Health Hippo: Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003
TITLE X–MEDICAID AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
SEC. 1001. MEDICAID DISPROPORTIONATE SHARE HOSPITAL (DSH) PAYMENTS.
(a) TEMPORARY INCREASE- Section 1923(f)(3) (42 U.S.C. 1396r-4(f)(3)) is amended–
(1) in subparagraph (A), by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting subparagraphs (B) and (C); and
(2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:
(C) SPECIAL, TEMPORARY INCREASE IN ALLOTMENTS ON A ONE-TIME, NON-CUMULATIVE BASIS- The DSH allotment for any State (other than a State with a DSH allotment determined under paragraph (5))–
(i) for fiscal year 2004 is equal to 116 percent of the DSH allotment for the State for fiscal year 2003 under this paragraph, notwithstanding subparagraph (B); and
(ii) for each succeeding fiscal year is equal to the DSH allotment for the State for fiscal year 2004 or, in the case of fiscal years beginning with the fiscal year specified in subparagraph (D) for that State, the DSH allotment for the State for the previous fiscal year increased by the percentage change in the consumer price index for all urban consumers (all items; U.S. city average), for the previous fiscal year.
(D) FISCAL YEAR SPECIFIED- For purposes of subparagraph (C)(ii), the fiscal year specified in this subparagraph for a State is the first fiscal year for which the Secretary estimates that the DSH allotment for that State will equal (or no longer exceed) the DSH allotment for that State under the law as in effect before the date of the enactment of this subparagraph..
(b) INCREASE IN FLOOR FOR TREATMENT AS A LOW DSH STATE- Section 1923(f)(5) (42 U.S.C. 1396r-4(f)(5)) is amended–
(1) in the paragraph heading, by striking EXTREMELY;
(2) by striking In the case of and inserting the following:
(A) FOR FISCAL YEARS 2001 THROUGH 2003 FOR EXTREMELY LOW DSH STATES- In the case of;
(3) by inserting before fiscal year 2004 after In subsequent years; and
(4) by adding at the end the following:
(B) FOR FISCAL YEAR 2004 AND SUBSEQUENT FISCAL YEARS- In the case of a State in which the total expenditures under the State plan (including Federal and State shares) for disproportionate share hospital adjustments under this section for fiscal year 2000, as reported to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as of August 31, 2003, is greater than 0 but less than 3 percent of the States total amount of expenditures under the State plan for medical assistance during the fiscal year, the DSH allotment for the State with respect to–
(i) fiscal year 2004 shall be the DSH allotment for the State for fiscal year 2003 increased by 16 percent;
(ii) each succeeding fiscal year before fiscal year 2009 shall be the DSH allotment for the State for the previous fiscal year increased by 16 percent; and
(iii) fiscal year 2009 and any subsequent fiscal year, shall be the DSH allotment for the State for the previous year subject to an increase for inflation as provided in paragraph (3)(A)..
(c) ALLOTMENT ADJUSTMENT- Section 1923(f) (42 U.S.C. 1396r-4(f)) is amended–
(1) in paragraph (3)(A), by striking The DSH and inserting Except as provided in paragraph (6), the DSH;
(2) by redesignating paragraph (6) as paragraph (7); and
(3) by inserting after paragraph (5) the following:
(6) ALLOTMENT ADJUSTMENT- Only with respect to fiscal year 2004 or 2005, if a statewide waiver under section 1115 is revoked or terminated before the end of either such fiscal year and there is no DSH allotment for the State, the Secretary shall–
(A) permit the State whose waiver was revoked or terminated to submit an amendment to its State plan that would describe the methodology to be used by the State (after the effective date of such revocation or termination) to identify and make payments to disproportionate share hospitals, including childrens hospitals and institutions for mental diseases or other mental health facilities (other than State-owned institutions or facilities), on the basis of the proportion of patients served by such hospitals that are low-income patients with special needs; and
(B) provide for purposes of this subsection for computation of an appropriate DSH allotment for the State for fiscal year 2004 or 2005 (or both) that would not exceed the amount allowed under paragraph (3)(B)(ii) and that does not result in greater expenditures under this title than would have been made if such waiver had not been revoked or terminated.
In determining the amount of an appropriate DSH allotment under subparagraph (B) for a State, the Secretary shall take into account the level of DSH expenditures for the State for the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year in which the waiver commenced..
(d) INCREASED REPORTING AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS TO ENSURE THE APPROPRIATE USE OF MEDICAID DSH PAYMENT ADJUSTMENTS- Section 1923 (42 U.S.C. 1396r-4) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
(j) ANNUAL REPORTS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS REGARDING PAYMENT ADJUSTMENTS- With respect to fiscal year 2004 and each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary shall require a State, as a condition of receiving a payment under section 1903(a)(1) with respect to a payment adjustment made under this section, to do the following:
(1) REPORT- The State shall submit an annual report that includes the following:
(A) An identification of each disproportionate share hospital that received a payment adjustment under this section for the preceding fiscal year and the amount of the payment adjustment made to such hospital for the preceding fiscal year.
