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Capitol Correspondence - 07.23.18

CMS, FDA, Congress – Highlights of Interest to I/DD Providers from Politico Pro’s Summit

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On July 17, 2018 ANCOR staff attended a policy summit hosted by Politico Pro, which featured key speakers from the Administration and Congress. While members interested in our on-the-spot takes can access them through our Twitter page (our handle is @TheRealANCOR), we have flagged highlights from three panels which are of interest to providers:

CMS panel: Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), spoke about the Administration’s continued commitment to Medicaid workforce requirements. This commitment continues despite a federal judge invalidating Kentucky’s policy because it did not sufficiently take into account the effect of the policy on upholding the intent of Medicaid. At the summit, Administrator Verma emphasized that CMS was studying a path forward that could still work with the judgement’s framework.

Politico Pro has since reported that CMS is considering opening a 30-day federal comment on the Kentucky plan. Specifically, “An agency spokesperson subsequently confirmed that the agency would again seek feedback ‘to better inform any future decision on the demonstration that was remanded back to the department for further review.’

While the state’s bid already went through a similar process last year and was approved in January, Trump administration lawyers are said to be confident that the strategy will allow them to surmount a federal judge’s misgivings, although advocates and external observers have doubts.”

Additionally, Administrator Verma shared that her two continued top priorities for Medicaid, even for “the most vulnerable” (her words) recipients, were 1) defining quality outcomes and 2) state flexibility. ANCOR will continue to keep members informed on developments on those topics.

FDA panel: Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), stated that price hikes might be necessary to address short-term drug shortages. ANCOR wrote about the shortages last week in case our members work with any of the listed products. Read more on Commissioner Gottlieb’s comments in this Politico story.

Congressional policy priorities panel: U.S. Representatives Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and Doug Collins (R-GA) came to share their perspectives on Congress’ post-election priorities. While both U.S. Representatives saw health care as a priority issue, Congresswoman Sanchez stated that should the Democrats win back the House in November, passing an infrastructure plan would likely become a bipartisan policy priority. In contrast, Congressman Collins shared that should Republicans maintain control of the House in November, health care reform would become a priority topic for the party. ANCOR will keep members informed as policy discussions continue to evolve after the election.