Healthcare Preview for the Week of: May 13, 2024 - McDermott+Consulting

Healthcare Preview for the Week of: May 13, 2024

tackling telehealth

Both chambers of Congress are out of session today and return for the rest of the week.

Most healthcare priorities remain out of the congressional spotlight this week, but telehealth is still top of mind. As we previously noted, several pandemic-era flexibilities are set to expire on December 31 of this year, including expanded access to telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed telehealth legislation (41-0). This Thursday, the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee is expected to mark up several bills (as yet unannounced), including telehealth legislation.

Of particular interest, we will see how the Energy and Commerce Committee legislation differs from the bill advanced by the Ways and Means Committee, including whether they use the same or different offsets to pay for the bill. We’re closely watching all “pay-fors” that advance, because Congress has a long list of healthcare programs (beyond telehealth) that need to be extended before the end of 2024. “Pay-fors” with support could be in the mix during the lame duck session. But it’s also important to remember that Congress may have additional offsets in development that they don’t want to share publicly because it would provide time for opponents to dampen their support within Congress.

The House Education and Workforce Committee will meet on Wednesday to hear from a sole witness, Xavier Becerra, secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), regarding the department’s policies and priorities in what is the end of the HHS budget hearings.

The Senate Committee on Finance will host a Thursday hearing focused on improving rural healthcare. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) will also hold a Thursday hearing on making dental care more affordable and available.

On the administrative front, the US Food and Drug Administration is hosting a webinar on Tuesday to provide an overview of the Final Rule: Medical Devices; Laboratory Developed Tests (read our +Insight for more). Additionally, we continue to await the release of the Requirements Related to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act final rule, as the proposed rule was published on August 3, 2023.

today’s podcast

Debbie Curtis and Rodney Whitlock join Priya Rathakrishnan to discuss recent and upcoming congressional activity on telehealth legislation.