Legislative Activity

The House and Senate will continue to hold oversight and investigation hearings focused on the problems with HealthCare.gov. This week’s hearings follow the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) announcement that 106,185 individuals have selected a health care insurance plan through the exchanges and President Obama’s announcement that HHS will use its authority to allow insurers to renew current policies for individuals who currently hold policies that do not meet the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) coverage requirements. Senate Democrats will not advance legislation that would address the policy cancellations unless the President’s administrative fix does not adequately address the problem. This week, the Senate will vote on the drug compounding bill (H.R. 3204), which the House passed in September.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, November 19:  The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Examining Federal Regulation of Mobile Medical Apps and Other Health Software.” The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will also hold a hearing titled “Security of HealthCare.gov.” The Science, Space, and Technology Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “Is My Data on Healthcare.gov Secure?”
  • Wednesday, November 20:  The House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections has scheduled a hearing titled “Redefining Companion Care: Jeopardizing Access to Affordable Care for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities.” The Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Examining Public Health Legislation to Help Local Communities.” The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has scheduled a markup of the draft legislation Department of Veterans Affairs Major Medical Facility Lease Authorization Act of 2013.

Regulatory Activity

Quality Rating System for Qualified Health Plans Notice

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice that outlines the framework for the Quality Rating System (QRS) for Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) that will be offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The framework would base QHP ratings on health care quality and outcomes, consumer experience, and cost. CMS proposes 42 measures by which to evaluate family and adult self-only coverage. The agency proposes 25 measures for child-only coverage QHPs. Comments are due by January 17, 2014.

Rules at OMB

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is currently reviewing the following regulation:

  • CMS – Calendar Year 2014 Changes to the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System, ESRD Quality Incentive Program, and Durable Medical Equipment Final Rule.

Other Activity

The Alliance for Health Reform will hold a briefing titled “Reference Pricing: Will Price Caps Help Contain Healthcare Costs?” on Monday, November 18.