Washington Update - April 20, 2018

On the Horizon

  • On April 24, The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will mark up a consolidated opioid crisis response package, and among other bills, consider reauthorizing payments to graduate medical education programs.
  • On April 25, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will consider more than 60 opioid response measures.
  • On April 26, the Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on Identifying Innovative Practices and Technology in Health Care.

Washington Update - Full Report

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

Take Action

Participate in CMS Study on Burdens Associated with Reporting Quality Measures

Clinicians and groups that participate in the study will receive full credit for the 2018 MIPS Improvement Activities performance category. Applications for this study will be accepted through April 30, 2018 and will be notified in spring of 2018. Apply now(surveys.abtassociates.com).

U.S. Congress

Physician Groups Oppose Efforts to Weaken FDA Tobacco Oversight

The AAFP joined 15 other medical organizations to send a letter to House and Senate leadership of the Appropriations Committees urging them to exclude any provisions to weaken the Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco oversight rule from the FY 2019 spending bill.

The AAFP Supports the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act

On April 19, the AAFP supported the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (HR 1318), a bill that will increase surveillance efforts focused on the causes of maternal mortality. Currently, the United States has the highest rate of maternal deaths in comparison to other developed countries

Centering on the States

Importance of Family Medicine in Your State

The AAFP Center for State Policy has produced state fact sheets that provide a breakdown of family physicians, physician shortage, and family medicine’s contributions to the local and state economy. To view them, visit the Policy Makers website and select your state on the HealthLandscape map.

The AAFP and AMA Urge Removing Barriers for Substance Use Disorder Treatment

The AMA and AAFP have developed a backgrounder explaining the importance of medication-assisted treatment and the need to remove all barriers to care.

Kentucky First State in the Nation to Impose Opioids Tax

Kentucky is the first state to impose a tax on opioid drug distributors intended to cut the number of prescriptions being written in the state. A number of other states (CA(leginfo.legislature.ca.gov), DE(legis.delaware.gov), ID(legislature.idaho.gov), IA(www.legis.iowa.gov), ME(www.mainelegislature.org), NY(assembly.state.ny.us)) are considering similar legislation to tax opioids at varying rates.

New Jersey prepares to implement state-level individual mandate and reinsurance

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) is expected to sign legislation that would establish a state-based reinsurance program(www.njleg.state.nj.us) and individual mandate(www.njleg.state.nj.us) to purchase health insurance to stabilize the state’s individual insurance market.

Executive Branch

The AAFP Urges Changes to MIPS Reporting Period

On April 16, the AAFP and others sent a letter urging CMS to reduce the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) quality measure reporting period from a calendar year to a minimum of 90 consecutive days, as well as reduce future reporting periods for MIPS.

The AAFP Comments with Concern on Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance

In an April 18 letter to HHS, the AAFP expressed concerns on a proposed rule to expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by allowing consumers to buy plans providing coverage for any period of less than 12 months, rather than the current maximum period of less than three months. The AAFP strongly opposes the proposed rule since it allows plans to sell low-value insurance policies exempt from consumer protections such as covering pre-existing conditions or essential health benefits (EHBs).