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June 27, 2006


June 27, 2006


House LHHS Bill Delayed by Minimum Wage Provision

According to the House majority leadership, the House version of the FY07 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill will not likely see floor action due to a controversial provision.  The offending provision is a clause that would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour by the year 2009.  House Majority Leader John Boehner is reported saying the House Republican leadership will “probably not” allow a bill which increases the minimum wage to be debated in the House. 


This means the LHHS bill likely will not be considered until a lame duck session after the fall elections.  The LHHS bill funds the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with the rest of the US Public Health Service. 


Physician Community Supports GME Payments in Non-Hospital Settings



The American Thoracic Society joined over 50 physician organizations in endorsing legislation that would explicitly allow teaching time in non-hospital settings to be included in the calculations for Medicare direct and indirect payments for graduate medical education.  The legislation (S. 2701/H.R. 4403) reverses recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy that has significantly reduced Medicare graduate medical education payments to hospitals for training conducted in non-hospital settings. 





House Passes Two Bills to Encourage Health Information Technology



Last week, the

House Ways
and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed separate legislation designed to increase the adoption of electronic medical records by physician, hospitals and other health providers.  Both bills encourage the development of national standards for data collections, storing and exchange.  Both bills also give statutory authority to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology that was created by executive order in 2004. 





The Ways and Means legislation would however dramatically increase the number of billing and procedure codes from 24,000 to nearly 200,000 by the year 2009.  This increase in codes would be necessary to support the anticipated data requirements of an electronic-based medical record system.



Points of Contact

Gary Ewart Senior Director, Government Relations
Nuala Moore Senior Legislative Representative
Joe Kirby DC Office Administrator