proposed Rule

Health Policy Update – July 9, 2019 (PDF, 141 KB)

  • Ben Jones: Oncologists Still Face Challenges When Trying to Extract Data From EHRs
  • House GOP Doctors Caucus Sends Letter to HHS Secretary Over Step Therapy Concerns Ads
  • President Trump Issues Executive Order on Pricing Transparency
  • CAP Study Confirms High Price of Hospital Care
  • Lower Health Care Costs Act Passes HELP Committee
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Prescription Drug Pricing Legislation

2019 Q1 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – May 21, 2019 (PDF, 144 KB)

  • FDA Issues Final Rule on Biosimilars
  • CMS Finalizes Rule Requiring Drug Prices in Direct-to-Consumer Ads
  • New Court Ruling Orders CMS to Quickly Rectify 340B Pay Cuts
  • House Lawmakers Launch Effort to Block Site Neutral Payments
  • Forty-Four States Sue Generic Drug Makers, Allege Price-Fixing
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Examines Drug Patents
  • Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health Holds Hearing on Drug Supply Chain
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Elijah Cummings Introduce Comprehensive Opioid Legislation

Health Policy Update – May 17, 2019 (PDF, 92 KB)

  • CMS Release 2020 Medicare Advantage and Part D Drug Pricing Final Rule

Health Policy Update – May 7, 2019 (PDF, 153 KB)

  • Physician Groups Oppose Repeal of the Stark Law’s In-Office Ancillary Services Exception
  • ASTRO Survey of Radiation Oncologists Finds Prior Authorization Unnecessarily Delays Patient Access to Care Senators Question PBM Executives at Finance Committee Hearing
  • CMMI Unveils Primary Care Pilot Programs to Reform Payment to Providers
  • House Rules Committee Holds Hearing, CBO Releases Report on Medicare for All
  • House Energy and Commerce Holds Hearing on Prescription Drug Pricing in the Medicare Program
  • House Judiciary Committee Marks-Up Drug Pricing Bills

Health Policy Update – April 25, 2019 (PDF, 160 KB)

  • Bipartisan Bill to Limit Step Therapy Introduced
  • Site Neutral Payments Lawsuit: Hospitals Argue CMS Can't Ignore Statute
  • Senators Question PBM Executives at Finance Committee Hearing
  • Drug Price Transparency Bill Passes House Ways and Means Committee
  • Medicare Expected to Announce CAR-T Coverage Decision Soon
  • CMS Announces ACO Application Timeline to Begin in 2020
  • Sanders Reintroduces Medicare for All Bill in the Senate

Health Policy Update – April 4, 2019 (PDF, 154 KB)

  • Azar to Reconsider IPI Drug Pricing Model
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Hosts Capitol Hill Briefing
  • McKesson's Ben Jones Discusses Cancer Care Policies with AJMC
  • Department of Justice Argues Court Should Strike Down Entire ACA
  • Federal Court Strikes Down Association Health Plan Rule
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee Advances Drug Pricing Bills
  • Energy & Commerce Subcommittee Chair: No Plans for 340B Oversight Hearings

2018 Q4 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – March 25, 2019 (PDF, 156 KB)

  • Administration Releases 2020 Budget Proposal
  • Alex Azar Testifies Before Congressional Committees
  • MedPAC Releases March 2019 Report to Congress
  • Ned Sharpless Appointed Acting FDA Commissioner
  • Bipartisan Lawmakers Urge HHS to Maintain Protected Drug Classes
  • CMS Releases Updated Drug Pricing Data

Health Policy Update – March 15, 2019 (PDF, 56 KB)

  • Administration Releases 2020 Budget

Health Policy Update – February 22, 2019 (PDF, 140 KB)

  • New Bills Aim to Address Drug Prices, PBM Transparency
  • House Ways & Means Committee Holds Hearing on Drug Pricing
  • Hospital Groups Ask Court to Require CMS Recalculate 340B Payments
  • CMS Issues National Coverage Decision for CAR-T Cell Therapies

Health Policy Update – February 8, 2019 (PDF, 103 KB)

  • Healthcare, Drug Prices Featured in State of the Union Address
  • HHS Moves to Address Drug Rebates in Medicare Part D
  • House, Senate Committees Hold Hearings on Drug Prices
  • Hospital Groups Sue HHS Over Site Neutral Payment Policy
  • Study: Hospital Price Growth is Major Driver of U.S. Healthcare Spending

Health Policy Update – January 25, 2019 (PDF, 369 KB)

