The Blog to Transform Advanced Care
Advancing Care through Innovation, Observation and Collaboration.
Each week, C-TAC compiles the latest legislative and regulatory updates affecting the serious illness care field, combined with insider analysis from our policy experts. Here’s what you need to know for the week ahead:
- House Passes Bill to Stave Off Millions in Medicare Sequester Cuts; Senate Action Expected This Week
- HHS Health Equity Taskforce Holding Public Meeting This Friday
- Americans Can Soon Apply for COVID-19 Funeral Cost Reimbursement
- Senate HELP Committee Holding Hearing on Health Equity and Disparities
House Passes Bill to Stave Off Millions in Medicare Sequester Cuts; Senate Action Expected This Week
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday to extend the moratorium on 2% Medicare payment cuts caused by a federal budget sequestration and avert $36 billion in payment cuts triggered by the latest COVID-19 relief package. The bill needs 60 votes in the Senate in order to pass before the current moratorium ends on March 31. C-TAC expects the Senate to take action this week to extend the 2% moratorium through the end of the calendar year, but it is not likely that a Senate bill would also waive the $36 billion in sequestration cuts set to take place at the end of the year as a result of the cost of the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act COVID-19 stimulus legislation.
C-TAC applauds lawmakers for this effort to provide much-needed financial relief for serious illness care providers. For more information, click here.
HHS Health Equity Taskforce Holding Public Meeting This Friday
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force will hold its next public meeting from 12-3 PM ET on Friday, March 26. The focus of this meeting will be to discuss equitable COVID-19 vaccine access and acceptance. HHS encourages those who would like to participate in the public comment session to register in advance. To register, please send an email with your name, affiliation, and email to: COVID19HETF@hhs.gov. HHS will also air the meeting live. Click here to watch the livestream.
Americans Can Soon Apply for COVID-19 Funeral Cost Reimbursement
In February, C-TAC notified members and partners that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would begin reimbursing families for funeral and burial costs related to COVID-19. On March 16, the agency that families will be eligible to apply for this assistance in April, although the specific date has not yet been confirmed. This program applies to any funeral costs incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. During a February press event, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that families would be eligible for up to $7,000 in reimbursement. Earlier today, FEMA released a guidance document with more information about the project, available here.
C-TAC will monitor this initiative as it develops and alert our members and partners as soon as families are able to apply for assistance. For more information, click here.
Senate HELP Committee Holding Hearing on Health Equity and Disparities
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing focused on improving health equity and outcomes by addressing health disparities. The hearing will take place at 10 AM ET on Thursday, March 25. The hearing will include witnesses representing Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Seattle Indian Health Board, the Center for American Progress and Atrium Health. Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), released a report on addressing continuing inequality and racism in our healthcare system, available here.
For more information about C-TAC’s legislative and regulatory efforts, visit our Policy page.