Congress' so-called upper chamber will be busy this week. Senate hearings are set for 340B, opioids and the 2019 budget.
May 15: Both HHS' Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Government Accountability Office have been critical of how the 340B discount drug program is managed. The government watchdogs will likely continue to raise red flags at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing. The Office of Inspector General didn't pull any punches in July 2017 when it accused HHS of lax oversight, including "a lack of transparency that prevents accurate payments" and "lack of clarity regarding program rules that creates uncertainty and results in uneven program implementation and limited accountability."
May 15: While there's no healthcare expert on the witness list, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is set to "examine the state of the mobile app economy." And since we know mHealth is the wave of the future, this one might be interesting to watch in your spare time.
May 16: It wouldn't be a Week Ahead without an opioid item. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security will hear from a range of experts on how to stop "the flow of opioids, methamphetamines, and other dangerous drugs" into the U.S.
May 17: The Trump administration is asking for $34.7 billion to fund the National Institutes of Health in fiscal 2019, roughly unchanged from 2017. The Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will delve into the request at a budget hearing.