This year’s wildly unpredictable presidential campaign and a truncated legislative calendar has Congress less active and more cautious than usual, AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels told AHA members today at the 2016 Annual Membership Meeting. Congressional leaders are looking ahead to 2017 and “see an opportunity to frame an agenda” that could include action on entitlement reform and the Affordable Care Act, he said. Still, he says there is a good chance for passing bipartisan legislation this year on funding to combat the Zika virus, addressing opioid abuse, improving behavioral health services and spurring medical innovation. Nickels discussed hospital advocacy issues at a session with Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. When hospital leaders meet later this week with congressional staff on Capitol Hill, Nickels urged them to advocate for flexible regulations for off-campus hospital outpatient departments; the SMARTER Act, which would standardize hospital merger reviews between the federal antitrust agencies; and AHA-backed bills to eliminate unnecessary barriers to care, among other key issues. 

Related News Articles

Headline
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration today released a proposed rule that would amend federal regulations regarding disclosure of…
Perspective
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the
Insights and Analysis
Robyn Begley, AHA senior vice president and chief nursing officer and CEO of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, encourages hospital leaders to…
Headline
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the voiding of a rule that included Medicare and private insurance payments when…
Headline
John O’Brien will soon depart his position as senior advisor for drug pricing reform.
Headline
The AHA yesterday voiced support for the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (H.R. 1418/S. 350), legislation that would repeal the antitrust exemption…