Congressional committees to probe antitrust regulators, VA on Mission Act
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.