Week in Washington 012722

Week in Washington is brought to you by Michael Cohen, PhD. Tune in each week to read the latest on healthcare policy and get a glimpse of what’s on the horizon.

Week in Washington



  • Build Back Better Back? Discussions around reviving some portion of Build Back Better have increased recently. For example, Finance Chair Wyden announced that he’ll be pushing for the first chunk of BBB to include health reforms (prescription drug pricing, Medicaid gap, ACA subsidies) and clean energy items. There’s no time line on discussions and there is some speculation that Supreme Court Hearings could delay the package.
  • Telehealth A strong coalition of telehealth stakeholders were pushing for a law that would give a two-year extension of the telehealth pandemic. Currently, telehealth waivers expire when the public health emergency ends.

ACA News

  • Exchange Open Enrollment Up — CMS reported that a record 14.5 million Americans selected a plan for individual market coverage in 2022 through the Exchange. This is about 20% higher than enrollment was at the end of Open Enrollment in 2021. Additional subsidies as a result of the American Rescue Plan and the relaxed SEP verification are two key reasons for the enrollment increases.
  • Mental Health ParityThe Biden Administration issued a report on Mental Health parity requirements. The tri-department report found that health plans and issuers were often not meeting the mental health and substance-abuse parity requirements. The expectation is that the tri-departments would be more vigilant in enforcing these requirements going forward.
  • RADV- CMS issued an updated report on 2018 risk adjustment data validation (RADV) results following a successful appeal.

Medicare News

Bloomberg law reported that CMS was investigating ways for Medicare to cover over the counter rapid tests.


COVID cases were down 20% this week, driven largely by decreases in the Northeast. Hospitalization numbers have also decreased.

Previous editions: 

01/20/2022: Week in Washington

01/13/2022: Week in Washington

01/06/2022: Week in Washington

12/16/2021: Week in Washington


12/09/2021: Week in Washington

12/02/2021: Week in Washington

11/18/2021: Week in Washington

11/11/2021: Week in Washington

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