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December 13, 2022 Health Law

Washington Health Law Summit highlights policy developments

The Supreme Court’s  momentous decisions on U.S. health care, the medical debt crisis and health equity were among the topics addressed by government officials and health law experts at the Washington Health Law Summit.

The ABA Washington Health Law Summit held Dec. 12-13 covered the latest legislative and policy developments.

The ABA Washington Health Law Summit held Dec. 12-13 covered the latest legislative and policy developments.

The conference, covering the latest legislative and policy developments as well as implementation of significant health care initiatives from key government agencies, was held Dec. 12-13 in Washington, D.C.

Representatives of the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services spoke about federal enforcement and regulatory activities, including Robert DeConti, assistant inspector general for legal affairs; Susan Edwards, chief of the industry guidance branch; Susan Gillin, chief of the administrative and civil remedies branch; and Lisa Re, assistant inspector general for legal affairs.

Other programs included:

“The Supreme Court and Health Care: A Momentous Term” featured a panel of experts reviewing the significant decisions of the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 term, including decisions on eligibility for disability benefits, discrimination in health plan coverage, recovery of personal injury settlements, calculation of disproportionate share hospital payments and the 340B program. They also assessed the implications for health care providers of Dobbs v. Jackson Health and the future of judicial deference to administrative decisions.

“Dobbs: Where Are We Now?” examined current litigation and legislation resulting from the Dobbs opinion and addressed relevant constitutional issues.

“Addressing Health Equity and Implicit Bias in Payment Reform Models” highlighted how the Biden administration has elevated equity as a top priority throughout numerous health policies and programs. Dr. Dora Hughes, chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center, provided an overview of the center’s Health Equity Initiative, as well as examples of equity-focused payment and care delivery models. Nalini Pande, managing director of Sappho Health Strategies, LLC, in Washington, D.C., described the policy and legal implications of CMS’ equity strategy.

“The Year in Managed Care – A Washington Update” focused specifically on CMS policies relating to Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care and qualified health plans.

“The Medical Debt Crisis, COVID-19 and Potential Legal Solutions” examined how medical debt is the most common type of collection reported on consumer credit records, and now even more people have incurred pandemic-related medical debt. A panel of experts, including Diane Johnston of the Legal Action Center in New York and Sudarsana Srinivasan of the New York State Office of the Attorney General, discussed the existing legal framework and provided insights into how to enforce and improve these laws.

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