VA, opi­oids, drug pric­ing. It’s a busy week in D.C.

Modern Healthcare - - The Week Ahead - —Matthew We­in­stock

Along with the rest of the in­dus­try, Mod­ern Health­care is ea­ger to hear what Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has to say about drug prices. But that’s not all we are watch­ing this week:

APRIL 23: Clos­ing day for com­ments on the CMS’ pro­posed rule seek­ing to ex­pand short-term in­surance plans. As of late last week, more than 6,500 com­ments were al­ready filed with the agency. In a cur­sory re­view on­line, Mod­ern Health­care found that the bots have been busy. Page af­ter page of com­ments shared the same open­ing lines.

APRIL 24: The Se­nate Health, Ed­u­ca­tion, La­bor and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee is slated to de­bate the Opi­oid Cri­sis Re­sponse Act. Among other things, the bill would al­low the FDA to man­date that drug­mak­ers pack­age some opi­oids for a spe­cific time­frame—three or seven days, for in­stance.

APRIL 25: Rear Adm. Ronny Jack­son, you’re up. Nom­i­nated to be the next Veter­ans Af­fairs sec­re­tary, Dr. Jack­son is sched­uled to make his case for run­ning the mas­sive depart­ment at a Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing. Jack­son’s hear­ing comes as law­mak­ers are ad­vanc­ing leg­is­la­tion to over­haul the VA Choice pro­gram.

APRIL 26: Pain re­lief? Trump is ex­pected to give his Rx for re­duc­ing drug prices. What do in­dus­try lead­ers want to hear? See p. 12 for their wish list.

APRIL 26- 27: A bevy of health­care dig­ni­taries will grace the main stage at the 2018 Health Dat­a­palooza in D.C. Head­lin­ers in­clude HHS Sec­re­tary Alex Azar (as­sum­ing the di­ver­ti­c­uli­tis that hos­pi­tal­ized him last week is cleared up), FDA Com­mis­sioner Dr. Scott Got­tlieb, CMS Ad­min­is­tra­tor Seema Verma, and Dart­mouth-Hitch­cock Health CEO Dr. Joanne Con­roy. The Academy Health event, now in its 8th year, brings to­gether pol­icy wonks, ex­ec­u­tives and pa­tient ad­vo­cates to hash through crit­i­cal IT is­sues fac­ing the in­dus­try.

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