(B) Such other information as the Secretary determines necessary to ensure the appropriateness of the payment adjustments made under this section for the preceding fiscal year.
(2) INDEPENDENT CERTIFIED AUDIT- The State shall annually submit to the Secretary an independent certified audit that verifies each of the following:
(A) The extent to which hospitals in the State have reduced their uncompensated care costs to reflect the total amount of claimed expenditures made under this section.
(B) Payments under this section to hospitals that comply with the requirements of subsection (g).
(C) Only the uncompensated care costs of providing inpatient hospital and outpatient hospital services to individuals described in paragraph (1)(A) of such subsection are included in the calculation of the hospital-specific limits under such subsection.
(D) The State included all payments under this title, including supplemental payments, in the calculation of such hospital-specific limits.
(E) The State has separately documented and retained a record of all of its costs under this title, claimed expenditures under this title, uninsured costs in determining payment adjustments under this section, and any payments made on behalf of the uninsured from payment adjustments under this section..
(e) CLARIFICATION REGARDING NON-REGULATION OF TRANSFERS-
(1) IN GENERAL- Nothing in section 1903(w) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396b(w)) shall be construed by the Secretary as prohibiting a States use of funds as the non-Federal share of expenditures under title XIX of such Act where such funds are transferred from or certified by a publicly-owned regional medical center located in another State and described in paragraph (2), so long as the Secretary determines that such use of funds is proper and in the interest of the program under title XIX.
(2) CENTER DESCRIBED- A center described in this paragraph is a publicly-owned regional medical center that–
(A) provides level 1 trauma and burn care services;
(B) provides level 3 neonatal care services;
(C) is obligated to serve all patients, regardless of State of origin;
(D) is located within a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) that includes at least 3 States, including the States described in paragraph (1);
(E) serves as a tertiary care provider for patients residing within a 125 mile radius; and
(F) meets the criteria for a disproportionate share hospital under section 1923 of such Act in at least one State other than the one in which the center is located.
SEC. 1002. CLARIFICATION OF INCLUSION OF INPATIENT DRUG PRICES CHARGED TO CERTAIN PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN THE BEST PRICE EXEMPTIONS FOR THE MEDICAID DRUG REBATE PROGRAM.
(a) IN GENERAL- Section 1927(c)(1)(C)(i)(I) (42 U.S.C. 1396r-8(c)(1)(C)(i)(I)) is amended by inserting before the semicolon the following: (including inpatient prices charged to hospitals described in section 340B(a)(4)(L) of the Public Health Service Act).
(b) ANTI-DIVERSION PROTECTION- Section 1927(c)(1)(C) (42 U.S.C. 1396r-8(c)(1)(C)) is amended by adding at the end the following:
(iii) APPLICATION OF AUDITING AND RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS- With respect to a covered entity described in section 340B(a)(4)(L) of the Public Health Service Act, any drug purchased for inpatient use shall be subject to the auditing and recordkeeping requirements described in section 340B(a)(5)(C) of the Public Health Service Act..
SEC. 1003. EXTENSION OF MORATORIUM.
(a) IN GENERAL- Section 6408(a)(3) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, as amended by section 13642 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 and section 4758 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, is amended–
(1) by striking until December 31, 2002, and
(2) by striking Kent Community Hospital Complex in Michigan or.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATES-
(1) PERMANENT EXTENSION- The amendment made by subsection (a)(1) shall take effect as if included in the amendment made by section 4758 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
(2) MODIFICATION- The amendment made by subsection (a)(2) shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 1011. FEDERAL REIMBURSEMENT OF EMERGENCY HEALTH SERVICES FURNISHED TO UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS.
(a) TOTAL AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR ALLOTMENT-
(1) IN GENERAL- Out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, there are appropriated to the Secretary $250,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008 for the purpose of making allotments under this section for payments to eligible providers in States described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b).
(2) AVAILABILITY- Funds appropriated under paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.
(b) STATE ALLOTMENTS-
(1) BASED ON PERCENTAGE OF UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Out of the amount appropriated under subsection (a) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall use $167,000,000 of such amount to make allotments for such fiscal year in accordance with subparagraph (B).
(B) FORMULA- The amount of the allotment for payments to eligible providers in each State for a fiscal year shall be equal to the product of–
(i) the total amount available for allotments under this paragraph for the fiscal year; and
(ii) the percentage of undocumented aliens residing in the State as compared to the total number of such aliens residing in all States, as determined by the Statistics Division of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, as of January 2003, based on the 2000 decennial census.
(2) BASED ON NUMBER OF UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN APPREHENSION STATES-
(A) IN GENERAL- Out of the amount appropriated under subsection (a) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall use $83,000,000 of such amount to make allotments, in addition to amounts allotted under paragraph (1), for such fiscal year for each of the 6 States with the highest number of undocumented alien apprehensions for such fiscal year.
