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This week, the Senate is in session while the House is out on its August recess. The Senate could move the ball on opioids, but it is more likely that it focuses on nominations.
In May, the Trump Administration announced its Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and HHS Secretary Azar issued a Request for Information seeking comments from interested parties “to help shape future policy development and agency action” related to drug pricing issues.
As an immediate follow-up to last week’s release of the FDA’s Biosimilars Action Plan, the Agency is announcing a public hearing for September 4, 2018 to gather stakeholder input on “FDA’s approach to enhancing competition and innovation in the biological products marketplace, including by facilitating greater availability of biosimilar and interchangeable products.”
This week, the House is looking at advancing several health care tax proposals, including permanent repeal of the medical device tax. They will also consider a proposal to delay the health insurance tax by two years.
Earlier this month, CMS proposed changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program with the goal of “modernizing Medicare and restoring the doctor-patient relationship.”
In an attempt to lower drug prices, CMS released a proposed rule last week to reduce payments for new drugs under the Part B program.
On July 18, 2018, after months of alluding to the various aspects of an upcoming “Biosimilar Action Plan” as another prong within FDA’s broader Drug Competition Action Plan (DCAP), FDA finally unveiled its plan for stimulating and improving the marketplace for biosimilars in the U.S.
Timing is everything.  In yesterday’s post on 340B, I stated in closing: There is still one more shoe to drop.
It seems like every week, there are multiple new developments in the 340B program. While it has just been a few weeks since my last 340B blog post, since that time we have had another Senate hearing, a new GAO Report, a new House hearing, and introduction of more than a dozen new bills in Congress.
Congress is in session this week with six important health care hearings, including hearings on Medicare fraud, mental health, and Stark reform. Meanwhile, the Administration continues to put forth new proposed rules and guidance that will impact many stakeholders between now and the end of the year.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a significant decision, finding that a physician’s medical judgment about the medical necessity of heart procedures can be “false or fraudulent” under the federal False Claims Act (FCA). 
Some very good news for the telehealth community can be found amidst the more than 1,400 pages of the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2019(“Proposed Rule”) issued by CMS yesterday.
In a highly anticipated step, which had been teased by agency leadership in their public appearances over the past several months, FDA released a series of draft guidance documents pertaining to the development and approval of gene therapy products on July 11, 2018.
This week, Congress returns from recess to another four-week work period. The dynamics of the next four weeks might be in flux now that President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
State Medicaid Agencies have historically engaged in an epic balancing act.  Federal law requires State Medicaid Agencies to ensure beneficiaries have access to medically necessary services.  Federal law also requires State Medicaid Agencies to safeguard their Medicaid Programs against fraud, waste or abuse in billing for Medicaid services.
In its most recent Cybersecurity Newsletter, OCR focuses on the intersection of HIPAA and information security.  To be sure, HIPAA requires covered entities and business associates to address their organizations’ information security.
This week, focus turns to the Senate as the House overwhelmingly passed its opioid package known as H.R. 6 last week (see our previous coverage here). The Senate will look to combine its various proposals into one package for floor consideration and what passes will provide a timeline for reconciling the House and Senate packages.
Thousands of laboratories nationwide will be happy to hear that Florida, which licenses in-state as well as out-of-state laboratories, has repealed its laboratory licensure requirements. As of July 1, 2018, laboratories doing business in Florida need only maintain CLIA certification.

Opioids Have Our Attention

June 21, 2018| Blog

The government is focusing on opioids.  Whether it be program policies, enforcement, or legislation, combating the opioid epidemic continues to be a major focus for government officials.  It is also a major piece of the health care legislation moving in both the House and the Senate.
On June 19,  the Health Policy Consensus Group, which is a group led by former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and composed of several conservative think tanks, released a white paper proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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