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Our Take

Health policy topics to watch in 2022

10 Minute Read

The Biden administration's first year in office was unsurprisingly dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. While Democrats in Congress were able to pass part one of President Biden’s infrastructure package, other health care priorities were largely sidelined. As we look to 2022, there are 10 key health care topics that are ripe for congressional or regulatory action. If and how Congress and the Biden administration move on those actions will have strategic implications for industry executives across the health care ecosystem.

 

The health policy landscape

January 20th marks the conclusion of President Biden's first year in office. As expected, the Biden administration's first year was dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, but key agencies and Congress laid the groundwork for deeper health policy shifts in 2022. Advisory Board outlines the top 10 policies health care industry executives should watch in 2022.

 

10 policy topics to watch

 

  • Policy

    Covid-19 relief and waiver flexibilities

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  • Policy

    Build Back Better

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  • Policy

    Drug pricing reforms

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  • Policy

    Shoring up the physician workforce

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  • Policy

    Surprise billing and price transparency

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  • Policy

    Medicare cuts and physician pay

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  • Policy

    Cures 2.0 and FDA user fee agreements

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  • Policy

    Equity in health care

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  • Policy

    Value-based payment

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  • Policy

    Market consolidation

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Parting thoughts

The outlook for health policy in 2022 could move in multiple directions and industry executives should take note of shifts that impact their strategic plans. And remember, legislative priorities not tackled early in 2022 are likely to be impacted by the midterm congressional elections in November.

In addition to our top 10health policies to watch, Congress and the Biden administration are likely to focus their attention on several other health care issues in 2022.

  • Multiple Senate committees have signaled a desire to explore policies to improve mental and behavioral health care delivery, strengthen the 2008 mental health parity law, and fund grants to support the mental and behavioral health workforce.
  • Congress in 2022 will need to address federal funding for fiscal year 2022. Currently, the federal government is funded by a continuing resolution set to expire on February 18. Democrats and Republicans so far have failed to reach agreements on how to balance domestic and defense funding increases, suggesting lawmakers could still be dealing with FY 2022 funding when they begin work on FY 2023 appropriations measures later in the year. These delays could have implications for health system and community health care projects funded via congressional earmarks.
  • Health care industry executives should also pay close attention to policies enacted closer to home. State-level policies dictate licensing for most health professionals, health plan certification, public health measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, and more. The landscape on these issues varies across the country.

Footnotes

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