Week ahead: GOP targets Medicare fraud

House Republicans are pressing the Obama administration to crack down on Medicare fraud. They will hold a hearing this week to draw attention to the issue.

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will host a hearing on “Medicare Program Integrity: Screening Out Errors, Fraud, and Abuse.”

GOP lawmakers say the administration is not taking the issue seriously and have scolded the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for delaying a report on the agency’s new “Fraud Prevention System” meant to curb abuses.

In a prior House Oversight Committee hearing, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) berated Shantanu Agrawal, the new director of the Center for Program Integrity at the CMS, for what he said was the agency’s lack of commitment to fighting Medicare fraud.

He has also threatened to subpoena the CMS to compel the agency to release its fraud prevention report.

The Senate this week will hold hearings on ways to reduce sexual violence on college campuses, following a White House report and recommendations on the issue.

On Monday, the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight will hold a roundtable meeting to talk about campus sexual assaults.

The committee said the hearing would focus on “challenges and best practices” for dealing with sexual violence in higher education and how law enforcement should tackle the issue.

The roundtable meeting will also be a forum to discuss ways to ensure victims of rape have “confidence” in their educational institutions and the legal system.

Senators will also discuss those issues in a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold a second roundtable meeting to talk about what Congress should do to encourage medical innovation. The hearing will include representatives from federal health agencies and the medical industry.

As medical innovation is moving ahead at a rapid pace, the committee wants to know how it should protect patient privacy and still promote the use of aggregated medical data to improve healthcare.

The same day, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation will celebrate 25 years since its founding and will award House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) its Congressional Global Champion Award for her advocacy of HIV and AIDS victims.

On Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will markup the “Autism CARES Act.”

The House version of the bill has already been through the committee and gives the Department of Health and Human Services authority to coordinate federal autism research and services.

The Senate Special Committee on Aging on Wednesday will hold a hearing on brain injuries and diseases associated with aging.

The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus will hold a briefing on understanding dietary supplement labels that same day.

Off Capitol Hill, on Monday, American University’s law school will hold a discussion to talk about the scientific and legal challenges of assisted reproductive technologies such as the use of in vitro fertilization, and use of sperm and egg donors.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday will hold a forum on preventable child and maternal deaths.

On Thursday, the conservative Independent Women’s Forum will also hold a discussion on sexual violence and how serious the problem is on college campuses.


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