Pallone Lays Out Legislative Priorities for National COVID-19 Response
On May 1, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) released a memo calling for expanded testing, centralized supply chain coordination and communication, improved public health data collection, free testing and treatment coverage for everyone, including uninsured individuals, and fair reimbursement for health care providers who provide COVID-19-related services. Find more information here.

Bill Introduced to Allow Mail-Order Medicaid Prescriptions during COVID-19 Pandemic
On April 20, Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-DE) introduced H.R. 6557, the MAIL Act, a bill to encourage states to allow Medicaid mail-order prescriptions and let beneficiaries obtain a 90-day supply of drugs without restriction during the public health emergency. The bill would increase by 1 percent federal payments for mail-order Medicaid claims during the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 20, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a notice asking Medicare Part D plans to let seniors obtain prescriptions without in-person contact. Find the bill here.


CMS Set to Announce Insulin Affordability Policy
On April 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma said that CMS would soon announce a plan to lower the cost of insulin for seniors. Friday, May 1 was the deadline for insurers to apply to participate in a Part D demonstration to cap beneficiaries’ monthly insulin costs at $35 and insulin manufacturers already said they would participate.

CMS: New Independent Commission to Address Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes
On April 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new independent commission that will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The commission will provide independent recommendations to the contractor to review and report to CMS to help inform immediate and future responses to COVID-19 in nursing homes. Find more detail here.

Final Non-Discrimination Rule under Review at OMB
As of April 24, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reviewing the final version of changes to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) non-discrimination provision proposed by the Trump administration. The proposal would roll back protections for transgender individuals, repeal several language requirements and narrow the scope of the law.

Read more in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.