Healthcare leaders want to know more than whether Congress will develop and pass legislative proposals that help the industry and, by extension, improve patient care. They want to know when, because the timing is critical.
Some of the issues facing executives have grown in importance since the pandemic, like the need for more funding for mental and behavioral health programs. Other problems that have grown more acute are the urgent financial assistance required by rural hospitals, and what happens to health equity efforts should they be forced to close, and workplace protections for healthcare staff. There are also threats to value-based care models and calls to continue incentives to broaden participation in accountable care organizations. And finally, there’s the need to reform the prior authorization process.
It’s a full plate for our legislative leaders and plenty is at stake for an industry whose spending contributes 20% to the gross domestic product. But with the midterm elections Nov. 8, the current session will be a short one as lawmakers return to their districts to campaign. Given the heightened sense of partisanship of both sides of the aisle, it raises the question: Will there be effective policy-making or will it devolve into stump speeches meant to appeal to the voting base back home?
Modern Healthcare has reported on these critical issues and will continue to cover them in terms of the action—or inaction—being taken at the federal level and how that affects providers, payers and patients. For now, please read the op-eds highlighting the priorities of some of our legislative leaders.