California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House Lawmakers, Aide Subpoenaed in Probe of MA Plan Leak

The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed members of the House Ways and Means Committee as part of an ongoing probe into whether congressional staffers engaged in insider training by leaking information to a Wall Street analyst in 2013 about an unannounced change in Medicare Advantage plan payments, the Wall Street Journal reports (Mullins/Ackerman, Wall Street Journal, 6/18).

In addition, the SEC and the Department of Justice have issued separate subpoenas to Brian Sutter, staff director of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.

The inquiry stemmed from a Journal report early last year report early last year that some health insurance stocks increased after an email from a Washington policy research firm predicted the MA plan payments change prior to the official announcement, Reuters reports  (Trott/Morgan, Reuters, 6/18).

The subpoenas suggest that the yearlong investigation has "entered a more serious phase," the Journal reports. Until recently, the probe had been focused on Senate health care staffers.

According to the Journal, it is "highly unusual" for DOJ to issue subpoenas to congressional members or aides, primarily because of the sensitivities and legal implications regarding the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government. These subpoenas against lawmakers about possible insider trading case are the first formal requests in nearly 10 years.

CMS also is conducting its own investigation, the Journal reports (Wall Street Journal, 6/18).

This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.