The US Senate resumes business this week after a week-long recess with Senate Republicans hoping to begin to draft their version of health care reform legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has expressed doubt whether Republicans will have the minimum 50 votes necessary in the Senate to pass the bill. The most significant issues to be resolved appear to be how expansively the federal government should fund Medicaid, whether states may seek waivers from Affordable Care Act requirements such as the prohibition against insurers charging individuals with preexisting medical conditions who did not maintain continuous coverage more than healthy individuals, and how to structure tax credits to replace federal insurance subsidies under current law.

In a letter dated May 31, 2017, 184 Members of Congress urged the Department of Health and Human Services to protect “the ability of charitable assistance programs to provide premium and cost sharing assistance to patients enrolled in qualified health plans (QHPs) and other insurance products.” Review a copy of this letter.

The US Department of Justice announced that EClinicalWorks has agreed to pay $155 million to settle False Claims Act allegations that the company misrepresented the capabilities of its software and paid kickbacks to some customers for promoting its product. As part of the settlement, the company entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the HHS Office of Inspector General. The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability. Review information regarding the settlement.