June 2020

  • Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released “Preparing for the Next Pandemic," a 40-page white paper with five recommendations to address future pandemics based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and the past 20 years of pandemic planning. The HELP Committee is requesting feedback from the public on this white paper and the recommendations. Find the committee request and information on how to provide input here. The five recommendations include:
    1. Accelerating research and development of tests, treatments, and vaccines.
    2. Expand the ability to detect, identify, model, and track emerging infectious diseases.
    3. Rebuild and Maintain Federal and State Stockpiles and Improve Medical Supply Surge Capacity and Distribution
    4. Improve state and local capacity to respond
    5. Improve coordination of Federal Agencies during a public health emergency.
  • The CDC has released a report regarding the effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups. The data suggests a disproportionate burden of illness and death among these groups. Learn more about the information collected and the CDC's recommendations on how individuals and government, community, and healthcare organizations can work together to combat this issue here.


May 2020

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking input from the public and stakeholders on the establishment of a rare disease clinical trial network. Docket No. FDA-2020-N-0837 was announced on May 29th. The FDA is interested in learning practical steps and successful approaches relating to start-up, implementation, and sustainment of clinical trial networks for rare diseases. With less than 10 percent of the approximately 7,000 known rare diseases having an FDA-approved treatment available, the FDA is seeking ways to overcome the challenges of rare disease drug development. Learn more about this request for information here.

The Medical Nutrition Therapy Act, H.R. 6971

  • The Medical Nutrition Therapy Act (H.R. 6971) was introduced on May 22nd by Congressmen Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) and Peter King (R-NY-2). This legislation seeks to provide Medicare coverage and access to medical nutrition therapy services. The bill will allow for Medicare coverage of physician requested medical nutrition therapy for conditions that cause involuntary weight loss. While H.R. 6971 lists specific conditions, the Secretary is granted discretion to acknowledge additional conditions. The US Preventative Services Taskforce is also acknowledged for its role in identifying necessary prevention, treatment, and management protocols for various conditions. There is no Senate companion bill at this time. Find more information about this legislation here.


2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines states that "in the U.S., more than half of all adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor diets and not enough physical activity. Additionally, poor diets, tobacco use and not enough physical activity, among other risk factors, are leading causes of deaths in the U.S. Providing up-to-date nutrition advice through the Dietary Guidelines can help to improve the health of Americans by encouraging healthy food and beverage choices that are enjoyable, promote health, and help prevent chronic disease."

These Guidelines are intended to provide guidance for building and maintaining a healthy diet that focuses on preventing diet-related chronic diseases. It is important to understand that the focus is to prevent disease, not to use it as a treatment. The intent of these recommendations is to help individuals improve and preserve
overall health to reduce the risk of chronic conditions.

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s final systematic review protocols are available online. These protocols take into consideration input from the Committee during its public meetings and public comments received. Included is the scientific articles cited, and those excluded, including the reasons for exclusion.

The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s schedule has been extended by one month, as a result, the Committee will now present its draft report via webcast on June 8, 2020. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines document can be found here.


March 2020

  • While the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2019, H.R. 1570, is still seeking more cosponsors, the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2020, H.R. 2339, passed the House of Representative on February 28th. In addition to stricter regulations on tobacco products and e-cigarettes, this language includes similar language to waive Medicare coinsurance for colorectal cancer screening tests, otherwise known as the "polyp penalty".
  • A letter was sent from Democratic leads to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Administrator regarding the proposed discontinuation of advanced premium tax credits (APTC). Read the letter here.


FY 2020

The comprehensive spending package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 includes the following health policy and program reauthorizations.

