Biden Unveils Fiscal Year 2024 Budget in Brief
Late last week, President Biden unveiled his FY 2024 budget proposal. Highlights include:
- $144 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services – an 11.5 percent increase
- $340 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data Modernization initiative – an increase of $165 million above the FY 2023 enacted funding level
- $2.5 billion for Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health – a proposed $1 billion increase
- $48.265 billion for National Institutes of Health overall – a 1.7% increase over the comparable FY 2023 funding level
- $495 million for the National Library of Medicine
The budget was released without the supporting appendices and federal agency budget justifications, but highlights are available here: FY 2024 HHS Budget in Brief. Congress will scrutinize this proposal as it begins its work on the budget and appropriations processes.
ONC 2022 Report to Congress
A recent Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) report to Congress highlights progress made by the federal government and private sector to build a nationwide foundation for the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information, identifies barriers to such a nationwide foundation, and includes recommendations to improve the use of health IT. Check out the report.
NIH Public Access Plan Available for Comment
The National Institute of Health (NIH) Plan to Enhance Public Access to the Results of NIH-Supported Research provides a roadmap for how NIH will enhance access to research products, namely scholarly publications, and scientific data, as well as ensure these research products are useful and accessible to the public. Comments due April 24.
AHRQ Grant Opportunity
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking applications for research projects that will help build a new equity-focused evidence base to address disparities in healthcare delivery systems. The Agency will invest up to $15 million over five years to help health systems transform care to be more equitable for patients, especially historically underserved populations. Grant applications due April 21.
HHS OIG Finds Limitations in Medicare Advantage Fraud Oversight
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a March 2 report: The Inability To Identify Denied Claims in Medicare Advantage Hinders Fraud Oversight (OEI-03-21-00380). OIG found adjustment codes are not a definitive method for identifying denied claims in the Medicare Advantage (MA) encounter data, as descriptions for some adjustment codes are too vague to clearly identify whether the MA organizations denied payment for a service. OIG recommends the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require Medicare Advantage organizations to definitively indicate on MA encounter data records when they have denied payment for a service on a claim. See the full report.
CDC New QuickStats Publication
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new QuickStats publication on use of telemedicine.
End of Public Health Emergency on May 11
To help health care providers prepare for the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) on May 11, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published updates about how the Medicare, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Marketplace programs will be affected at the conclusion of the PHE. CMS is taking these steps to keep health care providers informed as standards for compliance with CMS requirements are restored and other provider waivers will conclude as described in the updates. Learn more.
National Library of Medicine Board of Regents Meeting
On May 9, 2023, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Board of Regents will meet in open public session from 10:00am ET to 4:00pm ET. This meeting will be broadcast to the public and available for viewing on May 9. See more information.
FDA Workshop on Drug Development
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a virtual workshop on March 28 and 29 to consider priorities for development of digital health technologies to support clinical trials for drug development. Register here.
HHS Announces New Enforcement Division in OCR
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the formation of a new policy Enforcement Division, Policy Division, and Strategic Planning Division in the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The OCR enforces 55 civil rights, conscience and privacy statutes, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1966 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, investigates complaints, conducts compliance reviews, develops policy, promulgates regulations, provides technical assistance, and educates the public about federal civil rights, privacy, and conscience laws.
Legislation and Politics
Health Data Privacy Legislation
U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced legislation, S. 631, the Upholding Protections for Health and Online Location Data (UPHOLD) Privacy Act, to prevent companies from profiting off of personally identifiable health data for advertising purposes. The bill would restrict companies’ ability to collect or use information about personal health without user consent, and ban data brokers from selling location data.
Senate Finance Committee Republicans recently wrote to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to urge the elimination of the use of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) and other similar metrics in federal programs. The Senators stated: ‘While recent decades have seen countless life-saving and life-enhancing advances in treatments and cures for conditions affecting vulnerable communities and seniors, the rise in QALYs risks reversing these trends. View the full letter.
Around the Web
- FTC to Ban BetterHelp from Revealing Consumers’ Data, Including Sensitive Mental Health Information, to Facebook and Others for Targeted Advertising; FTC
- CDC technology office plans roadmap for public health data interoperability; FCW
- Congressional health program suffers ‘significant data breach’ affecting ‘hundreds’ of lawmakers, staff; The Hill
AMIA’s Washington Download is your source for health informatics policy news and information from around the Beltway, covering action from the Hill, the Administration, and important AMIA collaborators.