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Capital Thinking: Health Care Legislative Update

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Committee on Energy and Commerce to Mark Up 21st Century Cures Act

On Tuesday, May 19, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will begin its markup of the 21st Century Cures Act, to be continued on Wednesday, May 20. The legislation is the product of the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Initiative that was spearheaded by Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) this past year. The Initiative held various events and authored policy papers on topics such as innovating public health agencies, incorporating patient perspectives into the regulatory process, and modernizing medicine and medical product regulation.

The Act includes an increase of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), changes to the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and provisions focused on electronic health records, telemedicine, and drug manufacturing and development, among others. The Subcommittee on Health passed the legislation by unanimous voice vote last week, though the Committee was still working on finalizing language and determining plans to offset the bill’s costs after the markup.

While Chairman Upton has indicated he would like to consider the 21st Century Cures Act on the House floor in early summer, the Senate is unlikely to consider companion legislation this year. Rather, leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) have acknowledged that they do not anticipate significant movement on their parallel legislation until early 2016.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, May 19: The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Improving Competition in Medicare: Removing Moratoria and Expanding Access.”
  • Tuesday, May 19: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will convene for opening statements for the markup of H.R. ___, the 21st Century Cures Act.
  • Wednesday, May 20: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will reconvene for the markup of H.R. ___, the 21st Century Cures Act.
  • Wednesday, May 20: The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing titled “Examining the Use of Administrative Actions in the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”
  • Wednesday, May 20: The Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing titled “Challenging the Status Quo: Solutions to the Hospital Observation Stay Crisis.”
  • Thursday, May 21: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “What Are the State Governments Doing to Combat the Opioid Abuse Epidemic?”

Resurrection of the 340B Mega Rule

Posted in Uncategorized

In November 2014, we provided an update, which noted that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) had halted publication of the 340B Mega Rule.  HRSA, however, has now resurrected the Mega Rule having recently submitted the “340B Program Omnibus Guidelines” to the Office of Management and Budget, which is pending review.

The substantive contents of the rule are not yet available to the public. Commentators, however, are predicting that it will address a number of issues (e.g. definition of patient, contract pharmacy compliance requirements, hospital eligibility criteria and eligibility of off-site outpatient locations).

After the HRSA’s previous rule making was invalidated because it was found to be “substantive”, the HRSA issued an “interpretive” rule, which is the subject of current litigation to further determine the scope of HRSA’s rule making authority.  The parties have submitted motions for summary judgement, and several amici curiae have filed briefs.  The parties are currently waiting to hear from the court. PhRMA v. HHS, Docket # 1:14-cv-01685-RC (D.D.C. Oct 09, 2014).

Capital Thinking: Health Care Legislative Update

Posted in Uncategorized

Congressional Committees Consider Veterans’ Health, Chronic Conditions

Several hearings this week will focus on veterans’ health topics. Both the House and the Senate will discuss the implementation of the Veterans Choice Program early in the week, with the Senate holding a hearing on Tuesday, May 12, and the House following on Wednesday, May 13. On Friday, May 15, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health will also consider health care staffing issues.

On Thursday, May 14, the Senate Committee on Finance has scheduled a hearing titled “A Pathway to Improving Care for Medicare Patients with Chronic Conditions.” Dr. Patrick Conway, Acting Principal Deputy Administrator, Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality, and Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is slated to testify. Mark E. Miller, Ph.D., Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) will join Dr. Conway as a witness.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, May 12: The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Exploring the Implementation and Future of the Veterans Choice Program.”
  • Wednesday, May 13: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Assessing the Promise and Progress of the Choice Program.”
  • Thursday, May 14: The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing titled “A Pathway to Improving Care for Medicare Patients with Chronic Conditions.”
  • Friday, May 15: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Overcoming Barriers to More Efficient and Effective VA Staffing.”

The Next Generation ACO — The Yellow Brick Road to Capitation

Posted in Accountable Care Organizations

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced its Better, Smarter, Healthier initiative, part of which plans on tying “30 percent of traditional, or fee-for-service, Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) or bundled payment arrangements by the end of 2016, and tying 50 percent of payments to these models by the end of 2018.” With only 19 participants in the Pioneer ACO Program and the 89 participants in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), spectators have called these goals “lofty.”

