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The White House is reviewing a 2020 payment rule for Medicare outpatient services, and companies that make devices for a procedure that serves as a substitute for opioids are trying to persuade Medicare to create a new payment model.

Driving the news: Earlier this month, lobbyists with Smiths Medical and InfuSystems pushed federal officials for a new, separate medical code for "continuous peripheral nerve block," according to federal lobbying records. 

  • CPNB is where patients receive pain meds after a surgery through a catheter and infusion pump instead of taking painkiller pills. Smiths Medical and InfuSystems make the relevant products.
  • This isn't a new lobbying issue for these companies, and they told health officials the procedure "is a well-studied and practiced solution that should receive payment outside of the bundle," according to a copy of their lobbying presentation.

The big picture: Policymakers want to find other ways to treat pain — given the destruction that addictive opioid pills has caused — and many companies sit on the other side of the table selling opioid alternatives, with the hope of getting higher government pay.

What's next? We'll see if the lobbying worked in late July, when the rule usually comes out.

Go deeper: Drug industry lobbying for a big Medicare break in opioids bill

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 30,881,522 — Total deaths: 958,493— Total recoveries: 21,119,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 6,794,479 — Total deaths: 199,469 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.

Inside Biden's Supreme Court strategy

Joe Biden enters the hall at the National Constitution Center. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden’s closing argument will shift to a dominant emphasis on health care, turning the looming Supreme Court fight into a referendum on coverage and pre-existing conditions, officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Biden aides believed they were winning when the race was about the coronavirus pandemic. Now they plan to use the Supreme Court opening as a raucous new field for a health care fight, returning to a theme that gave Democrats big midterm wins in 2018.