Feb. 5: Picking up on a set of hearings from last year, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee continues its deep dive on healthcare costs. This time, the panel will look at how primary care impacts costs and quality.
Feb. 5: A Senate appropriations subcommittee will drill down on how the Veterans Affairs Department is doing in retooling its EHR. The department entered into a $10 billion no-bid contract with Cerner Corp. last May. The hearing comes a few weeks after the Senate confirmed former Ernst & Young executive James Gfrerer as the VA’s chief information officer. Sen. Jon Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, wrote Gfrerer in mid-January saying, “EHR modernization cannot be allowed to fail.”
Feb. 6: Two scheduled congressional hearings illustrate the seismic shift in power in the House of Representatives. Holding true to the partisan divide gripping D.C., the House Energy and Commerce Committee will tackle litigation challenging the Affordable Care Act in a hearing titled “Texas v. U.S.: The Republican lawsuit and its impacts on Americans with pre-existing conditions.” Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on preventing gun violence, the first hearing on the topic in eight years, committee Chairman Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) boasted in a tweet last week, adding that “the House is finally taking action to prevent gun violence.”