Washington Update, June 2021

Washington Update


by Johanna Gray

It’s shaping up to be another busy summer in Washington! Here are a few quick updates about recent issues we’ve been tracking:

  • California v. Texas: On June 17th, the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in the California v. Texas lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In a 7-2 opinion, the Court dismissed the lawsuit based on no one having standing to bring the suit; basically, they found that no one could prove harm from the continued existence of the individual mandate since the penalty was zeroed out in the 2017 tax reform law. This is the third time that the Court has upheld the ACA. While there may be additional challenges in the future, the bleeding disorders community can rest easier knowing that the ACA will remain the law of the land.
  • Drug Pricing Policy Heats Up: The Congressional debate over drug pricing reform has continued into the summer. We recently met with staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (one of the key House committees who will be involved in negotiating a drug pricing policy) to talk about the importance of 340B to covered entities, including HTCs. On the Senate side, Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) recently released principles that he will use to draft what he hopes will be bipartisan legislation that the Senate Finance Committee can consider this summer. Senator Wyden is the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid, and he was also the author (with then-Chair Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)) of the only bipartisan drug pricing legislation to be considered last Congress. Any chance for meaningful drug pricing reform this Congress will go through Chairman Wyden’s committee. We are actively monitoring the situation and will closely review any draft legislation to assess its impact on HTCs and the bleeding disorders community.
  • Implementation of the Hemophilia SNF Access Act: As you know, the Hemophilia SNF Access Act will be fully implemented in October, when the new skilled nursing facility (SNF) year starts. The Alliance, along with NHF and HFA, submitted comments on the annual SNF proposed rule that will implement the law, among other provisions. We will also work to educate SNFs about the policy change so that they will begin to accept people with bleeding disorders this fall.

Also in this Issue…

Notes from Joe
· Working Together to Maintain Gold Standard Care

Legal Update
· HHS Rescinds Advisory Opinion after Court Describes 340B Statute as Ambiguous as to Contract Pharmacies

Payer Update
· Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) Revenue Cycle Survey Response Reminder
· Cost of Dispensing Survey: We Need Your Help!

Alliance Update
· Update on Alliance Data Portal
· Harmony in Hemophilia Update