(B) DETERMINATION OF ALLOTMENTS- The amount of the allotment for each State described in subparagraph (A) for a fiscal year shall be equal to the product of–
(i) the total amount available for allotments under this paragraph for the fiscal year; and
(ii) the percentage of undocumented alien apprehensions in the State in that fiscal year as compared to the total of such apprehensions for all such States for the preceding fiscal year.
(C) DATA- For purposes of this paragraph, the highest number of undocumented alien apprehensions for a fiscal year shall be based on the apprehension rates for the 4-consecutive-quarter period ending before the beginning of the fiscal year for which information is available for undocumented aliens in such States, as reported by the Department of Homeland Security.
(c) USE OF FUNDS-
(1) AUTHORITY TO MAKE PAYMENTS- From the allotments made for a State under subsection (b) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall pay the amount (subject to the total amount available from such allotments) determined under paragraph (2) directly to eligible providers located in the State for the provision of eligible services to aliens described in paragraph (5) to the extent that the eligible provider was not otherwise reimbursed (through insurance or otherwise) for such services during that fiscal year.
(2) DETERMINATION OF PAYMENT AMOUNTS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), the payment amount determined under this paragraph shall be an amount determined by the Secretary that is equal to the lesser of–
(i) the amount that the provider demonstrates was incurred for the provision of such services; or
(ii) amounts determined under a methodology established by the Secretary for purposes of this subsection.
(B) PRO-RATA REDUCTION- If the amount of funds allotted to a State under subsection (b) for a fiscal year is insufficient to ensure that each eligible provider in that State receives the amount of payment calculated under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall reduce that amount of payment with respect to each eligible provider to ensure that the entire amount allotted to the State for that fiscal year is paid to such eligible providers.
(3) METHODOLOGY- In establishing a methodology under paragraph (2)(A)(ii), the Secretary–
(A) may establish different methodologies for types of eligible providers;
(B) may base payments for hospital services on estimated hospital charges, adjusted to estimated cost, through the application of hospital-specific cost-to-charge ratios;
(C) shall provide for the election by a hospital to receive either payments to the hospital for–
(i) hospital and physician services; or
(ii) hospital services and for a portion of the on-call payments made by the hospital to physicians; and
(D) shall make quarterly payments under this section to eligible providers.
If a hospital makes the election under subparagraph (C)(i), the hospital shall pass on payments for services of a physician to the physician and may not charge any administrative or other fee with respect to such payments.
(4) LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS- Payments made to eligible providers in a State from allotments made under subsection (b) for a fiscal year may only be used for costs incurred in providing eligible services to aliens described in paragraph (5).
(5) ALIENS DESCRIBED- For purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2), aliens described in this paragraph are any of the following:
(A) Undocumented aliens.
(B) Aliens who have been paroled into the United States at a United States port of entry for the purpose of receiving eligible services.
(C) Mexican citizens permitted to enter the United States for not more than 72 hours under the authority of a biometric machine readable border crossing identification card (also referred to as a laser visa) issued in accordance with the requirements of regulations prescribed under section 101(a)(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(6)).
(d) APPLICATIONS; ADVANCE PAYMENTS-
(1) DEADLINE FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF APPLICATION PROCESS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than September 1, 2004, the Secretary shall establish a process under which eligible providers located in a State may request payments under subsection (c).
(B) INCLUSION OF MEASURES TO COMBAT FRAUD AND ABUSE- The Secretary shall include in the process established under subparagraph (A) measures to ensure that inappropriate, excessive, or fraudulent payments are not made from the allotments determined under subsection (b), including certification by the eligible provider of the veracity of the payment request.
(2) ADVANCE PAYMENT; RETROSPECTIVE ADJUSTMENT- The process established under paragraph (1) may provide for making payments under this section for each quarter of a fiscal year on the basis of advance estimates of expenditures submitted by applicants for such payments and such other investigation as the Secretary may find necessary, and for making reductions or increases in the payments as necessary to adjust for any overpayment or underpayment for prior quarters of such fiscal year.
(e) DEFINITIONS- In this section:
(1) ELIGIBLE PROVIDER- The term eligible provider means a hospital, physician, or provider of ambulance services (including an Indian Health Service facility whether operated by the Indian Health Service or by an Indian tribe or tribal organization).
(2) ELIGIBLE SERVICES- The term eligible services means health care services required by the application of section 1867 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395dd), and related hospital inpatient and outpatient services and ambulance services (as defined by the Secretary).
(3) HOSPITAL- The term hospital has the meaning given such term in section 1861(e) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(e)), except that such term shall include a critical access hospital (as defined in section 1861(mm)(1) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(mm)(1)).
(4) PHYSICIAN- The term physician has the meaning given that term in section 1861(r) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(r)).
