This Week in Washington: HHS announces lowest national uninsured rate, CDC recommends RSV antibody for infants, CMS releases rules on inpatient and long-term care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities



The House has recessed for its August district work period.

House Energy and Commerce Chairmen Send Letter Concerning Gain-of-Function Research

On Aug. 1, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting that it gather information on the risks and benefits of gain-of-function research involving pathogens with pandemic potential. The members are also requesting information on how gain-of-function research is being defined and used across federal agencies.

For more information, click here.

One Hundred and One Representatives Send Letter Concerning Medicare Physician Payment Reform

On July 28, Rep. Bera (D-CA) led a group of 101 representatives in sending a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) urging the leadership to work with them to create reform of Medicare physician payments to stabilize the system and pay for health outcomes.

In their letter, the members argue that the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) have logistical challenges for providers resulting in lower uptake of these models. The members point to incentive payments in APMs that are temporary and underutilized and state that thresholds to qualify for APM payment adjustments are steep.

For more information, click here.


The Senate has recessed for its August state work period.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sends Letter Concerning ADHD Drug Shortages

On Aug. 3, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug manufacturers urging them to either increase their production of ADHD medications or relinquish their remaining amphetamine product quota allotment to allow other manufacturers to produce more than their production limit. The Chairman is also asking manufacturers to report voluntary and required production information to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help track the ongoing shortage of ADHD medications.

The letter is the Chairman’s response to a joint statement issued by FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, which stated ADHD drug manufacturers produced just 70 percent of their allotted amphetamine product quota in 2022. The DEA and FDA acknowledged that production rates remain under permitted limits thus far in 2023.

For more information on the Chairman’s letter, click here.

For more information on the joint statement, click here.

Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.