Washington Update

Senate Committee Seeks Advice on Better Use of Health Care Data

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The Senate Finance Committee, a key congressional body charged with implementing health care reform, is requesting input to improve health care data transparency from a wide variety of stakeholders.

CMS Seeks Comment on Proposed “Meaningful Use” Rules

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In May, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released a proposed rule that would give health care providers additional time to comply with guidelines for demonstrating their meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs).

Congressional Resources—July 2014

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For those interested in following the congressional proceedings.

Sen. Warren Introduces Student Loan Refinancing Bill

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On May 6, Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation to permit borrowers with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new student borrowers.

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Holds Hearing on Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse

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On May 14, the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control held a hearing prompted by the upswing in prescription drugs and heroin abuse.

Senate Likely to Approve Burwell to Head HHS

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Approval of Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, appears all but assured after a bipartisan group of senators on two key committees endorsed her nomination.

Congressional Resources - June 2014

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For those interested in following the congressional proceedings, please access the U.S. House or Senate by way of these links.

Supreme Court Rules on States’ Right to Prohibit Consideration of Race in Admissions

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On April 22, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in its ruling on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.  The Court’s decision upheld a constitutional amendment that Michigan voters approved to ban the consideration of race and gender in public education. The Michigan ballot initiative, known as Proposal 2, was passed in 2006 by 58 percent of voters.  

Primary Care Bill Would Expand Access to Dental Services

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced a bill that would expand access to primary care through workforce initiatives, enhanced reimbursements and increased accountability for Graduate Medical Education (GME) funds.

Congress Shows Bipartisan Support for Title VII Programs

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Elected officials on both sides of the aisle have signaled their support for federal health care workforce programs as their colleagues on Capitol Hill gear up to begin work on appropriations bills for FY15.

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