(5) INDIAN TRIBE; TRIBAL ORGANIZATION- The terms Indian tribe and tribal organization have the meanings given such terms in section 4 of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (25 U.S.C. 1603).
SEC. 1012. COMMISSION ON SYSTEMIC INTEROPERABILITY.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT- The Secretary shall establish a commission to be known as the Commission on Systemic Interoperability (in this section referred to as the Commission).
(1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall develop a comprehensive strategy for the adoption and implementation of health care information technology standards, that includes a timeline and prioritization for such adoption and implementation.
(2) CONSIDERATIONS- In developing the comprehensive health care information technology strategy under paragraph (1), the Commission shall consider–
(A) the costs and benefits of the standards, both financial impact and quality improvement;
(B) the current demand on industry resources to implement this Act and other electronic standards, including HIPAA standards; and
(C) the most cost-effective and efficient means for industry to implement the standards.
(3) NONINTERFERENCE- In carrying out this section, the Commission shall not interfere with any standards development of adoption processes underway in the private or public sector and shall not replicate activities related to such standards or the national health information infrastructure underway within the Department of Health and Human Services.
(4) REPORT- Not later than October 31, 2005, the Commission shall submit to the Secretary and to Congress a report describing the strategy developed under paragraph (1), including an analysis of the matters considered under paragraph (2).
(1) NUMBER AND APPOINTMENT- The Commission shall be composed of 11 members appointed as follows:
(A) The President shall appoint three members, one of whom the President shall designate as Chairperson.
(B) The Majority Leader of the Senate shall appoint two members.
(C) The Minority Leader of the Senate shall appoint two members.
(D) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint two members.
(E) The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint two members.
(2) QUALIFICATIONS- The membership of the Commission shall include individuals with national recognition for their expertise in health finance and economics, health plans and integrated delivery systems, reimbursement of health facilities, practicing physicians, practicing pharmacists, and other providers of health services, health care technology and information systems, and other related fields, who provide a mix of different professionals, broad geographic representation, and a balance between urban and rural representatives.
(d) TERMS- Each member shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.
(1) RATES OF PAY- Members shall each be paid at a rate not to exceed the daily equivalent of the rate of basic pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule for each day (including travel time) during which they are engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the Commission.
(2) PROHIBITION OF COMPENSATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES- Members of the Commission who are full-time officers or employees of the United States or Members of Congress may not receive additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of their service on the Commission.
(3) TRAVEL EXPENSES- Each member shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.
(f) QUORUM- A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings.
(g) DIRECTOR AND STAFF OF COMMISSION; EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS-
(1) DIRECTOR- The Commission shall have a Director who shall be appointed by the Chairperson. The Director shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the rate of basic pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule.
(2) STAFF- With the approval of the Commission, the Director may appoint and fix the pay of such additional personnel as the Director considers appropriate.
(3) APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN CIVIL SERVICE LAWS- The Director and staff of the Commission may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of that title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that an individual so appointed may not receive pay in excess of level IV of the Executive Schedule.
(4) EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS- With the approval of the Commission, the Director may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.
(5) STAFF OF FEDERAL AGENCIES- Upon request of the Chairperson, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to assist it in carrying out its duties under this Act.
(h) POWERS OF COMMISSION-
(1) HEARINGS AND SESSIONS- The Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out this Act, hold hearings, sit and act at times and places, take testimony, and receive evidence as the Commission considers appropriate.
(2) POWERS OF MEMBERS AND AGENTS- Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this section.
(3) OBTAINING OFFICIAL DATA- The Commission may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this Act. Upon request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of that department or agency shall furnish that information to the Commission.
(4) GIFTS, BEQUESTS, AND DEVISES- The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts, bequests, or devises of services or property, both real and personal, for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Commission. Gifts, bequests, or devises of money and proceeds from sales of other property received as gifts, bequests, or devises shall be deposited in the Treasury and shall be available for disbursement upon order of the Commission. For purposes of Federal income, estate, and gift taxes, property accepted under this subsection shall be considered as a gift, bequest, or devise to the United States.
(5) MAILS- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.
(6) ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES- Upon the request of the Commission, the Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, the administrative support services necessary for the Commission to carry out its responsibilities under this Act.
(7) CONTRACT AUTHORITY- The Commission may enter into contracts or make other arrangements, as may be necessary for the conduct of the work of the Commission (without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5)).
(i) TERMINATION- The Commission shall terminate on 30 days after submitting its report pursuant to subsection (b)(3).
SEC. 1013. RESEARCH ON OUTCOMES OF HEALTH CARE ITEMS AND SERVICES.
(a) RESEARCH, DEMONSTRATIONS, AND EVALUATIONS-
(1) IMPROVEMENT OF EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY-
(A) IN GENERAL- To improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care delivered pursuant to the programs established under titles XVIII, XIX, and XXI of the Social Security Act, the Secretary acting through the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (in this section referred to as the Director), shall conduct and support research to meet the priorities and requests for scientific evidence and information identified by such programs with respect to–
(i) the outcomes, comparative clinical effectiveness, and appropriateness of health care items and services (including prescription drugs); and
(ii) strategies for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of such programs, including the ways in which such items and services are organized, managed, and delivered under such programs.
