OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Census figures on uninsured spark firestorm

Total eclipse of the heart (attack): HHS and a coalition of private groups announced new initiatives Tuesday that they hope will prevent 1 million heart attacks. The campaign, called “Million Hearts,” includes a $200 million investment from HHS as well as diverse contributions from advocacy groups and healthcare industries. Details are here.

Farm drugs: The Government Accountability Office said federal agencies have made only "limited progress" in addressing antibiotic use in food animals; urges better data collection, modified sampling sizes and assessment of previous efforts and their gaps.


Wednesday’s agenda

America’s Health Insurance Plans continues its weeklong conference marathon. Wednesday, the program shifts from Medicare to Medicaid. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials will outline their priorities for the program, and state Medicaid directors will discuss their experiences.

Also on the Medicaid front, Families USA is set to release new national and state-by-state data about the program. The group compared a handful of state Medicaid programs — including, notably, Texas, whose Medicaid program is pretty much the extent of Gov. Rick Perry’s healthcare record.

Members of the Health Leadership Council — a coalition of various healthcare companies — are holding a conference call to hammer out recommendations for the supercommittee.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several lawmakers will hold a Capitol Hill news conference to make the case for repealing healthcare reform’s employer mandate. Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs MORE (R-Utah) will be there, joined by Reps. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyPartial disengagement based on democratic characteristics: A new era of US-China economic relations Lobbying world March tariff increase would cost 934K jobs, advocacy group says MORE (R-La.), Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) and John BarrowJohn Jenkins BarrowRepublican wins Georgia secretary of state runoff to replace Kemp The most important runoff election is one you probably never heard of Our democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget MORE (D-Ga.).

The Senate Health committee will hold a hearing on securing the supply chain for prescription drugs. Food and Drug Administration deputy director Deborah Autor is slated to testify. Testimony and a webcast will be available here.

And the Congressional Children’s Caucus — led by Reps. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson Lee: Harris has 'taken us to the mountaintop' in Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermon Democratic attorneys criticize House Judiciary Democrats' questioning of Barr Steyer endorses reparations bill, commits to working with Jackson Lee MORE (D-Texas) and Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) — will hold a kickoff reception for congressional staff Wednesday evening.

State by state

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware has agreed to pay a $325,000 penalty to the state for problems experienced by customers in getting cardiac imaging tests, The Associated Press reports.

In addition to the fine, BCBSD agreed to join a first-of-its kind partnership with the American College of Cardiology that could hold nationwide potential. The insurer will underwrite the cost for Delaware cardiologists to access peer-to-peer counseling and online education provided by the college.


Regulatory review

FDA revamps its cancer drug division.

CMS provides state Medicaid directors guidance on healthcare law incentives to get beneficiaries into home- and community-based settings.

Department of Justice lawyer Leon Rodriguez was appointed director of HHS's Office for Civil Rights, which enforces civil rights and health privacy rights. 

Bill tracker

Dia-bee-tus: Actor and Liberty Medical pitchman Wilford Brimley joins lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday to pitch a secure Medicare card. The Medicare Common Access Card Act is sponsored by Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenElection security advocates see strong ally in Harris OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Watchdog report raises new questions for top Interior lawyer | Senate Democrats ask Trump to withdraw controversial public lands nominee | Border wall water use threatens endangered species, environmentalists say Watchdog report raises new questions for top Interior lawyer MORE (D-Ore.) and Mark KirkMark Steven KirkLiberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Biden campaign releases video to explain 'what really happened in Ukraine' MORE (R-Ill.) and Reps. Jim GerlachJames (Jim) GerlachThe business case for employer to employee engagement 2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline MORE (R-Pa.) and Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerTrump threatens to double down on Portland in other major cities Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT US attorney calls for investigation into unmarked federal agents arresting protesters in Oregon MORE (D-Ore.).

Medical payment manager Emdeon urged the deficit supercommittee to embrace the Medicare and Medicaid FAST Act (S. 1251), which seeks to improve data-sharing in federal programs to better identify fraud and prevent overpayments.

Fraud fight

CMS should use surety bonds to recover durable medical supply overpayments, the HHS Office of Inspector General said.

Maxim Healthcare Services, one of the nation's leading home healthcare providers, agreed to pay $150 million to settle charges of falsely billing Medicaid and the Veterans Affairs program.

Reading list


The most readable — and funniest — explanation of the new ICD-10 medical coding system we've seen so far, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal.

The handful of presidential debate attendees who cheered letting uninsured people die didn't do the Tea Party's image much good, writes Talking Points Memo.

What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Romney defends Massachusetts healthcare law at Tea Party debate

IBM's Watson supercomputer to give medical diagnoses

Sens. Sanders and Paul clash over poverty and health


News bites: Regulators double down on food safety

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com / 202-628-8527

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch.