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What the Administration Actually Can Do on Drug Pricing

The President’s budget makes clear for all to see that the Administration wants to do something related to drug pricing. Unfortunately for the Administration, most of their proposals require Congressional authority that have...more

Catching up on developments posted on the blog

Some quick updates on stories I have been following: SENTENCING FOR DEADLY PAIN-MEDS DOC: An Orange County, CA., physician has been sentenced to 30 years to life imprisonment. She was convicted of murder for her...more

Obama Launches Cancer Moonshot Task Force – But Where’s The Patent Power?

On January 28, 2016, the White House issued a Memorandum establishing the Moonshot Task Force “to double the rate of progress in the fight against cancer – and put ourselves on a path to achieve in just 5 years research and...more

Behind the Curtain: Shkreli was NOT the Big Story on the Hill Today

Congress’s complex relationship with prescription drugs was on display today in the House of Representatives. In the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), Martin Shkreli pleaded the 5th at a hearing...more

President Obama Establishes “White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force” Led by VP Biden, Calls for $1 Billion Investment in Cancer...

President Obama recently signed a memorandum formally establishing a White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force to coordinate and strengthen federal and private efforts to support cancer research and treatment. The Task Force,...more

Telemedicine Momentum Picking up Steam as New Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate

On February 3, 2016, a bipartisan group of Senators led by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) have unveiled legislation that would expand the use of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring under...more

Senate Health Committee Seeks Expert Feedback on Draft Health Information Technology Bill

On January 20, 2016, the U. S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions released this draft bipartisan bill for staff discussion, which seeks to improve health information technology, including electronic...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Because of the Blizzard of 2016—also known as “Snowzilla”—in Washington, D.C., and other parts of the East Coast, this is a combined issue... The House of Representatives opted not to come back to town until next...more

Cybersecurity Act Of 2015 Aims To Bolster Cybersecurity In Health Care Industry

Section 405 of Title IV of the Cybersecurity Act is tailored specifically to cybersecurity matters affecting public and private health care entities. Section 405 of Title IV seeks to improve the cybersecurity landscape in...more

Safety of Both Devices and Drugs Need to Be Better Tracked, FDA Hears from Oversight Bodies

FDA lacks the appropriate data to effectively conduct postmarket surveillance and safety tracking activities, according to two reports released earlier this month. First, Senator Patty Murray’s Health, Education, Labor, and...more

Senate HELP Committee Outlines Plans for Action on Biomedical Innovation Bills

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has announced its plans to consider companion legislation to the House-approved “21st Century Cures Act,” which is intended to improve the drug and device...more

Representatives Send Letter to HHS and NIH Seeking Response to Pharmaceutical Costs

In a letter sent earlier this month to Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Director Francis S. Collins of the National Institutes of Health, fifty members of the U.S. House...more

The President’s Precision Medicine Initiative – The First Annual Check-Up

Watching President Obama’s recent 2016 State of the Union Address reminded me that one year has passed since the President announced a new “precision” or personalized medicine initiative to advance personalized, effective...more

Senate Working Group Considers Telehealth Policy Changes to Medicare

In keeping with the boom of telehealth legislation introduced last year at both the state and federal level, the Senate Finance Committee is considering several policy changes that, if ultimately enacted, could make...more

Blog: Senate Opts For “Step By Step” Approach For Innovation Legislation

Tuesday, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee announced that he will pursue a “step by step” approach to crafting major biomedical innovation...more

A&B Healthcare Week in Review - January 2016

On January 5, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received for review a final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) entitled Covered Outpatient Drugs (CMS-2345-F). The rule had previously...more

Senate Finance Committee Considering Telehealth Options to Improve Care and Lower Costs

On December 18, 2015, the United States Senate Committee on Finance (the Committee) released a Bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group Policy Options Document), which outlines approaches under consideration to improve the care...more

Federal Spotlight Continues to Shine on Physician-Owned Distributorships

A recent Senate Finance Committee hearing investigated the effects of physician-owned distributorships (“PODs”) on costs of care and patient safety, suggesting that the momentum for greater oversight of such business...more

Omnibus funding bill creates healthcare cybersecurity task force

The $1.1 trillion spending and tax extender bill that is on President Obama’s desk awaiting signature creates a healthcare industry cybersecurity task force, which must be established within 90 days of enactment. This is...more

Health Provisions in the Omnibus Appropriations: Cybersecurity in the Healthcare Industry

The omnibus appropriations legislation that Congress passed last week contained a variety of health-related provisions. These provisions include rescinding funding for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB),...more

Congress Suspends Medical Device Tax for 2 Years

The New York Times reports that Congress has passed a $1.8 trillion package of spending and tax cuts which includes a two-year-long suspension of the medical device tax and a permanent extension of the research and...more

Will New Hampshire Offer Medicaid Telehealth Coverage?

A lonely sentence at the end of New Hampshire’s new telemedicine law could mean the Granite State will join 48 other states in offering Medicaid FFS coverage of telehealth services. Interestingly, the very end of the Act...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Congress raced to exit for the holidays and passed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill and $680 billion tax-extenders package on Friday. The omnibus funds the government through September 2016. President Obama...more

Washington, D.C. Update – December 2015

2015 Year-End Appropriations and Tax Measures - On Friday, December 18, the House and Senate completed work on the omnibus appropriations legislation funding the federal government for the 2016 fiscal year and a series...more

Congressional Leaders Announce Spending/Tax Deal with Medicare and ACA Provisions; House Approves Tax Package

On December 15, 2015, Congressional leaders released sweeping spending and tax proposals, including a number of provisions impacting Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The legislation is being considered on a fast...more

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