(B) SPECIFICATION- To respond to priorities and information requests in subparagraph (A), the Secretary may conduct or support, by grant, contract, or interagency agreement, research, demonstrations, evaluations, technology assessments, or other activities, including the provision of technical assistance, scientific expertise, or methodological assistance.
(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish a process to develop priorities that will guide the research, demonstrations, and evaluation activities undertaken pursuant to this section.
(B) INITIAL LIST- Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish an initial list of priorities for research related to health care items and services (including prescription drugs).
(C) PROCESS- In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary–
(i) shall ensure that there is broad and ongoing consultation with relevant stakeholders in identifying the highest priorities for research, demonstrations, and evaluations to support and improve the programs established under titles XVIII, XIX, and XXI of the Social Security Act;
(ii) may include health care items and services which impose a high cost on such programs, as well as those which may be underutilized or overutilized and which may significantly improve the prevention, treatment, or cure of diseases and conditions (including chronic conditions) which impose high direct or indirect costs on patients or society; and
(iii) shall ensure that the research and activities undertaken pursuant to this section are responsive to the specified priorities and are conducted in a timely manner.
(3) EVALUATION AND SYNTHESIS OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE-
(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall–
(i) evaluate and synthesize available scientific evidence related to health care items and services (including prescription drugs) identified as priorities in accordance with paragraph (2) with respect to the comparative clinical effectiveness, outcomes, appropriateness, and provision of such items and services (including prescription drugs);
(ii) identify issues for which existing scientific evidence is insufficient with respect to such health care items and services (including prescription drugs);
(iii) disseminate to prescription drug plans and MA-PD plans under part D of title XVIII of the Social Security Act, other health plans, and the public the findings made under clauses (i) and (ii); and
(iv) work in voluntary collaboration with public and private sector entities to facilitate the development of new scientific knowledge regarding health care items and services (including prescription drugs).
(B) INITIAL RESEARCH- The Secretary shall complete the evaluation and synthesis of the initial research required by the priority list developed under paragraph (2)(B) not later than 18 months after the development of such list.
(i) IN GENERAL- To enhance patient safety and the quality of health care, the Secretary shall make available and disseminate in appropriate formats to prescription drugs plans under part D, and MA-PD plans under part C, of title XVIII of the Social Security Act, other health plans, and the public the evaluations and syntheses prepared pursuant to subparagraph (A) and the findings of research conducted pursuant to paragraph (1). In carrying out this clause the Secretary, in order to facilitate the availability of such evaluations and syntheses or findings at every decision point in the health care system, shall–
(I) present such evaluations and syntheses or findings in a form that is easily understood by the individuals receiving health care items and services (including prescription drugs) under such plans and periodically assess that the requirements of this subclause have been met; and
(II) provide such evaluations and syntheses or findings and other relevant information through easily accessible and searchable electronic mechanisms, and in hard copy formats as appropriate.
(ii) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this section shall be construed as–
(I) affecting the authority of the Secretary or the Commissioner of Food and Drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Public Health Service Act; or
(II) conferring any authority referred to in subclause (I) to the Director.
(D) ACCOUNTABILITY- In carrying out this paragraph, the Secretary shall implement activities in a manner that–
(i) makes publicly available all scientific evidence relied upon and the methodologies employed, provided such evidence and method are not protected from public disclosure by section 1905 of title 18, United States Code, or other applicable law so that the results of the research, analyses, or syntheses can be evaluated or replicated; and
(ii) ensures that any information needs and unresolved issues identified in subparagraph (A)(ii) are taken into account in priority-setting for future research conducted by the Secretary.
(A) IN GENERAL- In making use of administrative, clinical, and program data and information developed or collected with respect to the programs established under titles XVIII, XIX, and XXI of the Social Security Act, for purposes of carrying out the requirements of this section or the activities authorized under title IX of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 299 et seq.), such data and information shall be protected in accordance with the confidentiality requirements of title IX of the Public Health Service Act.
(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this section shall be construed to require or permit the disclosure of data provided to the Secretary that is otherwise protected from disclosure under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, section 1905 of title 18, United States Code, or other applicable law.
(5) EVALUATIONS- The Secretary shall conduct and support evaluations of the activities carried out under this section to determine the extent to which such activities have had an effect on outcomes and utilization of health care items and services.
