All posts by Vince Sampson

CBO Releases AHCA Budget Score; As Costs Become Clearer, Road to Passage Gets Rockier

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the budget “score” or cost, for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The headline from the analysis is that the AHCA would cause 14 million people to lose health care coverage.  Notwithstanding passage by the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees last week, the […]

Off to the Races: First ACA Repeal and Replace Legislation Released

Following through on Republican campaign promises, two key Congressional committees released legislation yesterday that further the process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  After more than 60 attempts to repeal the ACA since 2010, GOP members of the  House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees released details […]

Price Confirmed for HHS Secretary, other key agency and department positions next to be filled

Around 2 a.m., the Senate voted along party lines to confirm Representative Tom Price to become Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  The vote was 52-47 with no Democrats voting in favor.  With repeated attacks on his policy record and questions about stock purchases, Price’s nomination was […]

Medicare Part B Demo Declared Dead

On Thursday, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would not move forward with its controversial Medicare Part B Payment Model  (Part B Demo).  The Part B Demo had come under heavy fire from industry groups, some patient organizations, providers and a bipartisan collection of policymakers in […]

21st Century Cures Clears Senate, President Expected to Sign into Law but Some Issues Remain

Today, the Senate voted overwhelmingly – 94-5 – to pass sweeping medical innovation legislation clearing the way for President Obama to sign it into law when it reaches his desk later this week. The 21st Century Cures Act, (Cures), a rare bipartisan major piece of healthcare legislation, provides $6.3 billion for […]

FDA hits the brakes on LDT draft guidance

Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to delay finalizing draft guidance for Laboratory Developed Tests (LDT).  First issued in July of 2014, the draft guidance would give FDA regulatory oversight of LDTs.  This guidance marked a significant shift in the regulation of LDT as FDA has chosen […]

CMS Issues Final MACRA Physician Payment Rule

On Friday, October 14th, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the long-anticipated final rule with 60-day comment period (Rule) for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP). The QPP provides incentive payments for participation in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APM).  […]

Washington’s 2016 healthcare agenda remains unfinished, leaving plenty for 2017

As Washington speeds towards Election Day on November 8th, it is a good time to examine the status of the key legislative and policy issues impacting the healthcare and life sciences sectors.  Congress has few legislative working days remaining in 2016, but could make some headway on legislation to promote innovation as […]

States taking the lead on drug pricing policy; will Congress enter the fray?

Last week, Vermont adopted the first state law that requires drug companies registering the highest hike in prices to justify the rationale for the increase.  Vermont policymakers are not alone pursuing laws that address rising drug prices.  California and Ohio are eyeing pricing-related bills and ballot initiatives. This begs the question:  If […]

Washington Update: Senate proceeds towards “Cures”; CMS releases MA rates and Call Letter

Health care policy issues continue to stream out of Congress and the Administration.  The Senate held a markup of  various health bills as part of its effort to produce a companion to the House of Representatives-passed 21st Century Cures legislation and CMS released long awaited Medicare Advantage rates.