Congressional floor action this week will not focus on health care, however health care committees in both the House and Senate are busy.
In the House, the Committee on Ways and Means marks up 10 health care bills Tuesday. Among those are a bill to repeal the medical device tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act and bills to modify the Medicare Advantage program. Also on Tuesday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations holds a hearing focused on Medicaid errors, fraud and abuse. Witnesses will include representatives from the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In the Senate, the Committee on the Judiciary marks up the PATENT Act. This patent infringement bill has received attention from drug manufacturers seeking to change existing procedures for challenging patents. Health insurers have also weighed in on the measure, supporting the bill as is and opposing the drug industry’s request. The Committee on Finance marks up the Audit and Appeal Fairness, Integrity and Reforms in Medicare (AFIRM) Act, a bill that seeks to improve the Medicare audit and appeals process.