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Carl Graziano

Senior Director of Communications America's Essential Hospitals

Graziano is senior director of communications for America's Essential Hospitals.

The House is scheduled to return to Capitol Hill next week, but House committees continue to meet and craft their sections of the Build Back Better Act, a "human infrastructure" reconciliation bill. House committees aim to complete markups by Sept. 15, with a full House vote possible before October.

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House committees begin marking up portions of the forthcoming "human infrastructure" reconciliation package, which is expected to include provisions to expand health coverage and lower prescription drug prices. The association's calls for government relations professionals will resume Sept. 9.

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The House pauses its August break to work on the bipartisan physical infrastructure package and $3.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget resolution. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) aims to pass both measures by Oct. 1 but faces some opposition from moderate House Democrats.

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The Senate passed a $3.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget resolution with no Republican support; House leaders called members back to Capitol Hill for a brief legislative session Aug. 23. Moderate House Democrats are urging leadership to call a vote on the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill.

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The Senate voted 69–30 to advance a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats released a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, the precursor to a partisan reconciliation bill on “human infrastructure” priorities. Notably, the resolution does not contain a debt limit increase.

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The Senate released much-anticipated legislative language for a $1.2 trillion bipartisan physical infrastructure package. While the legislation includes no major health care policies, it does list several health care changes to help pay for new spending.

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Proposed rules for Medicare’s Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Physician Fee Schedule would continue Medicare Part B cuts, continue site-neutral policies, and halt the phase-out of the inpatient-only list. Both rules also contain an information request on closing the health equity gap.

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Negotiations continue on a bipartisan physical infrastructure plan after Senate Republicans blocked a procedural vote to begin formal deliberations on the framework. Republican senators opposed the legislative text because it is not final and has no Congressional Budget Office score.

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The OPPS proposed rule would continue cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and off-campus provider-based departments, pause the elimination of the inpatient-only list, and increase penalties for failing to report standard charges.

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HRSA announced $103 million in American Rescue Plan funding over three years to help reduce burnout and promote mental health among the health care workforce.

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The U.S. Surgeon General issues a health misinformation advisory; CDC and the Office of Minority Health develop a Minority Health Social Vulnerability Index.

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CMS announces $15 million for state Medicaid agencies to launch mobile crisis intervention services, as authorized by the American Rescue Plan.

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As a bipartisan group of senators crafts infrastructure legislation, Senate Democrats work to develop a human infrastructure package.

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The rule includes provisions related to telehealth, vaccine payment rates, the Quality Payment Program, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program; comments are due to CMS by Sept. 13.

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Colorado is requiring medical-grade face coverings for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated employees in settings that serve vulnerable or at-risk populations, and Mississippi is recommending those 65 and older avoid mass gatherings, regardless of vaccination status.

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The Aug. 11 webinar will complement other federal resources on the annual 340B Drug Pricing Program recertification period for hospitals, which is scheduled to start Aug. 16. Hospitals will have until Sept. 13 to complete the process.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aims to vote on a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill, as well as a budget resolution to begin the process of advancing a "human infrastructure" package, before the chamber adjourns for its August recess.

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On July 1, the House passed a five-year $715 billion surface transportation and water infrastructure bill, fulfilling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) commitment to clear an infrastructure bill before the July Fourth holiday. The Senate continues work to develop broad infrastructure legislation.

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A bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement with the White House on a $1.2 trillion physical infrastructure framework that lists extending the 2 percent Medicare sequester cut as a potential method of funding the package. Lawmakers now must turn the framework into legislation.

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Senators continue efforts to build consensus on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan physical infrastructure proposal introduced last week, but Democrats are taking steps to initiate the budget reconciliation process in case those talks ultimately fall short.

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The new infrastructure deal comes after months-long negotiations between the Biden administration and Senate Republicans fell apart. It includes roughly $579 billion in new spending. However, lawmakers in both parties expressed skepticism that the plan could secure enough votes to pass the Senate.

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The emergency temporary standard aims to protect those working in health care settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated.

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A bipartisan infrastructure plan is unlikely to pass the Senate by July. Democrats are likely to explore using budget reconciliation, but a recent parliamentarian ruling indicates they might be unable to attempt the process using the FY 2021 budget resolution.

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Republicans offer a $928 billion counterproposal to President Joe Biden's $1.7 trillion infrastructure package. Leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and House Committee on Energy and Commerce seek information on developing a public health insurance option.

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The Senate confirmed Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Several Senate committees last week examined issues of importance to essential hospitals, including telehealth, hospital consolidation, and the medical supply chain.

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The Senate voted to advance the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator; a full Senate vote could take place this week. America's Essential Hospitals hosted a virtual Capitol Hill briefing in recognition of the association's 40th anniversary.

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The Health Resources and Services Administration enforcement action marks a crucial victory for essential hospitals, which have seen their access to drugs with 340B discounts cut off by manufacturers since last summer.

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This annual snapshot of America's Essential Hospitals' membership tells a story about the essential people and communities our members serve.

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President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with House and Senate lawmakers this week to discuss a bipartisan path forward on infrastructure legislation ahead of his fiscal year 2022 budget proposal. The Senate is expected to confirm Andrea Joan Palm as deputy secretary of health and human services.

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New CDC guidelines walk back outdoor mask regulations for fully vaccinated people; two research studies examine adverse reactions to the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

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The Office of Minority Health page includes tools for data collection and analysis, developing language access plans, and strategic plan creation.

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