AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Karen Fisher, JD, Dec. 16 responded to an announcement from Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on “Cures 2.0.” The bipartisan effort is intended to build upon the success of the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L.114-255), and specifically focuses on four key areas of interest including exploring digital health technologies; reforming Medicare coding, coverage, and payment to better support patients’ access to innovative therapies; harnessing data to empower patients and improve health; and improving the ability of families and caregivers to support their loved ones.
In their release, Reps. DeGette and Upton highlighted the success of the initial Cures effort saying, “Today, the 21st Century Cures Act is helping to advance medical research and foster a new era of medical innovations that may one day establish new cures for the world’s cruelest diseases. Despite our success, there is more work to do so we are initiating ‘Cures 2.0’ and asking patients and their families to join us again in a bipartisan effort that will build upon the progress we have made together.”
The letter goes on to describe Cures 2.0 as “an effort to modernize coverage and access to life-savings cures in the United States and across the globe. Patients from across the country continually remind us that a modernized system of developing new cures will require a modernized health care delivery system capable of delivering them to patients in need.”
In her response, Fisher reiterated the AAMC’s support for the 21st Century Cures Act and praised the landmark legislation’s “effort to sustain investments in medical research, address administrative burden on researchers, address the role of socioeconomic status in Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, and more.” The letter also thanked Reps. DeGette and Upton for the opportunity to provide comments and explained that the “AAMC supports these efforts and will work with our members, policymakers, and other health care stakeholders to participate in and provide input to this important conversation.”
In addition to the areas mentioned by Reps. DeGette and Upton, the AAMC letter highlights the need for Congress to address the 20-plus year freeze on Medicare support for graduate medical education.