Healthcare Leadership Council Applauds House Passage of 21st Century Cures Legislation; Urges Senate to Follow Suit
Legislation Improves Healthcare System, Patient Care on Numerous Fronts
WASHINGTON – Healthcare leaders representing multiple health sectors today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for its passage of 21st Century Cures legislation, urging the Senate to complete work on the bill and send it to the President before Congress adjourns for the year.
The Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives of leading companies from throughout the healthcare spectrum, said the Cures bill, in addition to speeding approvals of new biopharmaceutical innovations and increasing medical research funding, contains several provisions that advance health system improvement and transformation. Among the most important:
- The bill creates a framework for expediting the interoperability of electronic health records, a step that will lead to improvements in healthcare delivery, cost-efficiency and quality.
- Improvements to rules governing health information confidentiality that will facilitate the flow of data while protecting patient privacy.
- Steps to improve the speed and efficiency of Food and Drug Administration approval of medical devices, as well as needed clarification of regulatory authority regarding medical software.
- Enabling enhanced sharing of scientific and healthcare economic information between healthcare payers, providers and biopharmaceutical manufacturers, a step critical in developing value-based payment systems.
- Necessary adjustments in Medicare payment policies regarding hospital readmissions to recognize the importance of patient socioeconomic status.
In testimony last year on the Cures legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Healthcare Leadership Council president Mary R. Grealy said it was essential, in order to accelerate the development of new treatments and cures, that healthcare data play a central role in the legislation. HLC applauded the emphasis on health information technology and data accessibility enhancements in the measure.