Washington Update - September 8, 2017

On the Horizon

  • September 12: Senate Finance– health care cost and coverage hearing.
  • September 12 and 14: Senate HELP– stabilizing the individual insurance market hearings.
  • Septemer 14: House Energy & Commerce– Teaching Health Centers, National Health Service Corps, and Title VII hearing.


Washington Update - Full Report

Download this week's report(2 page PDF).

Take Action

Register for AAFP's State Legislative Conference November 2-4 in Dallas, TX.

Tell your legislators to cosponsor the Training the Next Generation of Primary Care Doctors Act (HR 3394/S 1754) using our THC Speak Out.

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U.S. Congress

AAFP joined a statement(5 page PDF) and a letter urging quick, bipartisan action to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other key priorities this week.

The Senate Finance Committee held a bipartisan CHIP hearing September 7 with testimony from Anne Schwartz, Executive Director of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission; Linda Nablo, Chief Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services; and a mother of a CHIP recipient. In a statement(4 page PDF), AAFP urged a clean, long-term extension of CHIP. Witnesses Schwartz and Nablo testified to the importance of continuing CHIP, which finances coverage for almost 9 million children.

The Senate HELP Committee reviewed health insurance market stabilization during two hearings this week. State insurance commissioners presented testimony September 6, and five governors testified the following day. AAFP urged the Senate HELP Committee to fund cost-sharing reduction (CSR) benefits for at least two more years.

Op-Eds on Teaching Health Center GME reauthorization authored by family physicians were published in the August 31 Des Moines Register(www.desmoinesregister.com) and Illinois State Journal-Register(www.sj-r.com) on September 5.

Centering on the States

Fact sheets are available with state-specific data on AAFP priority programs. Download your state’s sheet on our website map.

Nevada filed a pricing transparency lawsuit(thenevadaindependent.com) against drug and biologics manufacturers. The state law(www.leg.state.nv.us) at issue requires disclosure of insulin list prices, profits on diabetes drugs and discounts provided to pharmaceutical benefit managers.

Executive Branch

AAFP commented on the CMS 2018 Proposed Quality Payment Program Rule August 18. In addition, the AAFP partnered with the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association in a letter on the same rule.

AAFP sent a regulatory letter to CMS on the 2018 proposed Medicare physician fee schedule August 30. Access the AAFP News article for further details.

AAFP joined an August 29 letter to HHS calling for the elimination of information blocking. Information blocking is a barrier to interoperability that thwarts federal and private efforts to share clinical information. It may pose significant risk to patient safety.

AAFP wrote to FDA and CMS August 9. The letter urged the agencies to allow adolescents, regardless of age, to be included in the over-the-counter (OTC) oral contraceptives studies required by the FDA. Including them in studies would help determine whether OTC access is appropriate for this population.

AAFP asked(2 page PDF) CMS to reflect the United States Preventive Services Task Force A and B recommendations in coverage requirements August 9. The letter argued that access to and coverage of preventive services leads to improved health and lower health care costs across all age groups.

The AAFP nominated Kenneth S. Fink, MD, MGA, MPH to the National Advisory Council August 24. The Council endeavors to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable by focusing on evidence standards. 

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