Dec. 17: “Serious, sometimes fatal infections have happened … ” and checking account balances have been known to shrink. Today is the deadline for comments on a proposed CMS rule that would require prescription drug manufacturers to include their list prices in direct-to-consumer television advertisements.
Dec. 19: Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie is faced with the massive task of reshaping how vets access care. The Mission Act, signed into law six months ago, ordered consolidation of community care programs and aims to give vets greater access to private-sector providers. In a joint hearing that was rescheduled from Dec. 6, the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs committees will assess the department's work to date on implementing the Mission Act.
Dec. 21: Will Congress and President Donald Trump avoid a government shutdown? Your guess is as good as ours. With D.C. now playing out like a reality TV show, all we can do is sit and wait for the next epic twist. Last week, Trump and Democratic leaders sparred on live TV in the Oval Office over $5 billion in funding for a wall on the Mexican border. Republican congressional leaders don't appear eager for a shutdown. “I understand it was a rather spirited meeting we all watched. But I'd still like to see a smooth ending here. I haven't given up hope that that's what we will have,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.
Any day: Nearly two years in the making, Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives expect to close their merger by Dec. 31. The combined organization—CommonSpirit Health—will be headquartered in Chicago and boast 140 hospitals, 150,000 employees and more than 700 care sites across 21 states. —Matthew Weinstock