The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to mark up its 21st Century Cures legislation tomorrow. Last Friday, the committee sent America’s Essential Hospitals draft legislation that would overhaul the 340B Drug Pricing Program as an amendment to the Cures legislation.
The committee released an updated Cures bill today, and it does not currently include an amendment on the 340B Drug Pricing Program. It is not yet clear if such an amendment will be included in the final bill. America’s Essential Hospitals initially objected to inclusion of 340B legislation in the quickly moving Cures package. The short notice did not allow proper time for review and stakeholder input. While we remain concerned about this factor, we have had productive conversations with committee staff regarding key areas of concern.
In other House business, a bill that would increase reporting requirements for supplemental payments (excluding disproportionate share hospital [DSH] payments), H.R. 2151, was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee on April 30. America’s Essential Hospitals staff has met with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), to begin a dialogue about the impact of the legislation. Separately, the Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing today, Ideas to Improve Competition in the Medicare Program.
On the Senate side, the Special Committee on Aging will hold a full committee hearing, Challenging the Status Quo: Solutions to the Hospital Observation Stay Crisis. Outside of health care, the Senate continues work on international trade legislation, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said must finish this week. Other Senate priorities include addressing Patriot Act phone surveillance measures and the Highway Trust Fund.