  • Trump Administration Proposals Could Increase Out-of-Pocket Costs for Consumers
  • CMS Unveils New Part D Payment Model
  • CMS Offers New Flexibility for MA Plans in Expanded Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model
  • Chairman and Ranking Members Announced for Key Healthcare Committees
  • MedPAC Holds January Meeting
  • Azar Meets with Senate Finance Members to Defend HHS' Drug Pricing Proposals
  • Patient and Provider Groups Express Concerns about Shutdown Impact on FDA

Health Policy Update – January 10, 2019 (PDF, 366 KB)

  • Healthcare Stakeholders Submit Comments on IPI Model
  • MedPAC Releases Comments on Proposed IP Model
  • Pelosi Sworn in as Speaker of the House
  • Federal Court Strikes Down CMS 340B Drug Cuts
  • House Ways & Means Committee Leadership Urges Greater Transparency in CMMI Reform
  • Senators Urge CMS to Establish Guardrails for Step Therapy Policy
  • Government Shutdown Impacts & Updates
  • Texas ACA Case Under Appeal
  • Senate Confirms New Science Advisor and Drug Czar

2018 Q3 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – November 26, 2018 (PDF, 330 KB)

  • CMS Releases 2020 Medicare Advantage and Part D Drug Pricing Proposed Rule
  • Providing Plan Flexibility to Manage Protected Classes
  • Medicare Advantage and Step Therapy for Part B Drugs
  • Requiring Part D Plans to Increase Transparency
  • Prohibition Against Gag Clauses in Pharmacy Contracts

Health Policy Update Archive – November 20, 2018 (PDF, 200 KB)

  • House E&C Republican Pushes Back on International Price Index Model, Opposes Price Fixing
  • CMS Administrator Seema Verma Discusses International Price Index Model
  • AMA Resolutions Support Site Neutral Payments, Call for More 340B Program Transparency
  • Senator Chuck Grassley to Chair Senate Finance Committee

Health Policy Update Archive – November 8, 2018 (PDF, 209 KB)

  • 2018 Midterm Election Results
  • The US Oncology Network Responds to International Pricing Index Model for Medicare Part B Drugs Site Neutral Provisions Included in Final OPPS Rule
  • CMS Releases Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule; Delays Payment Changes to E/M Visits
  • In Letter to CMS, Congressman Holding Expresses Concern about Step Therapy in MA Plans
  • After Legal Challenge, HHS Accelerates Implementation of 340B Rule

Health Policy Update Archive – November 2, 2018 (PDF, 195 KB)

Final Rule Expands Site Neutral Payments and Furthers Reduction to 340B Reimbursement:

  • Payment Policy Changes
  • Increasing Choices and Encouraging Site Neutrality
  • Application of 340B Drug Payment Policy to All Off-Campus Provider-Based Departments (PBDs)
  • Payment Policy for Biosimilar Biological Products without Pass-Through Status Acquired under the 340B Program

Health Policy Update Archive – November 1, 2018 (PDF, 214 KB)

CMS Releases Final Medicare Payment Rules for 2019

  • Payment Policy Changes
  • Streamlining Evaluation and Management Payment and Reducing Clinical Burden
  • Reduction to Add-on Amount for WAC-Based Payment for Part B Drugs
  • Practice Expense (PE): Market-Based Supply and Equipment Pricing Update
  • Medicare Physician Payment by Recognizing Communication Technology-Based Services
  • Payment Rates for Non-Excepted Off-campus Provider-Based Hospital Departments Paid Under the PFS
  • Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule
  • Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging
  • Final Changes to the Quality Payment Program Year 3
  • Key Changes to QPP under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

Health Policy Update – October 26, 2018 (PDF, 268 KB)

  • Lawmakers, Stakeholders Call on Administration to Rescind Step Therapy Proposal
  • CMS Announces International Pricing Index (IPI) Model for Medicare Part B Drugs
  • President Trump Signs Package of Legislation to Combat Opioid Crisis
  • Trump Administration Issues New Requirements for Drug Advertising
  • Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Urges CMS to Issue Guidance on Prior Authorization
  • Mississippi and Colorado Medicaid Programs Require Hospitals to Provide More Information on 340B Drugs
  • Senate, House Party Control Up for Grabs in Looming Midterm Election

Health Policy Update – Oct. 12, 2018 (PDF, 229 KB)

