This Week – February 11, 2017

This Week in Washington, D.C.

  • ACA Repeal Watch: Rep. Tom Price, MD Confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary
  • MACRA Webinar: Guidance and Answers from ACG & CMS

From ACG National Affairs Committee Chair, Whitfield L. Knapple, MD, FACG

ACA Repeal Watch: Rep. Tom Price, MD Confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary

On Friday, February 10th, Rep. Tom Price, MD (R-GA) was confirmed by the Senate as the incoming Secretary for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The final party-line vote totaled at 52-47. His initially delayed confirmation was preceded by much debate from Senate Democrats, who voiced their concerns for the fully allotted 30 hours’ time.  Issues raised included Rep. Price’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, his conflict of interest in his health-related stock investments, and his support of House Speak Paul Ryan’s proposal, “A Better Way.”

Update on Seema Verma, CMS Administrator Nominee

On Thursday, February 16th, the Senate Finance Committee, led by Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), will hold a hearing on Seema Verma’s nomination to serve as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  The Office of Government Ethics recently released a letter from Seema Verma to the HHS, which stated that if confirmed by the Senate, she will agree to divest ownership shares in consulting company SVC, Inc., as well as shares in other health care related stocks.  The aim of this letter is a part of a routine vetting process meant to eliminate any potential conflict of interests between federal leaders and any ties to companies in the field.

ACG is actively involved in all health care reform and will keep you updated on any proposed legislation and news affecting ACG members and your patients.

Need guidance and answers on MACRA? Then it is important to hear directly from the folks actually implementing MACRA: CMS.

ACG recently invited CMS officials to participate in a joint-webinar tailored for ACG members. This webinar walks ACG members through the details of MACRA, and provides a detailed overview of the newly implemented Merit-based Incentive Payment System or MIPS. CMS also answers ACG members’ questions.

This webinar is available to ACG members only. Check it out here.