Healthcare Leadership Council Calls For Expanded Access to Medicare, Medicaid Claims Data in 21st Century Cures Legislation

WASHINGTON – In a statement provided today to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) – a coalition of chief executives from companies and organizations in every health sector – said the 21st Century Cures legislation being developed should include provisions expanding access to Medicare and Medicaid claims data which “will accelerate efforts to develop new treatments and cures in the private sector.”

Today, the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee approved the bipartisan 21st Century Cures measure, legislation intended to modernize the discovery, development and delivery of innovative disease treatments and cures, and sent the bill to the full committee.

In the HLC statement, President Mary R. Grealy wrote, “HLC strongly believes that any effort to accelerate treatments and cures must include robust real-world data sharing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services…As publicly-funded entities, federal agencies have an obligation to share data that will accelerate efforts to develop new treatments and cures in the private sector.”

She added, “Any standard that restricts access to critical federally-held data is detrimental to our shared goals for medical and human progress.”

Ms. Grealy, in the statement, praised the bipartisan committee leadership for several of the provisions included in the discussion draft of the legislation, including:

• Support for electronic health record interoperability, including an enforcement mechanism for electronic health record products that knowingly block information.

• Modernization of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to better enable the use of health databases for medical research, while still protecting patient confidentiality.

• Enhanced regulatory clarity regarding mobile medical applications, clinical decision support tools, electronic health records and other software.

• Recognition of the importance of telehealth as a critical component in innovative care delivery.

The full HLC statement can be found here.