fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

FAH Submits Public Comments on 21st Century Cures Act

May 14, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Hearings, HIT, Legislation

This morning, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee will hold a markup of the 21st Century Cures Act. The FAH submitted detailed comments ahead of the hearing set to begin at 10 am. Lawmakers have been working on the 21st Century Cures initiative for nearly a year, discussing policy issues with many industry and consumer stakeholders.

The draft aims to speed access to breakthrough cures for millions of Americans. The FAH’s submitted comments focus on 7 key sections:

  • Accessing, Sharing, and Using Health Data for Research Purposes
  • Broader Application of Bayesian Statistic And Adaptive Trial Designs
  • Approval Of Certain Drugs For Use In A Limited Population Of Patients
  • Ensuring Interoperability
  • Telehealth Services Under the Medicare Program
  • Improvements in the Medicare Local Coverage Determination Process
  • Medicare Site of Service Price Transparency

The FAH applauds the Committee for both its process and thoughtfulness in developing many of these proposals and believes a great deal of the legislation holds promise.

As stated in our comments, however, it is important to stress that improvements in this arena should not come at the cost of reimbursement cuts to hospitals. Since 2010, hospitals have endured more $140 billion in new cuts.

The FAH strongly objects to additional hospital cuts to pay for the bill’s provisions which would be counterintuitive and reduce access to lifesaving care.