America’s Essential Hospitals last week urged lawmakers to defend the 340B Drug Pricing Program from drug industry attacks and to protect 340B savings for essential hospitals in its response to a request for information (RFI) by a bipartisan group of senators.
The association responded to an RFI from Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.). America’s Essential Hospitals will continue to meet with these and other Senate offices to explain the intricacies of the program and how it supports health care for the most marginalized.
Amid Congress’ crunch to reauthorize key programs ahead of the August recess last week, the Senate Committee on Finance approved a legislative package to create more transparency for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) by placing new requirements on contracts between Medicare Part D plan sponsors and PBMs, disconnecting payments from a drug list price.
The House Committee on Ways and Means approved a health care package along a party-line vote that touched on PBM reform, price transparency for hospitals, prior authorizations from Medicare Advantage plans, and site-neutral payment policies, among other provisions. Democrats voiced frustration with Republicans over the removal of a provision intended to reveal private equity ownership in nursing homes and hospitals.
Appropriations Process Advances
Cuts appear to be in the pipeline following the Senate Committee on Appropriation’s markup of the Labor-HHS Education fiscal 2024 spending bill last week. The House and Senate now will have to compromise on differing aspects of the bill, particularly on funding levels, to avoid a partial government shutdown Oct. 1.
Meanwhile, House Republican leadership canceled a planned Friday vote on an appropriations bill funding the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Committee Activity This Week
Both chambers are out on the month-long August recess and will return in early September.
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