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On the Hill: Telehealth Legislation, Senate 340B RFI

A bipartisan group of lawmakers last week unveiled legislation endorsed by America’s Essential Hospitals that would extend pandemic-era access to virtual care for Medicare patients and make changes to improve population health.

The association has reached out to congressional offices sponsoring the legislation, the CONNECT for Health Act of 2023, to communicate the bill’s value to essential hospitals and the communities they serve.

Also last week, a bipartisan group of six Senate offices issued a request for information (RFI) about the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The RFI is framed as reflecting the offices’ desire to improve the “integrity and stability” of the program. America’s Essential Hospitals will respond by the request’s July 28 deadline and invites member feedback on it.

In other recent legislative activity, lawmakers introduced the first in a series of Senate bills targeting pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The proposed legislation would ban PBMs from linking their compensation to a medicine’s list price in Medicare. The change, supporters say, would remove financial incentives for PBMs to drive Medicare Part D plans toward pricier drugs.


The House Committee on Appropriations last week held a markup for the fiscal year 2024 budget for the Food and Drug Administration. This was originally scheduled earlier in the spring but was postponed due to uncertainty amid the debt ceiling negotiations.

Committee Activity This Week

Following the Juneteenth federal holiday, the House and Senate are both in session for the remainder of the week.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing June 21, at 10 am ET, titled, “Responding to America’s Overdose Crisis: An Examination of Legislation to Build Upon the SUPPORT Act.”

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will have an executive session June 21, at 10 am ET, to consider three pieces of legislation, including the Healthy Families Act (S. 1664/H.R. 3409). Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) sponsored the bill, which would set a national paid sick days standard.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing June 22, at 10:30 am ET, titled “MACRA Checkup: Assessing Implementation and Challenges that Remain for Patients and Doctors.” The hearing is expected to discuss physician claims that Medicare does not pay them sufficiently to maintain independent practices and the general success of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) in jumpstarting a transition to value-based care, among other items.

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