A new employee started today at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Chiquita
Brooks-LaSure is confirmed as the CMS Administrator. Administrator Brooks-LaSure worked as a senior official at CMS during the Obama administration. Administrator Brooks-LaSure is the first Black Administrator of the agency. We look forward to working with her on value programs and physician independence.
Slew of Bi-Partisan Mental Health Bills Pass in the House
Twelve mental health and family bills passed 349-74 in the House and have been successfully
making their way through the Senate. According to the American Psychiatric Association, this
package of bills would help prevent suicide, expand diagnosis and treatment for substance use
disorders, increase mental health screenings in and out of the emergency room, and further
support patients with mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
We will keep an eye on these bills as they move into law and update you on specifics as they
become more timely.
Senate Finance Committee Hearing on COVID Flexibilities Revolves Around Telehealth
On May 19th, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on COVID flexibilities, which largely
focused on telehealth. Our own Dr. Kisha Davis, Aledade Vice President of Health Equity, testified
on behalf of AAFP. While there was not a consensus on a specific path forward, there was
unilateral agreement from witnesses and Senators alike that going back to pre-pandemic rules
would be a mistake. We will continue to advocate for telehealth policies that enable physicians to both provide in-person and telehealth care and foster strong primary care relationships. The
consensus amongst observers, after the hearing, is that Congress is likely to extend the status
quo for one to two years before addressing permanent policies.
New Policy Team Member
We are welcoming Hannah Eichelbaum to the Policy Team for the summer. She is a recent
graduate from Tulane University and is based in New Orleans, LA. If you hear from Hannah for the first time, please join us in welcoming her to the team.