(6) IMPROVING INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, PATIENTS, AND POLICYMAKERS- Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall identify options that could be undertaken in voluntary collaboration with private and public entities (as appropriate) for the–
(A) provision of more timely information through the programs established under titles XVIII, XIX, and XXI of the Social Security Act, regarding the outcomes and quality of patient care, including clinical and patient-reported outcomes, especially with respect to interventions and conditions for which clinical trials would not be feasible or raise ethical concerns that are difficult to address;
(B) acceleration of the adoption of innovation and quality improvement under such programs; and
(C) development of management tools for the programs established under titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act, and with respect to the programs established under such titles, assess the feasibility of using administrative or claims data, to–
(i) improve oversight by State officials;
(ii) support Federal and State initiatives to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of services provided under such programs; and
(iii) provide a basis for estimating the fiscal and coverage impact of Federal or State program and policy changes.
(1) DISCLAIMER- In carrying out this section, the Director shall–
(A) not mandate national standards of clinical practice or quality health care standards; and
(B) include in any recommendations resulting from projects funded and published by the Director, a corresponding reference to the prohibition described in subparagraph (A).
(2) REQUIREMENT FOR IMPLEMENTATION- Research, evaluation, and communication activities performed pursuant to this section shall reflect the principle that clinicians and patients should have the best available evidence upon which to make choices in health care items and services, in providers, and in health care delivery systems, recognizing that patient subpopulations and patient and physician preferences may vary.
(3) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this section shall be construed to provide the Director with authority to mandate a national standard or require a specific approach to quality measurement and reporting.
(c) RESEARCH WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATION- The Secretary, acting through the Director, may conduct or support research with respect to improving methods of disseminating information in accordance with subsection (a)(3)(C).
(d) LIMITATION ON CMS- The Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may not use data obtained in accordance with this section to withhold coverage of a prescription drug.
(e) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2004, and such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year thereafter.
SEC. 1014. HEALTH CARE THAT WORKS FOR ALL AMERICANS: CITIZENS HEALTH CARE WORKING GROUP.
(a) FINDINGS- Congress finds the following:
(1) In order to improve the health care system, the American public must engage in an informed national public debate to make choices about the services they want covered, what health care coverage they want, and how they are willing to pay for coverage.
(2) More than a trillion dollars annually is spent on the health care system, yet–
(A) 41,000,000 Americans are uninsured;
(B) insured individuals do not always have access to essential, effective services to improve and maintain their health; and
(C) employers, who cover over 170,000,000 Americans, find providing coverage increasingly difficult because of rising costs and double digit premium increases.
(3) Despite increases in medical care spending that are greater than the rate of inflation, population growth, and Gross Domestic Product growth, there has not been a commensurate improvement in our health status as a nation.
(4) Health care costs for even just 1 member of a family can be catastrophic, resulting in medical bills potentially harming the economic stability of the entire family.
(5) Common life occurrences can jeopardize the ability of a family to retain private coverage or jeopardize access to public coverage.
(6) Innovations in health care access, coverage, and quality of care, including the use of technology, have often come from States, local communities, and private sector organizations, but more creative policies could tap this potential.
(7) Despite our Nations wealth, the health care system does not provide coverage to all Americans who want it.
(b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this section are–
(1) to provide for a nationwide public debate about improving the health care system to provide every American with the ability to obtain quality, affordable health care coverage; and
(2) to provide for a vote by Congress on the recommendations that result from the debate.
(c) ESTABLISHMENT- The Secretary, acting through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, shall establish an entity to be known as the Citizens Health Care Working Group (referred to in this section as the Working Group).
(1) NUMBER AND APPOINTMENT- The Working Group shall be composed of 15 members. One member shall be the Secretary. The Comptroller General of the United States shall appoint 14 members.
(A) IN GENERAL- The membership of the Working Group shall include–
(i) consumers of health services that represent those individuals who have not had insurance within 2 years of appointment, that have had chronic illnesses, including mental illness, are disabled, and those who receive insurance coverage through medicare and medicaid; and
(ii) individuals with expertise in financing and paying for benefits and access to care, business and labor perspectives, and providers of health care.
The membership shall reflect a broad geographic representation and a balance between urban and rural representatives.
(B) PROHIBITED APPOINTMENTS- Members of the Working Group shall not include Members of Congress or other elected government officials (Federal, State, or local). Individuals appointed to the Working Group shall not be paid employees or representatives of associations or advocacy organizations involved in the health care system.
(e) PERIOD OF APPOINTMENT- Members of the Working Group shall be appointed for a life of the Working Group. Any vacancies shall not affect the power and duties of the Working Group but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(f) DESIGNATION OF THE CHAIRPERSON- Not later than 15 days after the date on which all members of the Working Group have been appointed under subsection (d)(1), the Comptroller General shall designate the chairperson of the Working Group.
(g) SUBCOMMITTEES- The Working Group may establish subcommittees if doing so increases the efficiency of the Working Group in completing its tasks.
