With a goal to send a bill to President Barack Obama's desk by the end of the year, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has released a discussion document on its healthcare innovation proposals and is looking for feedback from industry stakeholders.
The proposals, many of which focus on healthcare IT, were ideas shared through the committee's 21st Century Curesinitiative, gathered from white papers, hearings and roundtables by the initiative, according to an announcement from the committee.
Some provisions worth highlighting include:
- Medical devices: This provision would create a process at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expedite the review of devices "that represent breakthrough technologies with the potential to address unmet needs"
- Data sharing: A provision introduced by Health subcommittee chairman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) would require that data be shared by those receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health
- Telemedicine: The committee is pushing to advance telemedicine opportunities for those under Medicare to improve the quality of service
The committee adds that the document is only a starting point to help start a discussion and ideas may be added or removed depending on the talks that take place.
"[Fifteen] years into the 21st Century, the time for 21st Century Cures is now. ... Our solutions to boost cures and jobs are starting to take shape as we move from broad principles to legislative language. ... [E]verything is on the table as we hope to trigger a thoughtful discussion toward a more polished product," Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich., pictured) said in the announcement.
The discussion document was also commented on by members of the Senate Health Committee--Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), according to a statement emailed to FierceHealthIT.
Alexander said one of his committee's priorities is modernizing the FDA, adding that he will work with Murray and Upton to send the legislation to Obama.
Murray said that she also looks forward to working on the proposal "to advance innovation for patients and families across the country."