The who’s who in Healthcare on Capitol Hill
Key Takeaway: The 115th Congress has been sworn-in and there are some new leaders to take note of that will have influence over healthcare on Capitol Hill.
Why It Matters: There are congressional committees with both direct and indirect oversight over healthcare-related issues, it’s important to know who some of the key decision makers are in the healthcare space on Capitol Hill.
- Committee on Energy & Commerce: Chairman, Greg Walden (R-OR); Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
- Health Subcommittee: Chairman, Michael Burgess (R-TX); Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX)
- Committee on Ways & Means: Chairman, Kevin Brady (R-TX); Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA)
- Health Subcommittee: Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH); Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI)
- Committee on Appropriations: Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ); Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY)
- Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee: Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK); Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
- Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP): Chairman, Lamar Alexander (R-TN); Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA)
- Primary Health and Retirement Security Subcommittee: Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY); Ranking Member, Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
- Committee on Finance: Chairman, Orrin Hatch (R-UT); Ranking Member, Ron Wyden (D-OR)
- Health Care Subcommittee: Chairman Pat Toomey (R-PA); Ranking Member, Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
- Committee on Appropriations: Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS); Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
- Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee: Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO); Ranking Member, Patty Murray (D-WA)
Other Leaders to Know:
Speaker of the House: Paul Ryan (R-WI)
House Majority Leader: Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
House Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Senate Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Senate Minority Leader: Charles Schumer (D-NY)
NIST Cybersecurity Framework Updated
Key Takeaway: Last week NIST updated their cybersecurity framework. What they have released is an updated draft.
Why it Matters: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a draft update to the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity—also known as the Cybersecurity Framework. NIST is accepting comments on the draft through April 10th.
FDA Device Security
Key Takeaway: FDA outlines their thinking on device cybersecurity during a recent call.
Why it Matters: FDA hosted a conference call to review their recently released final guidance to device manufacturers on cybersecurity of devices. A playback of the call will be available shortly here. Slides can be found here. CHIME has a cheat sheet available that lists all the things the FDA calls on manufacturers to do.
Medical Device Cybersecurity Discussed During ACA Repeal Conversation
Key Takeaway: Among the more than 100 hundred amendments introduced in the Senate to the federal budget reconciliation bill included a directive to examine medical device cybersecurity.
Why It Matters: As an early step in the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Senate considered more than 100 amendments, many of which were applicable to healthcare as a procedural hurdle to begin the repeal effort.
One of the amendments sponsored by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, Amendment 113 to Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 (S.Con.Res 3), directed the federal government to address the growing concerns about the cybersecurity of medical devices. The amendment asks the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to evaluate the cybersecurity of internet-connected medical devices as part of the FDA approval process for medical devices.
OIG Safe Harbors
Key Takeaway: OIG releases annual call for safe harbors.
Why it Matters: At the end of the year, every year, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) releases a call for feedback on the need for additional safe harbors under the anti-kickback statute.
New HIPAA Guidance
Key Takeaway: ONC and OCR release a new fact sheet and FAQ.
Why it Matters: ONC and OCR together have released a fact sheet on permitted uses and disclosures involving exchange for health oversight activities.
They also released two FAQ explains the HIPAA Privacy Rule permits disclosures to loved ones including same sex souses regardless of whether they are recognized as relatives under applicable law. The two FAQs can be found here and here. OCR is also updating its existing guidance on several provisions within the HIPAA Privacy Rule that recognize the integral role that a spouse often plays in a patient’s health and health care.
Certified EHR Product List
Key Takeaway: ONC updates their website housing all data on certified EHRs.
Why it Matters: Many providers complain that more information is needed on certified products in order to facilitate better decision-making. Part of ONC’s response to this is an updated Certified Health IT Products List (ONC CHPL) website which includes more information as required by changes made under the Enhanced Oversight and Accountability Final Rule which calls for greater transparency around certified EHRs.
Key Takeaway: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA) publishes final rule on sharing sensitive patient information.
Why it Matters: SAMSA’s published their final rule to modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations and facilitate information exchange within new health care models while trying to balance patient privacy concerns. The agency also issued a supplemental action of proposed rulemaking to seek input on use and disclosure of “part 2-covered data” for purposes of carrying out payment, health care operations, and other health care related activities.
Clinical Decision Support
Key Takeaway: The federal government wants your feedback on clinical decision support (CDC).
Why it Matters: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publishes an RFI on CDS. They agency is seeking input on the use of CDS within respondent’s respective organizations. For your easy reference, here is the RFI information. Those interested in responding can find the RFI here.
Why it Matters:
New ONC Workgroup
Key Takeaway: ONC has a new workgroup focused on the LTPAC community.
Why it Matters: The ONC Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) Community of Practice convened a sub-group to identify top priority use cases for exchanging electronic health data between LTPAC providers and providers across the care continuum. If you are interested in participating in this work, please contact Zoe Barber at ONC.
Key Takeaway: CMS announces update on electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) value sets for 2017 performance period.
Why it Matters: CMS and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) are updating certain eCQM value sets for the 2017 performance period. These changes will affect electronic reporting of eCQMs for the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program; the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals; and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for MIPS eligible clinicians. All changes to the eCQM value sets will be made available through the National Library of Medicine’s Value Set Authority Center (https://vsac.nlm.nih.gov/) starting in early to mid-January 2017.
Separately, CMS will not be applying penalties to physicians under Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) for 2017 or 2018 who fail to satisfactorily report for 2016 as a result of changes to quality measures stemming from ICD-10 code updates.