(1) HEARINGS- Not later than 90 days after the date of the designation of the chairperson under subsection (f), the Working Group shall hold hearings to examine–
(A) the capacity of the public and private health care systems to expand coverage options;
(B) the cost of health care and the effectiveness of care provided at all stages of disease;
(C) innovative State strategies used to expand health care coverage and lower health care costs;
(D) local community solutions to accessing health care coverage;
(E) efforts to enroll individuals currently eligible for public or private health care coverage;
(F) the role of evidence-based medical practices that can be documented as restoring, maintaining, or improving a patients health, and the use of technology in supporting providers in improving quality of care and lowering costs; and
(G) strategies to assist purchasers of health care, including consumers, to become more aware of the impact of costs, and to lower the costs of health care.
(2) ADDITIONAL HEARINGS- The Working Group may hold additional hearings on subjects other than those listed in paragraph (1) so long as such hearings are determined to be necessary by the Working Group in carrying out the purposes of this section. Such additional hearings do not have to be completed within the time period specified in paragraph (1) but shall not delay the other activities of the Working Group under this section.
(3) THE HEALTH REPORT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE- Not later than 90 days after the hearings described in paragraphs (1) and (2) are completed, the Working Group shall prepare and make available to health care consumers through the Internet and other appropriate public channels, a report to be entitled, The Health Report to the American People. Such report shall be understandable to the general public and include–
(A) a summary of–
(i) health care and related services that may be used by individuals throughout their life span;
(ii) the cost of health care services and their medical effectiveness in providing better quality of care for different age groups;
(iii) the source of coverage and payment, including reimbursement, for health care services;
(iv) the reasons people are uninsured or underinsured and the cost to taxpayers, purchasers of health services, and communities when Americans are uninsured or underinsured;
(v) the impact on health care outcomes and costs when individuals are treated in all stages of disease;
(vi) health care cost containment strategies; and
(vii) information on health care needs that need to be addressed;
(B) examples of community strategies to provide health care coverage or access;
(C) information on geographic-specific issues relating to health care;
(D) information concerning the cost of care in different settings, including institutional-based care and home and community-based care;
(E) a summary of ways to finance health care coverage; and
(F) the role of technology in providing future health care including ways to support the information needs of patients and providers.
(4) COMMUNITY MEETINGS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 1 year after the date on which all the members of the Working Group have been appointed under subsection (d)(1) and appropriations are first made available to carry out this section, the Working Group shall initiate health care community meetings throughout the United States (in this paragraph referred to as community meetings). Such community meetings may be geographically or regionally based and shall be completed within 180 days after the initiation of the first meeting.
(B) NUMBER OF MEETINGS- The Working Group shall hold a sufficient number of community meetings in order to receive information that reflects–
(i) the geographic differences throughout the United States;
(ii) diverse populations; and
(iii) a balance among urban and rural populations.
(C) MEETING REQUIREMENTS-
(i) FACILITATOR- A State health officer may be the facilitator at the community meetings.
(ii) ATTENDANCE- At least 1 member of the Working Group shall attend and serve as chair of each community meeting. Other members may participate through interactive technology.
(iii) TOPICS- The community meetings shall, at a minimum, address the following questions:
(I) What health care benefits and services should be provided?
(II) How does the American public want health care delivered?
(III) How should health care coverage be financed?
(IV) What trade-offs are the American public willing to make in either benefits or financing to ensure access to affordable, high quality health care coverage and services?
(iv) INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY- The Working Group may encourage public participation in community meetings through interactive technology and other means as determined appropriate by the Working Group.
(D) INTERIM REQUIREMENTS- Not later than 180 days after the date of completion of the community meetings, the Working Group shall prepare and make available to the public through the Internet and other appropriate public channels, an interim set of recommendations on health care coverage and ways to improve and strengthen the health care system based on the information and preferences expressed at the community meetings. There shall be a 90-day public comment period on such recommendations.
(i) RECOMMENDATIONS- Not later than 120 days after the expiration of the public comment period described in subsection (h)(4)(D), the Working Group shall submit to Congress and the President a final set of recommendations.
(1) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR- There shall be an Executive Director of the Working Group who shall be appointed by the chairperson of the Working Group in consultation with the members of the Working Group.
(2) COMPENSATION- While serving on the business of the Working Group (including travel time), a member of the Working Group shall be entitled to compensation at the per diem equivalent of the rate provided for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, and while so serving away from home and the members regular place of business, a member may be allowed travel expenses, as authorized by the chairperson of the Working Group. For purposes of pay and employment benefits, rights, and privileges, all personnel of the Working Group shall be treated as if they were employees of the Senate.
(3) INFORMATION FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES- The Working Group may secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Working Group considers necessary to carry out this section. Upon request of the Working Group, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information.
(4) POSTAL SERVICES- The Working Group may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
(k) DETAIL- Not more than 10 Federal Government employees employed by the Department of Labor and 10 Federal Government employees employed by the Department of Health and Human Services may be detailed to the Working Group under this section without further reimbursement. Any detail of an employee shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
(l) TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES- The chairperson of the Working Group may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.
(m) ANNUAL REPORT- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter during the existence of the Working Group, the Working Group shall report to Congress and make public a detailed description of the expenditures of the Working Group used to carry out its duties under this section.