As part of its initiative, CMS has made a tangible step towards its goals by introducing a new program — The Next Generation ACO Model.  It should launch in January 2016. The Next Generation ACO Model builds on the Pioneer and MSSP ACOs, offering “financial arrangements with higher levels of risk and reward” — shared savings and losses of up to 80% and 100%.  CMS has published a fact sheet comparing the Pioneer ACO and the Next Generation ACO.

The Next Generation ACO has several distinguishing features. One hope is that, by using “refined benchmarking methods”, the Next Generation Model will facilitate the transition away from using the ACO’s historic financial performance as a metric for shared savings distributions. Secondly, capitation will be one of four options available to enrollees during the second year of their participation. Lastly, the model introduces voluntary beneficiary alignment, which allows beneficiaries the option to confirm or deny their care relationships with specific Next Generation Providers/Suppliers.

Letters of intent  to participate are due May 1, 2015. CMS expects to enroll 15 – 20 ACOs that have experience with care coordination of a population.

Board Members Should Heed OIG Compliance Guidance

Posted in Accountable Care Organizations, Compliance, Department of Health and Human Services, Governance/Management

Board members for organizations of all sizes need to be familiar with the OIG’s recent publication of Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight. This informative guide is intended to assist the Board member of any health care organization fulfil compliance obligations with the myriad of health care laws and regulations.  Although acknowledging that there is no “one size fits all” approach to compliance, the guidance emphasizes the importance of compliance for every health care organization.  The guidance offers practical advice about common compliance issues and how to address them.

The document, which builds on previous guidance, was developed in collaboration between the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) and three leading health care professional organizations: the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors (AHIA), the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA), and the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).  In addition to boards of health care organizations, the guidance will be useful to assist internal auditors, lawyers, and compliance officers.

This guidance does more than assist Board members to fulfill their compliance duties effectively.  By issuing this publicly available document, the OIG serves notice of the standard to which it will hold Board members in the event of a compliance problem with their organization.  Every board member should know what the OIG’s expects.

Capital Thinking: Health Care Legislative Update

Posted in Uncategorized

House and Senate Consider Medical Modernization

Capitol Hill focuses on the future of health care this week. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will conduct a discussion on medical advancement and improvement on Tuesday with a hearing titled “Continuing America’s Leadership: The Future of Medical Innovation for Patients.” Dr. Christopher P. Austin, Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Dr. Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the NIH; Dr. Jeffrey E. Shuren, Director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA are expected to testify.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is set to release their second draft of the 21st Century Cures Act early this week. The Committee has undertaken a bipartisan 21st Century Cures Initiative this past year, conducting various events and authoring white papers on topics such as innovating public health agencies, incorporating patient perspectives into the regulatory process, and improving medicine and medical product regulation. The Committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday to discuss their latest language that reflects the Initiative’s efforts. After testifying on Tuesday on the Senate side, Dr. Shuren and Dr. Woodcock will appear before the House Committee, along with Dr. Kathy Hudson, Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy at the NIH.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, April 28: The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing titled “Creating a More Efficient and Level Playing Field: Audit and Appeals Issues in Medicare.”
  • Tuesday, April 28: The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will hold a hearing titled “Continuing America’s Leadership: The Future of Medical Innovation for Patients.”
  • Wednesday, April 29: The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a “Public and Outside Witness” hearing, with 22 witnesses set to testify.
  • Wednesday, April 29: The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “GAO’s High Risk List and the Veterans Health Administration.”
  • Wednesday, April 29: The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will hold a hearing titled “King vs. Burwell Supreme Court Case and Congressional Action That Can Be Taken to Protect Small Businesses and Their Employees.”
  • Thursday, April 30: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a legislative hearing on 21st Century Cures.
  • Thursday, April 30: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Examining Access and Quality of Care and Services for Women Veterans.”
  • Thursday, April 30: The Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing to review the FY 2016 funding request and budget justification for the National Institutes of Health.
  • Friday, May 1: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “What is the Federal Government Doing to Combat the Opioid Abuse Epidemic?”
  • Friday, May 1: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Examining Microbeads in Cosmetic Products.”

