House Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill Reauthorization After Lengthy Partisan Debate

House Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill Reauthorization After Lengthy Partisan Debate

The House Agriculture Committee convened a markup of the Farm, Food, and National Security Act (H.R. 8467), the House Republicans’ proposal to reauthorize the Farm Bill. There were several areas of disagreement, most notably the provision that would prevent a future Secretary from increasing the value of the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which is used to determine the benefit level of the… (McClurg, May 24, 2024) #Nutrition

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2024 Resources for Gag Clause Prohibition Compliance Attestation

2024 Resources for Gag Clause Prohibition Compliance Attestation

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released 2024 resources for the attestation of compliance with the prohibition on gag clauses on price and quality information in provider agreements (instructions; user manual, and template). Background. Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage are prohibited from… (Llamas, May 24, 2024) #Transparency

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Senate Finance Committee Members Debate Policies to Combat Illicit Fentanyl, Agree on the Benefits of Telehealth for Behavioral Health Services

Senate Finance Committee Members Debate Policies to Combat Illicit Fentanyl, Agree on the Benefits of Telehealth for Behavioral Health Services

The Senate Finance Committee convened a hearing to discuss opportunities in the health care system to improve addiction treatment, grow primary prevention, and combat the fentanyl public health crisis. Democrats used the hearing to ask questions about promising treatment approaches and criticize barriers to care such as prior authorization and funding challenges for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Republicans argued… (Marceno, May 23, 2024) #Mental and Behavioral Health, #Opioids, #Prevention, #Public Health

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House Budget Committee Discuss Addressing Consolidation in Health Care Markets, PBM Reform, Rising Costs, and Medicare Physician Fees

House Budget Committee Discuss Addressing Consolidation in Health Care Markets, PBM Reform, Rising Costs, and Medicare Physician Fees

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The House Budget Committee convened a hearing to discuss the budgetary effects of increasing health care consolidation and explored policy solutions to enhance competition and reduce health care costs. With bipartisan consensus emerging on critical issues, such as the need to address rising costs and promote competition within the health care sector, Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) and Ranking… (Eisen, May 23, 2024) #340B, #Costs, #Insurance Reform, #Medicare for All, #Pharmacy Benefit Managers, #Physicians

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USDA Announces Summer Nutrition Programs to Help Tackle Hunger and Improve Healthy Eating for Children

USDA Announces Summer Nutrition Programs to Help Tackle Hunger and Improve Healthy Eating for Children

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced the launch of SUN Programs: USDA’s Summer Nutrition Programs for Kids to address nutrition security during the summer months (press release). These programs offer families various options to ensure their children receive essential nutrition during the summer break from school. The SUN Programs include: SUN Bucks, a new… (Eisen, 1/1/70) #Nutrition, #Wellness

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Senators Broadly Support Food is Medicine

Senators Broadly Support Food is Medicine

he Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security convened a hearing to discuss food is medicine initiatives. Policy Outlook. Senators from both parties were very supportive of food is medicine programs like medically tailored meals (MTMs) and produce prescription programs. While there are a number of related bipartisan bills, senators did not mention next steps to… (McClurg, May 22, 2024) #Nutrition

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Committee Explores Patent Abuse and PBM Transparency to Address Rising Drug Prices; NIH Requests Comments on Policy for Equitable NIH-Owned Medicine Access

Committee Explores Patent Abuse and PBM Transparency to Address Rising Drug Prices; NIH Requests Comments on Policy for Equitable NIH-Owned Medicine Access

The Senate Judiciary Committee convened a hearing to examine competition in the prescription drug market, focusing on ensuring affordable and accessible medications. The Committee scrutinized with experts and patient advocates the range of tools used by brand-name drug manufacturers to delay the entry of generic and biosimilar drugs, such as patent thickets, product hopping, and “pay-for-delay” settlements. Committee members debated… (Colocho, May 22, 2024) #Biosimilars, #Drug Pricing, #Food and Drug Administration, #Generic Drugs, #Pharmacy Benefit Managers, #Transparency

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Department Releases $2 Million Special Emphasis Notice for AI and Behavioral Health Projects; Applications Due July 12

Department Releases $2 Million Special Emphasis Notice for AI and Behavioral Health Projects; Applications Due July 12

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), announced a Special Emphasis Notice (SEN) for the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health Information Technology (Health IT) funding opportunity for fiscal year 2024. This initiative seeks applications for projects in two specific areas: (1) Developing innovative methods to… (Colocho, May 20, 2024) #Care Coordination, #Grants, #Health Information Technology

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House Agriculture Republicans Release Draft Farm Bill Legislation

House Agriculture Republicans Release Draft Farm Bill Legislation

Today, Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture GT Thompson (R-PA) released a discussion draft of the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 for Farm Bill reauthorization (press release; title-by-title).  In addition to agricultural programs, the Farm Bill authorizes several important federal nutrition programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The 2018 Farm Bill expired on September 30, 2023, but the… (McClurg, May 17, 2024) #Nutrition, #Telehealth

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Committee Releases White Paper Examining the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Chronic Care

Committee Releases White Paper Examining the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Chronic Care

Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) released a white paper that examined the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and policy options to support clinicians while improving chronic care (press release). The white paper builds on the Committee’s recent hearing on chronic disease and clinician payment (Impact Health summary) and provides the following… (Slifer, May 17, 2024) #Chronic Diseases, #Delivery Reform, #Physicians

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