  • Senate Passes Historic Opioid Legislation Sending Final Bill to President Trump
  • House Passes $854B Spending Bill
  • CMS Announces Participants in New Value-Based Bundled Payment Model
  • CMS to Strengthen Oversight of Medicare’s Accreditation Organizations
  • Hospitals Urge Lawmakers to Protect 340B Drug Discount Program
  • CMMI Chief Adam Boehler Comments on ACO Participation
  • CMS Updates Local Coverage Determination (LCD) Process
  • OIG Report: Medicare Advantage Appeal Outcomes and Audit Findings Raise Concerns About Service and Payment Denials

Health Policy Update – Oct. 1, 2018 (PDF, 236 KB)

  • ASP Coalition Hosts Hill Briefing on Step Therapy Challenges
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Submits Comments on OPPS Rule
  • Congress Reaches Deal on Opioids Package
  • American Hospital Association Unveils 340B Good Stewardship Principles
  • Congresswoman DelBene Circulates Letter Urging CMS to Expand MIPS Low-Volume Threshold
  • Bills Banning PBM “Gag Clauses” Headed for President’s Signature

2018 Q2 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – Sept. 14, 2018 (PDF, 221 KB)

  • 240 Stakeholder Groups Call on Congress to Ask CMS to Reverse Step Therapy Proposal
  • CMS to Allow Indication-Based Formulary Design for Part D Plans
  • Hospital Groups Refile Lawsuit to Challenge 340B Cuts, Force Implementation of Ceiling Pricing Rule
  • PhRMA Report Finds Hospitals Mark-up Prescription Drugs by up to 500 Percent
  • E&C Leaders Seek More Information on Role of PBMs in Impacting Drug Prices
  • House E&C Committee Advances PBM Gag Clause Ban
  • E&C Committee Leaders Ask MedPAC to Study Hospital Consolidation

Health Policy Update – August 30, 2018 (PDF, 215 KB)

  • CMS Releases New Guidance on Indication-Based Formulary Design for Medicare Part D Plans

Health Policy Update – August 13, 2018 (PDF, 84 KB)

  • CMS Releases New Step Therapy Guidance for Medicare Advantage Plans

Health Policy Update – July 18, 2018 (PDF, 199 KB)

  • CMS Releases Proposed Medicare Payment Rules for 2019
  • Groups Submit Comments to Trump Administration on Drug Pricing Plan
  • President Trump Nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Examines 340B Program  
  • Alex Azar Delivers Remarks at 340B Conference  
  • Appeals Court Denies Hospital Groups’ Challenge to 340B Cuts
  • CMS Announces Demonstration Program that Would Exempt Doctors in At-Risk Medicare Advantage Programs from MIPS Participation
  • FDA Administrator Gottlieb Delivers Remarks at National Comprehensive Cancer Network Policy Summit

2018 Q1 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – June 21, 2018 (PDF, 147 KB)

  • Secretary Azar Discusses Administration’s Drug Pricing Blueprint Before Senate HELP Committee
  • Congresswoman Matsui Introduces Bill to Reverse 340B Cuts
  • Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on 340B Drug Discount Program
  • Administration Declines to Defend ACA’s Pre-existing Condition Ban in Federal Court
  • Administration Issues Association Health Plan Final Rule
  • House Passes Dozens of Bills to Address Opioid Crisis
  • NIH Leaders Outline Plan to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Health Policy Update – June 7, 2018 (PDF, 168 KB)

  • Community Oncology Alliance Sues HHS for Applying Sequestration to Part B Drug
  • HRSA Officially Delays 340B Penalties Rule
  • Senate HELP Committee to Hold Hearing on 340B Drug Discount Program
  • Bipartisan Bill to Lower Part D Drug Prices Introduced in the House
  • CBO Report Finds President’s FY 2019 Budget Would Reduce Federal Health Care Spending by $1.3 Trillion
  • Senator Bill Cassidy Presents Health Care Reform Ideas in White Paper
  • Report Finds Drug Spending Doubled in the Past Five Years, Expected to Double Again in the Next Five Years
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Five Bipartisan Opioid Bills

Health Policy Update – May 24, 2018 (PDF, 179 KB)

  • Administration Releases Drug Pricing Proposal
  • CMS Releases Updated Drug Spending Dashboard
  • CMS Urges Medicare Part D Plans to Stop Using Pharmacy Gag Orders
  • COA Survey Highlights Physician Concerns with Part B Reform Proposals
  • House Passes Right to Try Bill, Sending it to President Trump’s Desk
  • House Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means Committees Advance Additional Bills to Combat Opioid Abuse
  • Senate HELP Committee Hearing Examines Oversight of the 340B Drug Discount Program

Health Policy Update – May 10, 2018 (PDF, 176 KB)

