On Friday, February 1, CMS announced the final regulations to implement the Sunshine Act. Listening to the majority of comments with respect to the CME industry, CMS exempted payments provided as compensation for speaking at a continuing education if certain conditions are met—which are consistent with the ACCME’s accreditation standards and standards for commercial support. The final rule is available here.
The CME Coalition released this press release applauding CMS decision.
We believe that this decision recognizes the adequacy of current protections against bias in CME, and acknowledges CME’s special role in educating physicians and improving patient outcomes. By limiting CME support payments from the reporting rules required of direct physician payments, CMS has made it clear that pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and other commercial supporters should not be discouraged from underwriting accredited CME activities.
Lawmakers returned to Washington last week to kick-off a busy June session. In the House, members started the annual appropriations process, approving the Military Construction/VA bill (H.R. 2216) 421-4 on Monday, and the bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (H.R. 2217) in a 245-12 vote on Tuesday.
On Monday, the House approved a series of suspensions bills, including legislation (H.R. 1919) to create nationwide standards for the pharmaceutical supply chain. Members also voted 390-12 to reauthorize user fees for the approval of animal drugs (S. 622).
In the Senate, members began floor debate on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). On Thursday, Senators rejected a cloture motion on the Student Loan Affordability Act (S. 953) in a 51-46 vote. That same day, Senators voted 75-22 to end debate on a five-year farm bill, clearing way for passage of the legislation this week.
The House and Senate were in recess last week for the Memorial Day work period. Lawmakers returned to Washington today for a busy June session that will start with 2014 spending bills in the House, and work on a student loan bill in the Senate. The House will start the annual appropriations process, taking up the Military Construction/VA bill (H.R. 2216), and the bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (H.R. 2217).
The House will also take up several suspension bills, including two healthcare measures. The first (H.R. 1919) would create nationwide standards for the pharmaceutical supply chain. The second bill (S. 622) would reauthorize user fees for the approval of animal drugs. In the Senate, members are expected to consider the Student Loan Affordability Act (S. 953) to extend interest rates on federally backed student loans. Senators also hope to complete work on a $955 billion farm bill (S. 954).