Capital Thinking: Health Care Legislative Update

Posted in Uncategorized

Legislative Activity

Last Thursday, President Obama signed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, into law. Also known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) package or the “permanent doc fix,” the bill permanently repealed Medicare’s often-criticized physician payment system. The House and Senate each drew support from both sides of the aisle to pass the legislation, with the House voting for the bill 392-37 on March 26 and the Senate voting for the same language with a vote of 92-8 on April 14.

Optimism for continued bipartisan cooperation continues to linger in both chambers as lawmakers refocus on other health care issues. In the House, the Committee on Energy and Commerce is expected to release its latest draft of the 21st Century Cures Act by the end of the month. The language will stem from the 21st Century Cures Initiative, a bipartisan effort that, through hearings, roundtables, and white papers, explored topics including: innovating public health agencies, incorporating patient perspectives into the regulatory process, meeting unmet patient needs, improving medicine, and modernizing medical product regulation. A previous discussion draft was released in late January.

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet will hold a hearing to explore telemedicine advancements. The hearing is to focus on the progress of public and private entities to expand telehealth services, especially in rural areas, and the connectivity challenges facing providers and patients. On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee on Health with again look at Affordable Care Act implementation, holding a hearing that will consider the medical device tax’s effect on patients, the health care sector, and the economy.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, April 21: The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet will hold a hearing titled “Advancing Telehealth Through Connectivity.”
  • Tuesday, April 21: The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Fulfilling the Promise to Women Veterans.”
  • Thursday, April 23: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Draft Legislation to Improve Reproductive Treatment Provided to Certain Disabled Veterans; Draft Legislation to Direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to Submit an Annual Report on the Veterans Health Administration; H.R. 271; H.R. 627; H.R. 1369; H.R. 1575; and H.R. 1789.”
  • Thursday, April 23: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing titled “Combatting the Opioid Abuse Epidemic: Professional and Academic Perspectives.”
  • Thursday, April 23: The Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “A Fresh Look at the Impact of the Medical Device Tax on Jobs, Innovation, and Patients.”

Capital Thinking: Health Care Legislative Update

Posted in Uncategorized

With both chambers returning from recess this week, attention is focused on Senate consideration of the House-passed bill to permanently repeal Medicare’s physician payment system. While the last “doc fix” expired March 31, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated it would hold claims for two weeks to allow Congress to return from the district work period and resume consideration of the legislation. The Senate has until Wednesday to take action on the bill to avoid steep cuts to physicians’ reimbursement rates, though an additional short-term patch may be utilized in order to consider Senate amendments to the House-passed legislative package.

While there is concern that changing any of the House language could slow down and undermine the viability of the legislation, there are key modifications that would bolster support in the Senate. Some Democrats are advocating for a four-year funding extension for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as opposed to the two-year extension included in the House-passed bill, and some Republicans are seeking out ways to fully offset the entire cost of the legislation.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, April 14: The House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions will hold a hearing titled “Five Years of Broken Promises: How the President’s Health Care Law is Affecting America’s Workplaces.”
  • Tuesday, April 14: The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense will hold a hearing titled “Defense Health Program Budget.”
  • Tuesday, April 14: The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the individual and employer mandates in the President’s health care law.
  • Tuesday, April 14: The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing titled “Creating a More Efficient and Level Playing Field: Audit and Appeals Issues in Medicare.”
  • Wednesday, April 15: The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a budget hearing on Ebola.
  • Wednesday, April 15: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Denver VA Medical Center: Constructing a Way Forward.”
  • Wednesday, April 15: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations will hold a hearing titled “The Continuing Threat of Neglected Tropical Diseases.”
  • Thursday, April 16: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Medicare Post Acute Care Delivery and Options to Improve It.”

Thinking About Cybersecurity – How to Get Organized & Better Manage Risk

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Privacy

Another month, another round of data breaches – seem like a familiar refrain when healthcare providers, health plans and their counsel think about cybersecurity?  But what if instead we could get organized and manage this growing business risk in a more proactive manner?

It sounds like a good idea, but for many counsel, who view themselves as less than tech-savvy, it is hard to put together the pieces and formulate a strategy.  And for highly regulated industries, holding highly sensitive personal information, like healthcare, making mistakes is costly.  Here, we have laid out a simple set of key steps for thinking about cybersecurity at the organizational level.  Keep an eye out for future postings where we will explore cybersecurity in more detail – and we promise, no computer science degree or extensive IT experience required!

