Se­nate com­mit­tee looks at af­ford­abil­ity; ONC an­nual meet­ing tar­gets in­ter­op­er­abil­ity

Modern Healthcare - - The Week Ahead - —Matthew We­in­stock

NOV. 28: The Se­nate Health, Ed­u­ca­tion, La­bor and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee con­tin­ues its deep dive into how to fix the na­tion’s health­care sys­tem. Dur­ing the fifth in a year­long se­ries of hear­ings, com­mit­tee mem­bers will learn how in­no­va­tion can im­prove af­ford­abil­ity. Dr. Jonathan Per­lin, pres­i­dent of clin­i­cal ser­vices at HCA Health­care, is among the wit­nesses slated to tes­tify. As is Cheryl DeMars, CEO of The Al­liance, a co­op­er­a­tive of more than 240 self-in­sured em­ploy­ers. When com­mit­tee Chair­man Lamar Alexan­dar (R-Tenn.) an­nounced the hear­ings in June, he said the goal was to “ex­plore why Amer­i­cans spend so much on health care and how to re­duce those costs.”

NOV. 28: The Democrats won the House, now can Nancy Pelosi re­claim the gavel? In a se­cret-bal­lot vote, the party se­lects lead­er­ship posts ahead of a Jan. 3 full House roll call vote. Pelosi—who was vil­i­fied by many Repub­li­cans, and even some Democrats, dur­ing the midterms—is vy­ing to take back the speak­er­ship, a po­si­tion she held from 2007 to 2011. Op­po­si­tion to Pelosi es­ca­lated in the cau­cus last week when 16 Democrats signed a let­ter say­ing they’d vote against her. Speak­ing of lead­er­ship po­si­tions, Rep. Richard Neal of Mas­sachusetts is slated to take over the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee, Rep. Frank Pal­lone of New Jersey will lead the En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee, and Rep. Mark Takano of Cal­i­for­nia will chair the Veter­ans’ Af­fairs Com­mit­tee.

NOV. 29-30: Health IT lead­ers will get a chance to tell gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials what’s on their hol­i­day wish list dur­ing the Of­fice of the Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor’s 2018 an­nual meet­ing. More than 1,000 IT pro­fes­sion­als are ex­pected to at­tend the two-day af­fair in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Be­sides in­ter­op­er­abil­ity, sev­eral ses­sions are fo­cused on us­ing IT to man­age the opi­oid cri­sis. And will we fi­nally see the long-awaited data block­ing rule?

NOV. 30: It’s in­evitable that the ma­chines will take over soon, right? (See In­no­va­tions, p. 38) Thank­fully, the Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion is get­ting out in front of things. FCC Chair­man Ajit Pai will con­vene a fo­rum on ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing. “Be­cause so much of AI in­ter­sects with the com­mis­sion’s tech­no­log­i­cal and en­gi­neer­ing work, we want to ex­plore what it means for the fu­ture of com­mu­ni­ca­tions,” Pai noted in a news re­lease an­nounc­ing the meet­ing.

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