Legislative Activity

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Wednesday, January 15: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Vendors in the OR- VA’s Failed Oversight of Surgical Implants.” The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations on will also hold a hearing titled “A Report on the G-8 Dementia Summit.”
  • Thursday, January 16: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “2014: Seeking PPACA Answers.” The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has scheduled a hearing titled “Healthcare.gov: Consequences of Stolen Identity. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has also scheduled a hearing titled “HHS’ Own Security Concerns About Healthcare.gov.”

Regulatory Activity

HCBS Waivers Final Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the State Plan Home and Community-Based Services, 5-Year Period for Waivers, Provider Payment Reassignment, and Home and Community- Based Setting Requirements for Community First Choice and Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers Final Rule. The rule “amends the Medicaid regulations to define and describe state plan section 1915(i) home and community based services (HCBS) under the Social Security Act (the Act) amended by the Affordable Care Act. This rule offers states new flexibilities in providing necessary and appropriate services to elderly and disabled populations. This rule describes Medicaid coverage of the optional state plan benefit to furnish home and community based-services and draw federal matching funds. This rule also provides for a 5-year duration for certain demonstration projects or waivers at the discretion of the Secretary, when they provide medical assistance for individuals dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare benefits, includes payment reassignment provisions because state Medicaid programs often operate as the primary or only payer for the class of practitioners that includes HCBS providers, and amends Medicaid regulations to provide home and community-based setting requirements related to the Affordable Care Act for Community First Choice State plan option. This final rule also makes several important changes to the regulations implementing Medicaid 1915(c) HCBS waivers.”

Premarket Approval of Pediatric Medical Devices Rule

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule “amending the regulations on premarket approval of medical devices to include requirements relating to the submission of information on pediatric subpopulations that suffer from the disease or condition that a device is intended to treat, diagnose, or cure.”


MedPAC Meeting

The Medicare Payment and Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has scheduled a public meeting on Thursday and Friday January 16-17. Agenda items include:

  • Assessing payment adequacy and updating payments: hospital inpatient and outpatient services, and reforming Medicare’s prospective payment system for long-term care hospitals;
  • The Medicare Advantage program: status report, and employer group plan and hospice policies; and
  • Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs): Policy options.