Press Release

E&C to Markup Bills to Improve Patient Care, Reduce Health Care Fraud, & Modernize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve


WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), announced a markup for Thursday, September 13, 2018, at 10 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The committee will consider the following bills from #SubHealth:

H.R. 3891, to amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to clarify the authority of State Medicaid fraud and abuse control units to investigate and prosecute cases of Medicaid patient abuse and neglect in any setting, and for other purposes, authored by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), passed #SubHealth by voice vote last week.

  • H.R. 3891 will clarify the authority of State Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Units (MFCUs). This clarification will give these important units the authority to investigate and prosecute abuse and neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries in non-institutional settings as well as broaden the permissible use of federal MFCU funds to screen complaints or reports alleging potential abuse or neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries.

H.R. 5306, the Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources (EMPOWER) and Care Act, authored by #SubHealth Vice Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), passed #SubHealth, as amended, by voice vote last week.

  • H.R. 5306, as amended, will extend the Money Follows the Person Demonstration (MFP) program in Medicaid for an additional year. The MFP program provides resources to state Medicaid programs to help transition individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities from institutions back into local communities.

H.R. 3325, the Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act, authored by Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), passed #SubHealth, as amended, by voice vote last week.

  • H.R. 3325 will improve the delivery of care for children with complex medical conditions who receive care under Medicaid, by providing enhanced federal matching for a limited period of time for care coordination services. The bill builds upon the “health home” model that has been successful for helping state Medicaid programs improve care for populations under current law.

H.R. 6733, to amend title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act and title XVIII of the Social Security Act to prohibit group health plans, health insurance issuers, prescription drug plan sponsors, and Medicare Advantage organizations from limiting certain information on drug prices, authored by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA), Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), #SubOversight Vice Chairman Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), #SubHealth Chairman Burgess, and #SubHealth Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX), passed #SubHealth by voice vote last week.

  • Today, some health insurance contracts prevent pharmacists from informing patients when the cash price for their prescription costs less than their insurance cost-sharing arrangement unless the individual directly asks. As a result, customers may be paying more for their prescriptions. This language bans group health plans offered by employers and individual health insurance plans – as well as Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Plans – from restricting a pharmacy’s ability to inform a customer about the lower cost, out-of-pocket price for their prescription.

H.R. 6753, to amend title XI of the Social Security Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a public-private partnership for purposes of identifying health care waste, fraud, and abuse, authored by Chairman Walden and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), passed #SubHealth, as amended, by voice vote last week.

  • Currently operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership (HFPP) is a voluntary public-private partnership between the federal government, state agencies, law enforcement, private health insurance plans, and health care anti-fraud associations. The HFPP operates to detect and prevent health care fraud through public-private information sharing, streamlining analytical tools and data, and providing a forum for government and industry experts to exchange successful anti-fraud practices. The bill establishes explicit authority for HFPP and its activities, better equipping them to define the rules and responsibilities of its members and expand the scope of allowable activities to address more in the spectrum of fraud and abuse in our health care system.

The committee will consider the following bill from #SubEnergy:

H.R. 6511, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Reform Act, authored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), passed #SubEnergy by voice vote last week.

  • This bill seeks to preserve and upgrade the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) infrastructure by requiring the Secretary of Energy to carry out a pilot program to lease underutilized SPR capacity that will become available under current, mandated drawdowns.

“Five of these important, bipartisan priorities will help improve both the quality and cost of health care. We’ll also consider legislation that will ensure the nation’s SPR will be more capable of responding to oil supply emergencies for decades to come – representing an important step toward modernizing the Department of Energy’s long-term energy security mission,” said Chairman Walden. “I look forward to reviewing these bills on Thursday and advancing them to the full House of Representatives.”

A background memo, electronic copies of the legislation, and live stream of the markup can be found online here. Amendment text and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.


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