Saturday, September 15, 2018

Senate Committee Meeting

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Hearings to examine reducing health care costs, focusing on how transparency can lower spending and empower patients.

Health Care Policy on the Senate Floor

Program for Monday: Senate begins consideration of H.R. 6, Support for Patients and Communities Act, and S. 2554, Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, and votes on or in relation to amendments to, and passage of the bills, at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Congressional Committee Meetings

House

Wednesday — September 12, 2018

Reviewing Current Developments in Ethiopia
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations (Committee on Foreign Affairs) 

Source: House.gov


Thursday — September 13, 2018

Examining Barriers to Expanding Innovative, Value-Based Care in Medicare
Subcommittee on Health (Committee on Energy and Commerce) 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Congressional Committee Meetings

Wednesday — September 5, 2018

Opportunities to Improve Health Care
Subcommittee on Health (Committee on Energy and Commerce)

Reusable Medical Equipment: Continuing to Examine VHAs Sterile Processing Problems.
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (Committee on Veterans' Affairs)


Thursday — September 6, 2018

Tackling Fentanyl: Holding China Accountable
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations (Committee on Foreign Affairs)

Health Care Policy on the House Floor

The very first item on next week's House suspension calendar is a biometrics bill:
1) H.R. 6439Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program Authorization Act of 2018 (Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul / Homeland Security Committee)
Conservatives are pushing for this in the name of immigration reform.

This is not taking into account all the long-term implications.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Congressional Committee Meeting Schedule

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
An oversight hearing to examine the Food and Drug Administration, focusing on leveraging cutting-edge science and protecting public health.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Senate Committee Meetings

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Hearings to examine Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services efforts to fight Medicaid fraud and overpayments.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Finance
Hearings to examine the nominations of
Michael Faulkender, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and
Elizabeth Darling, of Texas, to be Commissioner on Children, Youth, and FamiliesDepartment of Health and Human Services.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Hearings to examine prioritizing cures, focusing on science and stewardship at the National Institutes of Health.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Health care's new payment axis

Population health-based payment models realign the payment for health care services to an axis perpendicular to freedom.

In a population health model physicians are paid based on aggregate results. The theory (and sales pitch) is this will motivate doctors to get their populations healthy and keep them that way, thus supposedly saving payers (increasingly taxpayers) a lot of money.

The problem is along this new axis things can also move in reverse. When patients don't get healthier (by whoever's measure for whatever reason), there are ways of voting such patients off the proverbial island. It's not that overt, but there are enough variables in the complexities of health care to enable masking the reasons for denying sick patients' care in order to keep them from counting against the health scores of one's population. Populations are not individuals, so the process of removing such patients is inherently opaque.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Congressional Committee Meetings

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

House

21st Century Cures Implementation: Updates from FDA and NIH
Subcommittee on Health (Committee on Energy and Commerce)

Senate

Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Business meeting to consider:
  • S. 2554, to ensure that health insurance issuers and group health plans do not prohibit pharmacy providers from providing certain information to enrollees,
  • H.R. 1222, to amend the Public Health Service Act to coordinate Federal congenital heart disease research efforts and to improve public education and awareness of congenital heart disease,
  • S. 2465, to amend the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize a sickle cell disease prevention and treatment demonstration program and to provide for sickle cell disease research, surveillance, prevention, and treatment,
  • S. 3016, to amend the Public Health Service Act to improve essential oral health care for low-income and other underserved individuals by breaking down barriers to care, 
  • and pending nominations.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

House

MACRA and MIPS: An Update on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System
Subcommittee on Health (Committee on Energy and Commerce)

Health Care Policy on the House Floor

“The House will consider several bills aimed at giving Americans more affordable healthcare choices:

“First, the Protect Medical Innovation Act, sponsored by Representative Erik Paulsen. This bill would permanently repeal ObamaCare's burdensome medical device tax. Doing so will create jobs, promote research, and allow for innovation that could lead to the next generation of lifesaving medical technologies;
  • H.R. 184 – Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen / Ways and Means Committee)

“Next, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act, sponsored by Representative Peter Roskam. This package would expand access to lower cost healthcare options, encourage healthcare savings, and put a 2-year delay on ObamaCare's health insurance tax, which drives up costs of insurance for almost every American;
  • H.R. 6311 – Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Peter Roskam / Energy and Commerce Committee)

“Finally, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act, sponsored by Representative Lynn Jenkins. This bill would transform and modernize health savings accounts and allow for more innovation in healthcare delivery.”
  • H.R. 6199 – Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Lynn Jenkins / Ways and Means Committee)

Full House floor schedule for the Week of July 23, 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Single Payer & Efficiency

The BBC reported last week that the NHS is still reliant on 'archaic' fax machines.

I have two thoughts on this: (1) when it comes to a monopoly on power, inefficiency isn't the worst thing that can happen, and (2) this shows how institutionalizing of something by government displaces innovation.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

America Needs a Medical Independence Day

June 21-23, 2018, was the Red Pill Expo. Twila Brase was one of the speakers. About the experience she wrote,
On Saturday, I was in Spokane, Washington speaking at the Red Pill Expo. As Christopher Nartey explains on Quora, in the movie The Matrix, “a person who picks the red pill will become aware of the Matrix itself and what the machines are doing to them. Someone who takes the blue pill gets to continue living in ignorance, none the wiser of what they are being used for.”
With about 400 people in the room, I spoke on the topic of “Getting the Government Out of Health Care.” I started by asking the attendees if they are truly willing to give up Obamacare subsidies and Medicare and if they are willing to use their dollars directly to charitably fund care for the poor. The blue pill is easier to swallow. The red pill takes work…but I gave concrete examples of how to restore health freedom (emphasis and link added).

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Is Technology Ever the Problem?

Electronic Health Records (EHR) were originally introduced and subsidized to cut waste, eliminate red tape, reduce redundant medical tests, save billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, and save lives by reducing medical errors.

Instead, according to a study published at BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, the current approach “makes inconsistency and error the standard.” The very tool that was supposed to standardize care is reducing or eliminating quality and causing substandard care. Clinicians are led to believe that the computer knows medicine better than they do. In reality, while a computer can hold medical information, computer programmers are not trained in the practice of medicine. Researchers point out that “substitution of technology for people is a misunderstanding of both.”