  • McKesson Chairman Testifies at House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing
  • President Trump to Deliver Speech on Drug Pricing This Friday
  • HHS Secretary Azar, CMS Administrator Verma Deliver Remarks Before the American Hospital Association
  • Alliance for Site Neutral Payment Reform Applauds Republican Study Committee Budget
  • HRSA Delays 340B Rule for a Second Time
  • Federal Appeals Court Hears Oral Arguments in 340B Cuts Lawsuit
  • Survey Reveals ACOs Have Significant Concerns About Risk, Would Prefer to Stay in Track 1

Health Policy Update – April 26, 2018 (PDF, 253 KB)

  • The US Oncology Network Attends 2018 Community Oncology Alliance Annual Conference
  • CSRO Developing an APM to Cut PBMs Out of the Drug Channel
  • Key Committees Continue Work to Address Opioid Epidemic
  • CMS Releases FY2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule
  • House Ways and Means Committee Holds Hearing on Innovation in Healthcare
  • Poll Finds Over Half of Americans Support Single Payer Healthcare

Health Policy Update – April 12, 2018 (PDF, 160 KB)

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan Announces Retirement at End of Term
  • HHS Announces Adam Boehler as Director of CMMI
  • MedPAC Recommends Update to Physician Fee-for-Service Payment Rates
  • 340B Update: CMS to Allow Medicare Advantage Plans That Contract with Hospitals to Negotiate 340B Rates, Delays Rule to Set New Drug Ceiling Prices
  • Key Congressional Committees Hold Hearings on Opioid Legislation
  • Nearly 12 Million People Signed up for Health Insurance on the Federal Exchange
  • Presidents of the ACR, AAN Release Joint Op-ed Criticizing Trump Administration’s Drug Pricing Proposals

Congress Passes FY19 Omnibus (PDF, 83 KB)

This week, Congress passed legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018, at the levels agreed upon in the two-year budget agreement passed in February. The $1.3 trillion bill will fund the government through September 30, 2018.

2017 Q4 Newsletters

Health Policy Update – March 16, 2018 (PDF, 260 KB)

  • House Fails to Pass Right to Try Legislation
  • Senate HELP Committee Hearing Examines 340B Program
  • House, Senate Committees to Hold Hearings on Opioid Crisis
  • FDA Administrator Criticizes PBMs in Recent Remarks
  • HHS Secretary Azar Discusses Value-Based Care, Drug Pricing Transparency
  • CMS Rejects Idaho’s Plan to Sell Non-ACA Compliant Insurance Plans

Health Policy Update – March 1, 2018 (PDF, 250 KB)

  • HHS Releases Short-Term, Limited Duration Health Plans Proposed Rule
  • CMS to Study Impact of MIPS on Clinicians
  • Bipartisan Group of Governors Unveil Health Reform Blueprint
  • Administration Announces New Policies to Address the Opioid Crisis
  • Congress Holds Hearings on the Opioid Crisis, Bipartisan Treatment Bill Introduced in the Senate
  • New Study Examines Hospital Impact on Chemotherapy Spending

Administration Releases Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2019 (PDF, 161 KB)

The budget details legislative and regulatory priorities for next year including policies under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) designed to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, lower Medicare spending, address the opioid epidemic and increase funding for The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Health Policy Update – February 2, 2018 (PDF, 144 KB)

  • President Trump Delivers State of the Union Address
  • Alex Azar Sworn In as HHS Secretary
  • Congress Passes CR That Funds CHIP For 6 Years, Delays ACA Taxes
  • Avalere Releases Report on Impact of 340B Cuts

Health Policy Update – January 19, 2018 (PDF, 166 KB)

  • MSH Urges Congress to Exclude Part B Drugs from MIPS Payment Adjustments
  • Senate Finance Committee Advances Alex Azar's Nomination
  • Hospitals Groups to Appeal 340B Lawsuit Dismissal
  • House Energy & Commerce Committee Releases Recommendations to Reform 340B Drug Discount Program
  • CMS Introduces New Bundled Payment Model

Health Policy Update – January 8, 2018 (PDF, 152 KB)

  • Bipartisan Bill to Increase 340B Program Transparency Introduced in the House
  • HHS Seeks Input from Stakeholders on How to Increase Competition, Expand Patient Choice in the Healthcare Marketplace
  • President Trump Signs Tax Reform Legislation
  • Congress Passes Short-Term Funding Package to Avert an End-of-Year Government Shutdown
  • Senate Finance Committee Schedules Alex Azar's Confirmation Hearing
  • Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch Announces Retirement