“Mayo Clinic applauds the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for releasing this bipartisan legislative language aimed at speeding life-saving medical treatments to patients. The 21st Century Cures discussion draft released today by Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and other committee members includes several critical measures that should advance innovation in health care research, discovery and delivery.
“We are particularly pleased to see the draft’s emphasis on reducing regulatory barriers that unnecessarily slow clinical trials We also are very encouraged by the committee’s efforts to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, which Mayo Clinic believes is an essential national investment. In addition, we note the telemedicine placeholder, and are hopeful lawmakers will include measures that promote the use of telemedicine—including language to address the issue of medical licensure—in the final legislation.
“While the discussion draft is the result of a diligent effort that took place over the past year to harness the best ideas from a broad range of stakeholders, we know more work lies ahead. Mayo Clinic looks forward to reviewing the details of the 21st Century Cures language and working with policymakers to help pass legislation that will advance health care innovation and benefit millions of patients.”
The draft includes the following elements:
Mayo Clinic is pleased to see the commitment to the NIH in this legislation through its proposed reauthorization and increase of $10 billion in the near future. Mayo will continue our advocacy for research funding increases throughout the appropriations process. It is of the utmost importance to fund NIH to the highest possible level to ensure America stays the world leader in scientific, clinical, and medical research, bringing cures and treatments to patients as quickly as possible.
Mayo Clinic strongly supports the modernization of the clinical trial process in the United States and around the world. We have supported the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translation Sciences since its inception because of its creation of a clinical trial network among institutions across the U.S., making the clinical trial process more efficient. The 21st Century Cures furthers this collaborative commitment through adopting our recommendation to streamline the Institutional Review Board process for trials that are being conducted at multiple sites and applaud their efforts on this front.
As advances in technology and consumer demand for telehealth options grow, government policies must keep pace with these technological and societal changes.
Telehealth provides great benefits, including greater convenience for patients and their families, safer care, better outcomes, fewer redundancies, and ultimately higher quality and cost savings for patients, providers and payers, including Medicaid and Medicare.
A recent Mayo Clinic study shows that the expansion of telestroke networks across the country is predicted to improve patient-related outcomes and quality while saving overall costs, including Medicare and Medicaid funds.