7 updates from Capitol Hill

A slew of lawsuits targeting the No Surprises Act and six more updates from the government from the last two weeks:

1. There are six lawsuits currently filed targeting rules in the No Surprises Act, which went into effect Jan. 1. All six  lawsuits oppose parts of the interim final rule to implement the independent dispute resolution process, which allows providers to negotiate the amount paid for surprise out-of-network bills.

2. CMS released its Medicare payment codes for administering an antibody treatment found effective against the COVID-19 omicron variant. The payment codes, effective Feb. 11, are for bebtelovimab.

3. In a Feb. 14 letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, hundreds of healthcare organizations urged HHS to refine the Global and Professional Direct Contracting Model for Medicare patients and providers rather than scrap it.

4. Congress has passed the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act to improve the mental health and well-being of healthcare workers. 

5. The federal government is developing plans to distribute free high-quality face masks for children, according to White House officials. 

6. The Biden administration estimates it will need $30 billion to continue to fight COVID-19, HHS Secretary Xiaver Becerra told lawmakers Feb. 15.

7. More than 70 House Republican lawmakers signed a letter calling for an end to the designation of COVID-19 as a public health emergency.

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