In a letter last week to House Republican leaders, America’s Essential Hospitals applauded a provision in proposed legislation to avert two years of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) funding cuts but cautioned against other measures, including proposals for site-neutral payment and increased transparency.
The package would eliminate $16 billion of cuts to Medicaid DSH funding in fiscal years 2024 and 2025, a key legislative goal for the association. It also would boost community health center funding and increase pharmacy benefit manager regulations, paying for all these measures with the $7 billion Medicaid Improvement Fund.
But the proposal includes onerous provisions for hospital price transparency and site-neutral payments, including a provision that would require covered entities receiving Medicaid managed care payments for 340B Drug Pricing Program drugs that exceed the 340B purchase price to submit annual reports to the government detailing this payment spread.
It is unclear how lawmakers will proceed on this package, though the House is expected to vote on it this fall. Leaders behind the legislation include House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), House Committee on Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.), and House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).
The Senate is moving to pass a minibus government funding package this week that includes funding for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Also, the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) is on the legislative calendar for the Senate this week. PAHPA is set to expire Sept. 30, putting pressure on Congress to quickly reconcile the Senate and House versions of the bill to renew a package that contains many of the country’s pandemic response measures.
Committee Activity This Week
The House joins the Senate back in session this week, following the month-long August recess. The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing Sept. 14, at 10 am ET, titled, “Legislative Proposals to Prevent and Respond to Generic Drug Shortages.”
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