Key Steps for a Sound Cybersecurity Program – first, it is critical that organizations consider cybersecurity (or “information security,” or “data protection,” if you prefer) to be a program, an ongoing part of the business that demands leadership and commitment, and not a one-time project.  Successful organizations develop sound practices and then maintain constant vigilance, using a risk management mindset.  Next, a few key steps help organize the work and provide a structure for regular leadership discussions.

  1. Know Your Information Assets. It’s as simple as this: if you don’t know about it, you cannot protect it.  For many organizations, information technology (IT) infrastructures grow organically and over time through individual business unit activities, discrete projects and acquisitions/changes in business structure.  Taking an overarching view of the IT infrastructure (sometimes called an “enterprise architecture” view), helps identify how and where sensitive information is stored, and who needs access.  A well-maintained asset inventory, including the data maintained, can also help the information security program recognize asset and risk categories, as well as affinities among business groups – improving their risk assessment capabilities.  These categories can also help to better segment your internal network and limit access to only those who have a need-to-know.  Segmentation is a valuable cybersecurity strategy, because it can limit the damage hackers (internal or external) can do when your environment is compromised.
  2. Recognize and Understand Legal Obligations. Healthcare organizations often equate cybersecurity with the HIPAA Security Rule, but HIPAA is just one of many legal obligations in the information security area (and such thinking can leave serious risks unaddressed, since the HIPAA regulations were primarily developed before external, Internet-based threats became a common part of our world).  At the federal level, healthcare groups should also understand and track the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) current activities in data privacy and information security, as well as Congressional efforts aimed at improving information sharing and standardizing breach notification.  The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued guidelines to improve cybersecurity for medical devices, and the White House recently proposed legislation in support of its Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.  From a state-level perspective, it is critical for healthcare organizations to understand general data protection and breach notification requirements, in addition to healthcare-specific laws.  For example, organizations that hold certain personally identifiable information for Massachusetts residents (whether patients, members, employees or others) must implement and document a proactive information security program that includes specific safeguards and vendor governance – similar requirements have arguably become the industry-wide de facto standard of care.
  3. Implement & Maintain a Standards-Based Information Security Program. A risk management based information security program should have clear executive ownership and address people, process, policy and technical controls.  Treating cybersecurity as just another IT project or “IT’s problem” invites serious gaps and significant risk.  Moreover, as technical controls become increasingly sophisticated, people become more common targets through e-mail phishing and social engineering.  Cybersecurity – like patient care, customer service and expense management – is an issue for every team member.  A variety of resources are available to structure (and measure) your comprehensive cybersecurity program.  Two great places to start are the National Institute of Standard & Technology’s  (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework – a product of the Administration’s 2013 Executive Order 13636, Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity – and HITRUST’s Common Security Framework (CSF), while others, such as the ISO 27000 Series of information security program standards, NIST’s 800-53 controls for federal systems, under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the Top 20 Critical Security Controls (also known as the Consensus Audit Guidelines, or CAG), ISACA’s Control Objectives for IT (COBIT) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS), can also be invaluable, according to specific organization needs.
  4. Seek External Review / Certification. A variety of external reviews and certifications are available to assess an organization’s cybersecurity program.  Independent, third-party reviews against industry standards can provide an unbiased view of current status and opportunities, while certifications (such as those from HITRUST and others) can provide market differentiation by offering assurances to business partners and customers.  Increasingly, underwriters also require such assessments to obtain cyberinsurance coverage – another key component in the cybersecurity risk management toolbox.
  5. Monitor & Report. Finally, ongoing monitoring and reporting for your cybersecurity program allow for continuous improvement and leadership visibility.  NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework provides a concept (and structure) for “profiles” that help organizations describe and communicate their current (“as is”) state as well as a target (or “to be”) state – helping to lay out a strategy and maintain focus.

Finally, healthcare organizations may wish to seek out opportunities to share information and collaborate with others in trusted forums, as they develop and maintain their cybersecurity programs, whether through standards organizations, or an information sharing and analysis center, like the National Health ISAC (NH-ISAC).  For more details on furthering development of Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs), see Executive Order, Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing.

