POLICY BRIEFINGS


HHS Issues Regulation on Significant Guidance Documents


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized a rule in line with current law underscoring that regulatory guidance cannot impose binding legal obligations. Under the final rule, HHS must publish significant guidance documents – those with an annual effect of at least $100 million on the economy, or those raising a new legal or policy issue – through notice-and-comment rulemaking. Guidance must include certain uniform information, including the entities to which it applies, the issue date, and the applicable statutes or regulations. All guidance documents will be posted in an online, searchable portal, and those guidances that are not included in the portal within 30 days of publication of the rule will be considered rescinded. The Department will also establish a process through which to petition the correction of unlawful guidance.


COVID-19 Cases in Congress and the Administration


Three members of congress announced that they tested positive for COVID-19 this week: Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.). In addition, Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for COVID-19. He has been leading President Trump’s legal challenges related to the election.


Hart Health Strategies COVID-19 Resources


Hart Health Strategies Inc. continues to update the following resources related to the coronavirus pandemic. Please remember to clear your cache to ensure you download the most recent documents.


Upcoming Congressional Hearings and Markups


House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hearing “Identifying Congressional and Administration Priorities for the Next Congress: How we can support our Veterans through and after COVID-19;” 10:00 a.m., remote; December 8

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing “Early Outpatient Treatment: An Essential Part of a COVID-19 Solution, Part II;” 10:00 a.m., 342 Dirksen Bldg.; December 8

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing “VA’s Response to COVID-19 across the VA Enterprise;” 10:00 a.m., G50 Dirksen Bldg.; December 9

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing “The Logistics of Transporting a COVID-19 Vaccine;” 9:30 a.m., 253 Russell Bldg.; December 10

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations hearing “Combatting the Opioid Crisis: Oversight of the Implementation of the STOP Act;” 10:00 a.m., 342 Dirksen Bldg.; December 10

Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing “Small Business in Crisis: The 2020 Paycheck Protection Program and its Future;” 10:00 a.m., 301 Russell Bldg.; December 10


Recently Introduced Health Legislation


H.R.8826 — To amend the IMPACT Act of 2014 to reset data collection and the development of a payment system technical prototype for post-acute care providers under the Medicare program to take into account the effects of COVID-19; Sponsor: Rep. Sewell, Terri A. [D-AL-7]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

S.4930 — A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to improve mental health services for students, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Kennedy, John [R-LA]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.Res.780 — A resolution designating November 2020 as “National Lung Cancer Awareness Month” and expressing support for the early detection of lung cancer; Sponsor: Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN]; Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.

S.Res.781 — A resolution supporting the goals of World AIDS Day; Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ]; Committees: Senate - Foreign Relations

S.4932 — A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure appropriate global surgical package code values in the Medicare program; Sponsor: Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY]; Committees: Senate – Finance

H.Res.1244 — Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3884) to decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, to provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, to provide for expungement of certain cannabis offenses, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2]; Committees: House – Rules

H.Res.1245 — Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding prioritizing the COVID-19 vaccine for members of the military; Sponsor: Rep. DesJarlais, Scott [R-TN-4]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.8834 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to extend and improve the Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Program under the Medicare program; Sponsor: Rep. Dingell, Debbie [D-MI-12]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.8836 — To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to prohibit estate recovery from certain expansion individuals under the Medicaid program; Sponsor: Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.8840 — To amend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to extend the temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Rep. Schneider, Bradley Scott [D-IL-10]; Committees: House – Budget

S.Res.783 — A resolution designating November 2020 as “National Hospice and Palliative Care Month;” Sponsor: Sen. Rosen, Jacky [D-NV]; Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.

S.Res.784 — A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of American Diabetes Month; Sponsor: Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH]; Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.

S.Res.785 — A resolution expressing support for the goals of Stomach Cancer Awareness Month; Sponsor: Sen. Young, Todd [R-IN]; Submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.

S.4944 — A bill to amend title XI of the Social Security Act to improve access to care for all Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries through models tested under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.4945 — A bill to improve end-of-life care; Sponsor: Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.4949 — A bill to require the Secretary of Health of Human Services to publish guidance for States on strategies for maternal care providers participating in the Medicaid program to reduce maternal mortality and severe morbidity with respect to individuals receiving medical assistance under such program; Sponsor: Sen. Toomey, Pat [R-PA]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.4952 — A bill to establish a grant program to expand the domestic production of certain medical supplies; Sponsor: Sen. Ernst, Joni [R-IA]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

H.Res.1249 — Expressing support for frontline workers, residents of long-term care facilities, individuals with preexisting conditions, and K-12 educators to receive priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine; Sponsor: Rep. Walberg, Tim [R-MI-7]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce

H.R.8845 — To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for Medicare coverage of multi-cancer early detection screening tests; Sponsor: Rep. Sewell, Terri A. [D-AL-7]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.8861 — To permit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recognized virtual diabetes prevention program suppliers to be included in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Expanded Model conducted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation under section 1115A of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1315a); Sponsor: Rep. Rice, Tom [R-SC-7]; Committees: House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means

H.R.8867 — To amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from conducting medical research causing significant pain or distress to cats; Sponsor: Rep. Titus, Dina [D-NV-1]; Committees: House - Veterans’ Affairs

S.4957 — A bill to provide for an emergency increase in Federal funding to State Medicaid programs for expenditures on home and community-based services; Sponsor: Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA]; Committees: Senate – Finance

S.4958 — A bill to provide for a vaccine safety public awareness campaign; Sponsor: Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

S.4959 — A bill to increase transparency and access to group health plan and health insurance issuer reporting, and for other purposes; Sponsor: Sen. Braun, Mike [R-IN]; Committees: Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions



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SERVICES




BRIEFING ARCHIVE


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