  • Reauthorization of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for 10 years.
  • A nationwide increase in the age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 years
  • Increases generic drug competition to lower the price of drugs
  • Repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medical Device Tax, Health Insurance Tax, and Cadillac Tax


February 2020

  • Rare Disease Legislative Advocates (RDLA) visited the nation’s capital the week of February 24th yo educate legislators about the need to support research, improve patient care, and awareness about rare diseases.
  • Vice President Pence is to lead the coordination of the US response to the coronavirus. Pence has appointed Debbie Birx, an ambassador-at-large for the State Department who currently focuses on HIV and AIDS, to serve as the "White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator" responsible for leading the administration's strategy on fighting the outbreak. Birx and three new members of the White House's coronavirus task force - Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow - will report to Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
  • The House Committee of Ways and Means voiced unanimous, bipartisan support of the Consumer Protections Against Suprise Medical Bills Act of 2020 (H.R. 5826). This legislation has thirty-eight cosponsors and was introduced by Representative Richard Neal, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Find the press release here.
  • On February 11th, the House Committee on Education and Labor advanced the Ban Surprise Billing Act (H.R. 5800), which was introduced on February 7, 2020. This legislation is intended to build on solutions to protect patients from surprise medical bills. Find the press release here.
  • During the State of the Union Address on February 6th, President Trump remarked that his major priorities include; lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and protecting patients with preexisting conditions. Find President Trump's entire remarks here.
  • On January 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance allowing states to apply for capped block grants through Medicaid demonstration waivers, particularly in order to cover services for the Medicaid expansion population (i.e., adults under the age of 65). The guidance also allows states that receive such block grants to make other changes to their programs (e.g., formularies for prescription drugs). Two resolutions in the House of Representatives were created. H. Res. 826 created on February 3rd, expressed the opinion that the House of Representatives feels CMS should withdraw this guidance. On February 5th the House then created H. Res. 833, officially disapproving of the guidance permitting block grants under Medicaid demonstration waivers. Both resolutions were passed on February 6th, the Senate is not expected to act on a similar resolution.


January 2020

  • The Supreme Court declined a motion to fast-track a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is in response to a lower court ruling declaring the individual mandate of the ACA unconstitutional. Further action by the lower court or the Supreme Court is not likely in the near future. Read the Docket information here.
  • Legislation addressing drug pricing and surprise medical billing appears to be stalled at this time. The ongoing tension between the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee has stifled progress on surprise medical billing. The House-passed drug pricing legislation, H.R. 3, is pending in the Senate, a bipartisan proposal (S.2543), is having difficulty finding traction. Proponents of addressing these key topics are hoping that progress can be made between now and May when Congress must act on several expiring health authorities.
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking nominations for individuals qualified to serve as members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent body of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about the effectiveness of clinical preventive services and health promotion. The deadline to submit a nomination is March 15th.
  • The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), fresh from a 10-year reauthorization, announced the appointment of Dr. Nakela Cook as its new executive director on January, 15th. Most recently, Dr. Cook served as chief of staff at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at NIH. Read the announcement here.
  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) continues to push for action on his drug pricing legislation, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 (S.2543). Grassley has made appeals to both Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and House Speaker Pelosi to proceed with his bipartisan plan. Grassley’s Senate bill is less comprehensive than the House-passed bill, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act  (H.R.3), but does have support on both sides of the aisle. 
  • Progress on surprise medical billing legislation continues to be stalled because of a dispute between House committees. Follow the link to find more information on the End Surprise Billing Act of 2019 (H.R.861).


  • Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released “Preparing for the Next Pandemic” — a white paper with five recommendations to address future pandemics based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and the past 20 years of pandemic planning. The HELP Committee is requesting feedback from the public on this white paper and the recommendations. HELP Committee Request
Advocacy News
Health Policy
Budget & Appropriations
Legislative Agenda
COVID-19 Legislative Updates
Medical and Treatment News
Industry Treatment News
Medical News
Medical News - Archive (2006-2013)
Advocacy Events
Professional Meetings
Patient Education
Norton Education Series
Press Releases
2019-0516 IFFGD Announces 2019 Research Recognition Awards Recipients
2019-0328 IFFGD Encourages Patients to Share "What I Wish People Understood About My IBS" for IBS Awareness Month
2019-0213 IFFGD Sheds a Light on the Daily Impact of Rare Digestive Disorders for Rare Disease Day 2019
2018-1205 IFFGD Marks Constipation Awareness Month with Launch of Education Campaign
2018- 1107 IFFGD Celebrates #GivingTuesday
2018-1101 Have You Heard? It Could Be GERD!
2018-0801 IFFGD Raises Awareness for Gastroparesis Awareness Month to “Make Patient Voices Heard”
2018-0529 IFFGD Presents 2018 Research Recognition Awards at DDW
2018-0402 Social Taboos, Lack of Awareness May Prevent Diagnosis & Treatment of IBS
2018-0212 IFFGD Raises Awareness for Rare Disease Day 2018
2017-1114 Holiday Heartburn or Something More?
2017-0802 Research Survey Reveals Unmet Needs of People with Gastroparesis
2017-0403 IFFGD Encourages People to See Their Doctor for Symptoms of IBS
2016-1115 GERD is More Than Simple Heartburn
2016-0801 Learn the Facts About Gastroparesis
2016-0405 Think You Have IBS? Find Out For Sure Before Starting a Treatment
2015-1123 Is it More than Simple Heartburn? Ask Your Doctor.
2015-7-30 Gastroparesis is a Hidden Medical Condition for Many
2015-0330 Online Survey Looks to Help Improve Outcomes for those with IBS
2014-1119 Persistent Heartburn May Be a Sign of GERD
2014-0826 Lack of Awareness of Gastroparesis May Impact Medical Care
2014-0326 IFFGD Marks IBS Awareness Month with Launch of Mobile App
2014-0225 IFFGD Research Grants to Study Gastroparesis
2013-1106 15 Tips for GERD Awareness Week
2013-0626 New DHA.org
2013-0412 IFFGD Presents 2013 Research Awards
2013-0401 Turning Attention to Returning Vets
2012-1109 Banish Frequent Heartburn by Burning More Calories
2012-0321 April is IBS Awareness Month: A Serious Issue for Veterans
2011-1130 Is Your Child's Reflux/Spitting Up A Point of Concern?
2011-0412 IFFGD Research Award Winners
2011-0329 IBS Signs You Should Not Ignore
2010-1118 GERD Difference
2010-1001 Heartburn or GERD?
2010-0517 US House Resolution for IBS
2009-1109 GERD at Night
2009-0417 IFFGD Research Award Recipients
2008-0331 Dealing with Digestive Disorders
2007-1118 When Is Simple Heartburn Not So Simple?
2007-0718 Proposed FDA Funding Applauded
2007-0401 IBS Myths
2006-1116 GERD & Holidays
2006-0418 Natl Commission
2006-0321 Women's Health
2006-0202 IBS or Something Else
2005-1125 GERD Costs
2005-0412 IBS Awareness
2004-1125 Heartburn & Heartache
2004-0929 Norton Honored
2004-0525 IBS Travel Tips
2004-0408 IBS Medical Care
2004-0101 IFFGD Conference
2003-1117 GERD Treatment
2003-0401 IFFGD Research Awards
2003-0401 IBS Awareness
2002-0423 IBS-C Treatment
2002-1102 Heartburn Caution
2002-0402 IBS & Lost Potential
2002-0423 IBS in Real World
2001-1119 Heartburn or Heart Attack
2001-0322 Patients First
1998-0401 IBS Millions Suffer
1997-1114 Research & Women's Health
Misunderstood Functional GI Disorders
IBS is No Joking Matter
For Media
Reporters' Guides
Media Contact Form
Patient Education

Advocate for Change

capital hill day 2

What it means to be an advocate – someone who speaks out and works with others to create meaningful, positive change. Let your voice be heard.

Taking Action for Digestive Health

The Functional GI and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act

Make Your Voice Heard