Elections & Politics Health

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Worth Another Look: Combatting Opioid Addiction

In January of 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top 10 issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. With little expected on the legislative front...more

Obama Administration, Congress Take Steps to Fight Opioid Epidemic

HHS has announced a series of actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, as Congress has cleared the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for the President’s signature. As part of the HHS activities, the Substance...more

House of Representatives Approves Mental Health System Reform Bill

The House of Representative has overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act) to reform the nation’s mental health care system. Key provisions of the legislation...more

Recent Congressional Hearings

Congressional committees held hearings on a wide variety of on health policy issues this month before going on summer recess. Notable hearings include the following...more

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Following the July 13 U.S. Senate's passage of Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), providers, families and communities should evaluate the act's impacts. The reform, S. 524, is viewed as a comprehensive approach...more

Committees Approve Rural Hospital Relief, ESRD Benefits, Medical Countermeasures Bills

On July 13, 2016, the Ways and Means Committee approved HR 5659, which would enable Medicare beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD) to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans. Earlier this month, the Committee approved...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Double Issue — Congress leaves for seven weeks, Congress sends opioid legislation to the President…More co-ops fail…The Supreme Court rules on Texas Abortion Case and Washington state Pharmacists and Religious...more

FDA Reorganization Takes on Cancer Moonshot and Other Initiatives

On July 11, 1969, the United States accomplished the almost unthinkable –two men walking on the moon. Conjuring images of that moon landing, President Obama moved forward the “Cancer Moonshot” program at his January 2016...more

Expanding Access and Encouraging Health Care: H.R. 5529

This is the third installment in a series examining five bipartisan bills advanced by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22, 2016. The original post briefly summarizing all five bills was posted in...more

Ways and Means Approves Bill to Delay LTCH 25% Rule Implementation, Make Other LTCH Reforms

On July 13, 2016, the House Ways and Means Committee approved an amended version of H.R. 5713, the “Sustaining Healthcare Integrity and Fair Treatment Act of 2016” or “SHIFT Act.” The primary focus of the SHIFT Act is to...more

Missouri Governor Signs Biosimilar Substitution Law

Last month, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed into law Senate Bill 875, allowing pharmacists filling prescriptions for brand name biological products to substitute a less expensive biosimilar product if the biosimilar has...more

ColoradoCare Stands to Significantly Alter Health Care Services

In November, Colorado voters will cast ballots on Amendment 69, also known as ColoradoCare. ColoradoCare is an ambitious, far-reaching plan to amend the Colorado constitution which would establish a statewide universal...more

Senate Finance Committee Explores Revisions to Stark Law

At a July 12, 2016 hearing entitled “Examining the Stark Law: Current Issues and Opportunities,” members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee expressed openness to potentially significant amendments to the Stark Law aimed at...more

Additional Opioid Policy Changes Announced: What You Need to Know

Despite the July 4 holiday, the past week featured significant regulatory and legislative action addressing the use of opioids and pain management. The changes are in keeping with the Government-wide push to better understand...more

Zika Funding Delayed

Emergency supplemental financing to fight the Zika virus appears to be delayed after the Senate failed to overcome a Democrat filibuster of a $1.1 billion compromise measure negotiated between House and Senate Republicans....more

New Federal Proposal May Make Health-Related Travel Insurance an Excepted Benefit Under ACA

For companies selling travel insurance products, there is major news out of Washington D.C. The Obama administration is seeking to curb short-term, limited duration health policies, which includes insurance products now...more

GOP Unveils Obamacare Replacement

On June 22, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Republican House members released their official proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. The proposal is the first comprehensive plan floated by congressional Republicans...more

Third Party Administrator Update: TPA Regulatory and Legislative Developments

Polsinelli is pleased to share the June 2016 Third Party Administrator Newsletter. This newsletter covers topics throughout the year that impact TPAs. Information specific to Polsinelli's TPA practice is also included....more

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Releases White Paper Examining Potential Reforms to the Stark Law

On June 30, 2016, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch released a white paper examining potential reforms to the Federal Stark law. The white paper, entitled “Why Stark, Why Now? Suggestions to Improve the Stark...more

Senate Committee Releases Report on Potential Stark Law Changes, Hearing Scheduled

On June 30, 2016, the Senate Finance Committee’s Republican staff issued a 20-page report discussing comments made by industry stakeholders after a December 2015 round-table on the future of the physician self-referral law,...more

Medicare Board of Trustees Releases 2016 Annual Report: Hospital Trust Fund Insolvency Projected by 2028

The Medicare Board of Trustees is calling for urgent legislative action to address the impending financial insolvency of the Medicare hospital benefit program. The Board’s 2016 report reveals the trust fund that pays for...more

Three Questions with Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), Founder and CEO of The Daschle Group, a Public Policy...

1. As we head into a new Administration and the new Congress, what do you see as the opportunities and challenges for the Affordable Care Act? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is much greater than a single legislative action....more

10 Items of Note From the 2016 South Carolina Legislative Session

The South Carolina General Assembly completed its 2016 regular session on June 2. The following are highlights from that session. 1. Highway Funding and SCDOT Restructuring - Legislation (S.1258) addressing road...more

House Passes Small Business Healthcare Relief Act

Despite repeated guidance from the IRS that employer payment plans violate insurance reforms under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”), many small employers continue this arrangement of reimbursing employees for their cost of...more

Senate Finance Committee Examines Repeal of the Stark Law

A new report suggests that the Stark law is obsolete in new payment models. On June 30, the US Senate Committee on Finance (the Committee) released the report Why Stark, Why Now? Suggestions to Improve the Stark Law to...more

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