Con­gres­sional com­mit­tees to probe an­titrust reg­u­la­tors, VA on Mis­sion Act

Modern Healthcare - - The Week Ahead - —Matthew We­in­stock

DEC. 4: As merg­ers—both ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal—

con­tinue to re­shape the in­dus­try, reg­u­la­tors are up­ping the ante on what it will take for deals to move for­ward. Look no fur­ther than the con­di­tions put on CVS Health and Aetna, Beth Is­rael Dea­coness Med­i­cal Cen­ter and La­hey Health, and CHI-Dig­nity. The House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee’s Reg­u­la­tory Re­form, Com­mer­cial and An­titrust Law Sub­com­mit­tee will probe how fed­eral reg­u­la­tors are en­forc­ing an­titrust laws.

DEC. 4: Tele­health holds promise

for re­shap­ing pa­tient care. But as with any tech­nol­ogy, a lot of ques­tions re­main about when—and how much—the in­dus­try will change. Health Af­fairs’ De­cem­ber is­sue is ded­i­cated to the im­pact of tele­health. Dur­ing an event at the Na­tional Press Club in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., re­searchers will share their thoughts on ev­ery­thing from the use of pa­tient por­tals to build­ing a reg­u­la­tory frame­work that sup­ports tele­health to how re­tail out­lets us­ing the tech­nol­ogy will dis­rupt the in­dus­try.

DEC. 5: The House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee’s

Over­sight and In­ves­ti­ga­tions Sub­com­mit­tee con­tin­ues its look into how hos­pi­tals care for vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault. Cit­ing data from the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Foren­sic Nurses, the com­mit­tee noted that only 15% of U.S. hos­pi­tals have sex­ual as­sault foren­sic exam kits. Ear­lier this year, the com­mit­tee sent let­ters to a dozen hos­pi­tals and 10 hos­pi­tal as­so­ci­a­tions re­quest­ing de­tails on what ser­vices they of­fer to abuse sur­vivors, their part­ner­ships with cri­sis cen­ters and law en­force­ment and best prac­tices for pa­tient care.

DEC. 6: Six months have passed since the VA Mis­sion Act

was signed into law. How are things go­ing? Mem­bers from both cham­bers of Congress will find out dur­ing a joint hear­ing by the Se­nate and House Veter­ans’ Af­fairs com­mit­tees. The law or­dered con­sol­i­da­tion of com­mu­nity care pro­grams and aims to give vets greater ac­cess to pri­vate-sec­tor providers. One key prob­lem the VA must ad­dress: timely pay­ments. The Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice has re­ported that the VA’s third-party claims pro­ces­sors var­ied con­sid­er­ably in the time it took to pay providers—from seven to 68 days.

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