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What's at Stake at the Wilson Building?
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Despite budget season entering crunch time, health policy in the District is busier than ever. In both the Council and agencies, decisions are being made that more than ever require physician input.

On Thursday, the Committee on Health held its mark-up of the 2020 budget. This came a week after oversight hearings on the District Health Benefit Exchange and as the Council committees wrap up their budget oversight hearings. The Council now moves into passing their budget reports ahead of their end-of-May deadline to pass the 2020 budget. MSDC is closely watching the discussions and, as we have shared in previous issues of eNews, has shared in writing the health priorities for the District. Already some of those priorities, such as changing strict content-specific CME requirements for physician licensure and waiving prior authorization for medication assisted treatments in Medicaid plans, have been addressed by the Bowser Administration.

In addition this week, the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) held its third presentation on the DC Section 1115 Medicaid behavioral health transformation demonstration program. The demonstration will target all Medicaid State Plan eligible individuals diagnosed with a serious metal illness/serious emotional disturbance, or substance use disorder. The District, among other goals, is seeking approval to reimburse for the full continuum of care for individuals with these conditions. Currently DHCF is seeking comments on the program; you can see more information here: https://dhcf.dc.gov/1115-waiver-initiative. Physicians with comments or views are encouraged to contact dhcf.waiverinitiative@dc.gov and CC hay@msdc.org, or call the Medical Society to share your thoughts.

Finally, two new bills in the Council require physician input and comments to the Medical Society. First is B23-261, the Electronic MOST Registry Amendment Act, which would require DC health to create an electronic Medical order for Scope of Treatment registry. The second is B23-269, the Health Care Reporting Amendment Act, which would change the reporting requirement for health care providers subject to discipline or malpractice judgments (among other items) such that providers have 10 days to report the discipline to the Board of Medicine. Feel free to share any thought or comments to hay@msdc.org or 202-466-1800 x101.

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