House to Consider Overriding President’s Veto of Reconciliation Legislation
Following a postponement due to weather last week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has announced that on Tuesday, February 2, the House will consider the President’s veto message on H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015. The legislation seeks to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act; it passed the Senate on a 52-47 vote and the House on a 240-181 vote. The President issued his veto on January 8.
This Week’s Hearings:
- Tuesday, February 2: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Choice Consolidation: Evaluating Eligibility Requirements for Care in the Community.”
- Tuesday, February 2: The Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights will hold a hearing titled “License to Compete: Occupational Licensing and the State Action Doctrine.”
- Wednesday, February 3: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing titled “Examining Federal Administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, Michigan.”
- Wednesday, February 3: The House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition will hold a hearing titled “To Review Incentive Programs Aimed at Increasing Low-Income Families’ Purchasing Power for Fruits and Vegetables.”
- Wednesday, February 3: The House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel will hold a hearing titled “Military Treatment Facilities.”
- Wednesday, February 3: The House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities will hold a hearing titled “Outside Views on Biodefense for the Department of Defense.”
- Wednesday, February 3: The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Reexamining the Substandard Quality of Indian Health Care in the Great Plains.”
- Thursday, February 4: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing titled “Developments in the Prescription Drug Market: Oversight.”
- Thursday, February 4: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing titled “Examining Implementation of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act.”
- Thursday, February 4: The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing on the nominations of Mary Wakefield to be Deputy Secretary of Health And Human Services, Andrew Eanes to be Deputy Commissioner of Social Security, and Elizabeth Copeland and Vik Stoll to be judges of the U.S. Tax Court.
CMS Releases Proposed Rule on ACOs
On Thursday, January 28, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule titled “Medicare Program; Medicare Shared Savings Program; Accountable Care Organizations – Revised Benchmark Rebasing Methodology, Facilitating Transition to Performance-Based Risk, and Administrative Finality of Financial Calculations.” Among other provisions, this proposed rule seeks to change the Medicare Shared Savings Program’s benchmark rebasing methodology to better reward Accountable Care Organizations’ (ACOs’) investment in care coordination and quality improvement. According to CMS, the Shared Savings Program includes 434 ACOs, which serve more than 7.7 million Medicare beneficiaries across the country.
The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on February 3, and comments are due March 28.
CMS Issues Policy Changes Related to Home Health
On Wednesday, January 27, CMS issued a final rule titled “Medicaid Program; Face-to-Face Requirements for Home Health Services; Policy Changes and Clarifications Related to Home Health.” In addition to other changes, the rule now requires physicians to document face-to-face encounters with Medicaid beneficiaries within specified timeframes prior to ordering home health care. Such documentation will also be required for physicians or certain authorized non-physician practitioners to order certain medical equipment for home health services.
The final rule is effective on July 1.