Policy & Practice Update
Week of February 22, 2016
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Policy Outlook
In what will be a bellweather for the entire year, Congress is in full debate about two high priority health matters - addressing opioid addiction and preventing the spread of the Zika virus. Both have health and budget impacts, to varying degrees based on party. Whether either or both can get done will tell a lot about the potential to get anything done in Congress this year.

With the Presidential election in full swing, and an unexpected Supreme Court seat opening, the partisanship on Capitol Hill is only intensifying. If they cannot find a way to pass legislation on opioid addiction and recovery options (President Obama and bipartisan bills in Congress have been proposed) or the Zika Virus (currently a hearing in the House is scheduled for this Wednesday), then the hope for a comprehensive budget resolution followed by individual appropriations bills funding key HHS programs becomes even more remote.

Interestingly, the National Health Service Corps program may play a role in both discussions; but what will be enacted is anyone's guess so far. However, ACU is very thankful that policymakers recognize the potential value of the NHSC in such times.

Clinical Practice
America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), in partnership with the U.S. EPA, is collaborating in a multi-year initiative to identify and promote health plan best practices that align with the NIH's EPR-3 asthma guidelines and that take into account the role of environmental triggers that affect asthma. AHIP currently offers three on-demand webinars: 
Congressional Hearings
Hearings to examine the unaccompanied children crisis, focusing on how to stop the border surge and adequately monitor the children.
Senate Judiciary Committee
10:00 AM    |    SD-226

Hearing: "Persian Gulf War: An Assessment of Health Outcomes on the 25th Anniversary"
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subc. on Oversight and Investigations
4:30 PM     |     334 Cannon House Office Building

Hearing: The Fiscal Year 2017 HHS Budget
House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subc. on Health
10:00 AM    |     2123 Rayburn HOB

Hearing: The Zika Virus: Coordination of a Multi-Agency Response
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2:00 PM     |     2154 Rayburn HOB

Hearing: Budget Hearing - Department of Health and Human Services
House Committee on Appropriations, Subc. on Labor, HHS
10:00 AM     |     2358-C Rayburn

Hearing: Review of Obamacare Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs)
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2:00 PM     |     2157 Rayburn HOB

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