Week in Washington 022323

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



Congress is back in session and starting to consider what legislative items to tackle. There are three areas of bipartisan agreement that potentially will allow some legislation to pass. These areas include:

  1. Provider Reimbursement – Discussions and lobbying continue over ways to increase provider payments in 2023 and 2024.
  2. PBMs – There is also a push for PBM transparency and reform ideas.
  3. Physician Owned Hospitals – Finally, there is legislation that would end the current ban on new physician-owned hospitals.

While bipartisan legislation remains unlikely this term, the above are areas that could garner some movement.

Debt Ceiling

There are still concerns on the issue of passing the debt ceiling, and disagreements among Republicans as to what changes to spending is necessary for lifting the debt ceiling continues. One idea being floated is large cuts to Medicaid (up to $2 trillion) and ACA ($600 billion) over the next 10 years according to the Washington Post.


  1. Medicaid Waiver – The Biden Administration announced forthcoming guidance to states on how they could use Medicaid waivers to cover substance abuse disorder treatments for incarcerated people. Recently, CMS approved a California Medicaid waiver to cover substance abuse treatment for Medicaid eligible people currently incarcerated and would like to use the waiver as a model for other states to emulate.
  2. Independent Dispute Resolution – CMS has halted the payment determinations as part of the No Surprises Act following a recent court order. Further guidance is expected on this issue.

Previous editions: 

02/09/2023: Week in Washington

02/02/2023: Week in Washington

01/26/2023: Week in Washington

01/19/2023: Week in Washington


01/12/2023: Week in Washington

01/05/2023: Week in Washington

12/15/2022: Week in Washington

12/08/2022: Week in Washington

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