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Second Opinion

Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.


Coverage and Delivery Reform

Medicaid is a joint federal and state safety net program that assists over 60 million low-income individuals in receiving access to clinician offices, acute and long term care services. Teaching hospitals treat a disproportionate share of Medicaid patients, with approximately 28% of all Medicaid discharges coming from COTH hospitals.

Medicaid also plays a critical role in funding graduate medical education. State and local governments, through their Medicaid programs, appropriate approximately $5 billion for medical school training annually. Most states choose to allocate a portion of their Medicaid budget to fund direct graduate medical education (DGME), indirect medical education (IME), and other special services related to teaching hospitals. Due to state budget shortfalls and the prevalence of Medicaid managed care organizations, there are serious concerns that fewer Medicaid funds will be available to train future physicians.

News and Updates

Two House Committees Advance Opioid Legislation

May 18, 2018

Two separate committees in the House of Representatives – the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee – advanced separate opioid packages. The action by the House Energy and Commerce Committee follows a May 9 markup of 26 pieces of legislation, and an April 24 markup of 57 pieces of legislation [see, Washington Highlights, April 27, May 11]. The House Ways and Means Committee had not previously considered any related opioids bills.

White House Releases Drug Pricing Plan and RFI

May 18, 2018

President Trump May 11 released the outline of his Administration’s plan to lower prescription drug prices, titled “American Patients First: The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.”  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) May 14 issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the blueprint seeking suggestions to improve the affordability and accessibility of prescription drugs. Responses are due by July 16, 2018.

AAMC Submits Letter to Bipartisan Group of Senators on Price Transparency

May 18, 2018

The AAMC May 14 sent a letter detailing the Association’s priorities on price transparency efforts. The letter was sent to Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-La.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in response to a request for information sent earlier this spring.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Continues Its Work on Opioids

May 11, 2018

The House Energy and Commerce Committee May 8 and 9 continued its work to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic, holding a hearing and a markup on the topic.

MACPAC Discusses Exemptions to Monitoring Access in FFS, UPL Supplemental Payments to Hospitals

April 27, 2018

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) met April 19-20 to discuss several issues, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule on exemptions to monitoring access in Medicaid fee-for-service, as well as uses and oversight of upper payment limit (UPL) supplemental payments to hospitals.

On Government Affairs

Testimony and Correspondence

External Resources