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On the Hill:  Reauthorization of Grants to Combat Burnout Clears House Panel

Legislation that would reauthorize federal grants to hospitals and other health care entities for activities to address burnout and improve mental and behavioral health among providers cleared a key House health panel last week.

In its markup of 19 bills, the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Health passed the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Reauthorization Act (H.R. 7153). The bill, which America’s Essential Hospitals has formally endorsed, would reauthorize for five years the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which provides funding for education, peer-support programs, behavioral and mental health treatment, and other activities related to provider burnout.

Also last week, the House Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on access to care in rural and underserved communities. Association staff closely monitored the hearing for comments regarding home-based care; most lawmakers agreed there is a need for additional Medicare coverage for certain home-based services, such as infusion and dialysis. No permanent telehealth legislation was discussed at the hearing, despite several existing bills, including the association-endorsed CONNECT For Health Act, among others.

Committee Activity This Week   

The House and Senate are in session Tuesday through Friday this week. Lawmakers have a Friday deadline to approve appropriations not included in a funding package passed earlier this month, including for the departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. Without action, a partial government shutdown would occur. America’s Essential Hospitals is monitoring appropriations activity closely for its potential to impact association members.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a field hearing on “Access to Health Care in America: Ensuring Resilient Emergency Medical Care,” March 18, at 2 pm CT, in Denton, Texas. Back in Washington, D.C., the committee will hold a hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra March 20, at 2 pm ET.

The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget March 21, at 10 am ET.

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About the Author

Julia Grady is a senior legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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