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NTOCC Updates from HHS and Senate HELP Committee

Posted on 1/30/2015 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued their draft nationwide health IT interoperability roadmap titled: Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0. This draft was referenced by Kelly Cronin at the National Transitions of Care Summit this past December. Today’s release is a continuation of the commitment to building a more robust health IT structure as part of a Department-wide effort to achieve better care, smarter spending, and improve health outcomes by improving our health care delivery system.

As part of this work, HHS is focused on three key areas:

1.       Improving the way providers are paid;

2.       Improving and innovating in care delivery; and,

3.       Sharing information more broadly to providers, consumers, and others to support better decisions while maintaining privacy.

In additional health news, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Richard Burr (R-NC), also a member of the Committee, released the “Innovation for Health Americans” report, which details challenges to getting cutting-edge treatments, devices, and cures to American patients more quickly and effectively. The Senators are soliciting feedback on their report, as Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) begin a major initiative in the Committee—which will include a bipartisan working group and a series of hearings—to examine the time and cost currently involved with the drug and medical device discovery and development process, and how to better align public policies to support medical innovation. We expect this effort to complement the House Energy and Commerce’s work on 21st Century Cures that was also released this week. 

NTOCC staff are currently going through all documents to identify sections that are relevant to NTOCC’s priorities and opportunities for NTOCC to comment. We welcome any thoughts you have on these issues and please contact us with any questions.