Week in Washington 041323

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


Judicial Rulings

In recent weeks, two major court cases involving health care have been released.

Abortion Pill 

A federal district judge ruled that the FDA’s approval of mifepristone was illegally approved created and that the approval of the drug should be removed. Yesterday the 5th Circuit of Appeals stayed parts of the decision and will allow the drug dispensed under the 2016 FDA regulation (e.g., the drug can only be dispensed under the supervision of a physician). Several pharmaceutical companies have voices opposing the ruling as it would open the door for other drugs or vaccines that are currently approved to be removed via court ruling. The case is expected to (rapidly) reach the Supreme Court given conflicting rulings.

Preventative Services

On March 30, 2023, a federal district judge (Braidwood decision) released a ruling that would end many of the currently required preventative services. Currently, all plans are required to cover, without cost-sharing, preventive services. The Braidwood ruling would remove services recommended by the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) since 2010. In other words, most plans would have the option of covering or  not covering with or without cost-sharing these benefits that were previously required to be offered without cost-sharing. It should be noted that 15 states would retain the existing preventative services requirements for their fully insured markets. The ruling is being appealed by the Federal Government. Additionally, the expectation is that the Federal government will need to release guidance as to how each plan should proceed while the case works its way through the court. For further details, please see Sabrina Corlette’s summary of the case.


The main item on Congress’ plate these days remains the discussion around raising the debt ceiling. The Washington Post ($) reports that there is appearing to be some crystallization that one of the requirements for Republicans is approval of work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries. Given the negative impact that work requirements have had on Medicaid enrollment, this position should be monitored.


Economists at the Federal Reserve are now expecting a mild recession later this year with recovery taking approximately two years. There is growing concern that the recent banking crisis will negatively impact the economy


CMS released the 2024 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) proposed rule. The rule proposes several changes including: 1) increase in operating payments for general acute care hospitals under IPPS of 2.8%. 2) LTCH standard payment rate to increase by 2.9%, adding new health equity impact measurements as well as other changes.

Previous editions: 

03/23/2023: Week in Washington

03/16/2023: Week in Washington

03/09/2023: Week in Washington

03/02/2023: Week in Washington


02/23/2023: Week in Washington

02/09/2023: Week in Washington

02/02/2023: Week in Washington

01/26/2023: Week in Washington

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