(n) SUNSET OF WORKING GROUP- The Working Group shall terminate on the date that is 2 years after the date on which all the members of the Working Group have been appointed under subsection (d)(1) and appropriations are first made available to carry out this section.
(o) ADMINISTRATION REVIEW AND COMMENTS- Not later than 45 days after receiving the final recommendations of the Working Group under subsection (i), the President shall submit a report to Congress which shall contain–
(1) additional views and comments on such recommendations; and
(2) recommendations for such legislation and administrative actions as the President considers appropriate.
(p) REQUIRED CONGRESSIONAL ACTION- Not later than 45 days after receiving the report submitted by the President under subsection (o), each committee of jurisdiction of Congress, the Committee on Finance of the Senate, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, shall hold at least 1 hearing on such report and on the final recommendations of the Working Group submitted under subsection (i).
(q) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS-
(1) IN GENERAL- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, other than subsection (h)(3), $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 and 2006.
(2) HEALTH REPORT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE- There are authorized to be appropriated for the preparation and dissemination of the Health Report to the American People described in subsection (h)(3), such sums as may be necessary for the fiscal year in which the report is required to be submitted.
SEC. 1015. FUNDING START-UP ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS FOR MEDICARE REFORM.
(a) IN GENERAL- There are appropriated to carry out this Act (including the amendments made by this Act), to be transferred from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund–
(1) not to exceed $1,000,000,000 for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; and
(2) not to exceed $500,000,000 for the Social Security Administration.
(b) AVAILABILITY- Amounts provided under subsection (a) shall remain available until September 30, 2005.
(c) APPLICATION- From amounts provided under subsection (a)(2), the Social Security Administration may reimburse the Internal Revenue Service for expenses in carrying out this Act (and the amendments made by this Act).
(d) TRANSFER- The President may transfer amounts provided under subsection (a) between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Social Security Administration. Notice of such transfers shall be transmitted within 15 days to the authorizing committees of the House of Representatives and of the Senate.
SEC. 1016. HEALTH CARE INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.
Title XVIII is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
HEALTH CARE INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
SEC. 1897. (a) ESTABLISHMENT- The Secretary shall establish a loan program that provides loans to qualifying hospitals for payment of the capital costs of projects described in subsection (d).
(b) APPLICATION- No loan may be provided under this section to a qualifying hospital except pursuant to an application that is submitted and approved in a time, manner, and form specified by the Secretary. A loan under this section shall be on such terms and conditions and meet such requirements as the Secretary determines appropriate.
(c) SELECTION CRITERIA-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish criteria for selecting among qualifying hospitals that apply for a loan under this section. Such criteria shall consider the extent to which the project for which loan is sought is nationally or regionally significant, in terms of expanding or improving the health care infrastructure of the United States or the region or in terms of the medical benefit that the project will have.
(2) QUALIFYING HOSPITAL DEFINED- For purposes of this section, the term qualifying hospital means a hospital that–
(A) is engaged in research in the causes, prevention, and treatment of cancer; and
(B) is designated as a cancer center for the National Cancer Institute or is designated by the State as the official cancer institute of the State.
(d) PROJECTS- A project described in this subsection is a project of a qualifying hospital that is designed to improve the health care infrastructure of the hospital, including construction, renovation, or other capital improvements.
(e) STATE AND LOCAL PERMITS- The provision of a loan under this section with respect to a project shall not–
(1) relieve any recipient of the loan of any obligation to obtain any required State or local permit or approval with respect to the project;
(2) limit the right of any unit of State or local government to approve or regulate any rate of return on private equity invested in the project; or
(3) otherwise supersede any State or local law (including any regulation) applicable to the construction or operation of the project.
(f) FORGIVENESS OF INDEBTEDNESS- The Secretary may forgive a loan provided to a qualifying hospital under this section under terms and conditions that are analogous to the loan forgiveness provision for student loans under part D of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.), except that the Secretary shall condition such forgiveness on the establishment by the hospital of–
(A) an outreach program for cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment that provides services to a substantial majority of the residents of a State or region, including residents of rural areas;
(B) an outreach program for cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment that provides services to multiple Indian tribes; and
(C)(i) unique research resources (such as population databases); or
(ii) an affiliation with an entity that has unique research resources.
(1) IN GENERAL- There are appropriated, out of amounts in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to carry out this section, $200,000,000, to remain available during the period beginning on July 1, 2004, and ending on September 30, 2008.
(2) ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS- From funds made available under paragraph (1), the Secretary may use, for the administration of this section, not more than $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.
(3) AVAILABILITY- Amounts appropriated under this section shall be available for obligation on July 1, 2004.
(h) REPORT TO CONGRESS- Not later than 4 years after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the projects for which loans are provided under this section and a recommendation as to whether the Congress should authorize the Secretary to continue loans under this section beyond fiscal year 2008..