Capital Thinking: Health Care Legislative Update

Posted in Uncategorized

Lawmakers Continue Negotiations on Doc Fix Package, Working Framework Announced

With the current patch expiring on March 31, lawmakers continued over the weekend to negotiate a legislative package to permanently repeal Medicare’s automatic payment cut to physicians. H.R. 1470 is very similar to the bipartisan legislation that key committees in both chambers approved last year. It provides an annual pay increase of 0.5 percent to physicians through 2019 and establishes an incentive payment program, titled “Merit-Based Incentive Payment System” (MIPS), to assess eligible professionals in quality, resource use, electronic health record (EHR) Meaningful Use (MU), and clinical practice improvement activities. It consolidates three current incentive programs – the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Value-Based Modifier, and MU of EHRs. The legislation also provides financial incentives for professionals to become involved in alternative payment models.

Other provisions of H.R. 1470 address care management for individuals with chronic care needs, transparency of utilization and payment data for physicians and professionals, expansion of claims data availability, automatic renewal for professionals who opt-out of Medicare, and the reporting of such professional characteristics. The bill requires EHRs to be interoperable by 2018 and prohibits the purposeful blocking of information sharing with other EHR vendor products. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is required to issue a report providing recommendations on a permanent physician-hospital gainsharing program, as well as a report to examine the feasibility of establishing mechanisms to assist providers in comparing and selecting EHR technology products. The Government Accountability Office is to report on aspects of telehealth and remote patient monitoring services.

The working summary of the SGR package released by the House committee leaders includes fully funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through September 30, 2017. It extends all of the extenders in the current patch, in addition to funding for Community Health Centers, through 2017. The framework would permanently extend the Qualifying Individual Program and the Transitional Medical Assistance program, and the Tennessee Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Allotment would be extended through 2015. The legislation also includes two Medicare bills: H.R. 284, the Medicare DMEPOs Competitive Bidding Improvement Act and H.R. 1021, the Protecting Integrity to Medicare Act.

The policies that reduce the legislation’s cost that are provided in the working framework include: income-related Medicare Part B and D premium adjustments, Medigap reforms, an increase of levy authority on payments to Medicare providers with delinquent tax debt, an incremental phase-in of the 3.2 percentage point adjustment to hospital’s base payment rate in FY 2018, a delay of Medicaid DSH changes until FY 2018 and extension of the policy through 2025, and a 1 percent market basket update for post-acute care providers.

Negotiations are steadily making progress, and the House could consider the legislation as early as this week. Notably, Democrats on the Senate Committee on Finance have expressed concerns about the current package, including the two-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) (where they would like a four-year extension), offsets that would increase costs to beneficiaries, and the impact of health centers language on women’s health services. On the other side of the aisle, some conservative lawmakers remain concerned about the cost of the total proposed package and the potential approach that would only provide for partial offsets.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, March 24: The House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing titled “The Use of Data to Stop Medicare Fraud.”
  • Tuesday, March 24: The House Committee on Agriculture will hold a hearing titled “Examination of the Costs and Impacts of Mandatory Biotechnology Laws.”
  • Tuesday, March 24: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Examining the 340B Drug Pricing Program.”
  • Tuesday, March 24: The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will hold a hearing titled “Continuing America’s Leadership: Advancing Research and Development for Patients.”
  • Tuesday, March 24: The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “The Veterans Choice Act – Exploring the Distance Criteria.”
  • Wednesday, March 25: The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Budget.”
  • Wednesday, March 25: The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “Examining Access and Quality of Care and Services for Women Veterans.”
  • Wednesday, March 25: The Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense will hold a hearing to review the FY 2016 funding request and budget justification for the Defense Health Program.
  • Wednesday, March 25: The Senate Committee on Aging will hold a hearing titled “The Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease: Are We on Track to a Treatment by 2025?”
  • Thursday, March 26: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “Examining the Growing Problems of Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse: State and Local Perspectives.”
  • Thursday, March 26: The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing titled “Federal Investments in Neuroscience and Neurotechnology Oversight.”
  • Thursday, March 26: The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing titled “VA Opioid Prescription Policy, Practice, and Procedures.”