CMS to Consider Expanding Medicare HIV Screening Coverage

CMS is taking comments until September 15th on a new proposal which would extend Medicare coverage for HIV screenings to all beneficiaries. An initial decision is expected by next February 4th.

DEA Reclassifies Hydrocodone Combination Products

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final rule under which hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) will be reclassified as Schedule II drugs from their current Schedule III classification. The DEA cited the large number of deaths and emergency department (ED) visits resulting from the abuse of such drugs as the primary reason for the stricter reclassification.

House Oversight Committee Asks CMS to Recover Improper Medicaid Payments

In a letter to CMS, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said that the state of New York may have received upwards of $15 billion in improper Medicaid funding for developmental centers over two decades. They demanded that CMS continue to recapture what they say are improper payments, adding that “Because of New York’s track record of abusing and mismanaging federal Medicaid dollars and CMS’s failure to identify and halt outrageous payments made by the State for years or decades after they have started, we are concerned the State will misspend the $8 billion in funds….” which will be reinvested as a result of a CMS waiver under the program.

Upcoming Health Related Hearings and Markups

Weds, Aug. 27 (1:30-3:30 p.m.) -- Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH-05) and Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH-06) will host a 21st Century Cures roundtable at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, OH) to gain input and seek new ideas as to how Congress can best accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of new cures. The event builds off the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures Initiative.

Fri, Aug. 29 (1:30-4:00 p.m.) – House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) will host a roundtable discussion in Lancaster, Pennsylvania as part of the committee’s 21st Century Cures Initiative. Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be among the participants. Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Health Subcommittee Vice Chair Dr. Michael Burgess (TX-26) and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Pallone (NJ-06) will also participate.

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