Washington, DC — A new coalition of drug infusion providers has been established to advocate for policies that preserve patients’ access to infused medicines in the convenient and cost-efficient in-office and freestanding ambulatory facility settings. The Infusion Providers Alliance (IPA), will be the leading voice for providers of drug infusion services in this outpatient setting of care and will lead an effort to preserve the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship in a manner that delivers exceptional care to patients at a lower cost to the health care system. The IPA represents infusion providers with over 750 locations in more than 40 states across the U.S. Collectively, the IPA members administer more than 500,000 treatments annually.
IPA Letter on “New Requirement to Obtain Certain Drugs from CVS Specialty Pharmacy”
READ LETTER HERE: IPA Letter to Anthem
The phrase, “the doctor will see you now” has taken on a whole new meaning during the Coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Americans who were receiving care during an office visit are suddenly doing so through video conferences, text messages, and apps.
Nearly 200 physicians—including over 60 past presidents of major medical societies, and representation from 100% of the top 20 Hospitals identified by US News and World Report—sent a letter to Congressional leadership earlier this week to emphasize a tremendous opportunity to improve our health care system. An opportunity grounded in expanding digital health and “leveraging the latest medical knowledge with the advancing power of technology.”
If America is to avoid a another ‘COVID-19’ type of crisis in our future, policymakers must adopt two policy reforms that will immediately expand our ability to deliver better health care to more people at a lower cost:
- A permanent extension allowing doctors to use telehealth tools to evaluate, counsel, and monitor patients.
- A nationwide reciprocity of medical licensing, to enable Americans everywhere to access the health care they need.
As the Congressional letter makes clear, “These two related reforms are straightforward and common sense, leveraging the latest medical knowledge with the advancing power of technology. They would also help accelerate the overdue transformation of American health care, which must quickly adapt in significant ways to overcome the current pandemic and better prepare for future challenges.”
Digital health—collecting, sharing, and using information about our health to improve well-being or treat disease—was used inconsistently until the Coronavirus hit our shores. Dr. David Adams, Cardiac Surgeon-in-Chief, Mount Sinai Health Systems tells RealClearHealth:
“One of the big lessons this pandemic has taught us is the power of telemedicine to safely deliver quality care to millions of patients. In a sense, it is restoring our ability to provide house calls and democratizing access to medical expertise, no matter where a patient lives. In just a few months, telemedicine has transformed the delivery of individualized patient care, particularly to some of our most vulnerable populations.”
The reforms stressed by this robust group of physicians will “accelerate the overdue transformation of American health care, which must quickly adapt in significant ways to overcome the current pandemic and better prepare for future challenges.”
RealClearHealth recognizes that by necessity we are replacing or combining digital services and products with traditional face-to-face care. We cannot go backwards. Twenty-first Century medicine demands the permanent extension of telehealth tools and the reciprocity of medical licensing. Indeed, digital health has been more a talking point or a slogan. Now that a vast number of Americans have benefitted from digital health, consumers are more comfortable using it as a solution.
Now is the time to act.
Read the Congressional Letter here: Telehealth Initiative
Coalition Letter to President Trump on health care rate setting and price controls.
Read the letter here: CARS Letter (June 2020)
June 9, 2020
On behalf of millions of taxpayers and consumers across the United States, the Coalition Against Rate-Setting (CARS) urges you to oppose price controls on the healthcare system. For the past year, some members of Congress and some individuals in the Trump administration have repeatedly floated the idea of “fixing” the pressing problem of surprise medical billing through a “rate-setting” system. These fatally flawed proposals would have Washington, D.C. bureaucrats dictating to doctors the prices they should charge patients. Recently, Politico reported that the administration is considering a plan that would, “outlaw health care providers from putting patients on the hook for thousands of dollars in expenses — but without mandating how doctors and hospitals would recover their costs from insurers.”
While such reporting gives cause for cautious optimism, we recognize that much remains to be negotiated. As such, the Coalition would like to reiterate that any mandates or price controls would make surprise billing problems worse and disrupt care for millions of patients across the country. These effects would be particularly devastating as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim far too many lives. We therefore urge you to reject rate-setting and embrace market-oriented solutions to solve the pressing problem of surprise medical billing.
During the worst public health emergency in our lifetimes, millions of patients across the country have found themselves in emergency rooms and healthcare clinics. Many of them reasonably assumed their troubles would be over after being discharged, only to receive a surprise medical bill in the mail days or even weeks after being discharged. Each year, 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. receive these unwanted, unexpected expenses after being sent home by their doctors. This devastating problem stems from increasingly narrow health insurance networks which increasingly refuse to compensate attending doctors at in-network medical facilities. Far-reaching pieces of legislation such as the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare; signed into law in 2010) have simply made the
problem worse, and now, an estimated three-quarters of Obamacare plans feature narrow insurance networks.
Yet, despite federal interventions and regulations making the problem worse, some government officials want to double-down on bureaucratic control over the healthcare system. Members of Congress such as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) have proposed rate-setting for doctors and repeatedly tried to insert this “fix” in Coronavirus-related relief legislation. Officials in the Trump administration have worked hard to get a thorough understanding of this issue and deliberate on their own plan to end unwanted medical expenses. But rate-setting would only make the problem worse, and lead to the widespread consolidation of hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices across the country. California has already tried this failed approach, implementing healthcare price controls in 2017. According to a 2019 American Journal of Managed Care study examining the law, rate-setting has led to healthcare facilities closing their doors and merging with other, larger practices. Doctors are even contemplating leaving California altogether.
On January 22, 14 advocacy groups and think-tanks formed CARS to warn lawmakers and the Trump administration about the myriad unintended consequences of rate-setting. CARS is now 34 groups strong, and its work has been cited extensively by national and state media. On April 28, CARS released a letter signed by more than 160 economists urging officials to reject healthcare price-controls.
CARS urges you to take these scholars’ arguments into account, and remain vigilant against federal overreach in the healthcare system. Millions of doctors are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic treating patients, and now would be the worst possible time to impose onerous price controls on them. Thank you for your time and consideration of this pressing issue.
Growing National Healthcare Coalition Urges Congress to Reject Bureaucratic Price Controls in Next Relief Bill
Read the full letter here: Coalition Against Rate Setting
“We, the National United Committee to Protect Pensions (NUCPP.org), which represents the elderly and retired, join the rest of The United States of America and the world in contending with the COVID-19 pandemic that has accelerated economic failure, loss of life, and the loss of wealth for many. As we monitor daily developments in our economy and government, we feel it is more important now than ever to stress the vital need to resolve the imminent pension crisis ….”
READ THE NUCPP LETTER HERE: 2020 Pension Crisis Letter
“We are closer than ever to curing cancer thanks to America’s scientists, medical professionals and biopharmaceutical entrepreneurs. Every day, medical innovation and breakthroughs are cracking the code to beating cancer. One of the most exciting therapies available is an immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, or CAR-T therapy.”
- Karen Kerrigan, the president and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
Members of Congress urge CMS to offer cancer treatment – CAR T-Cell Therapy – to patients in Medicare: CAR T Cell Therapy Letter Stamp Out Cancer
The Supreme Court is scheduled to review a massive civil lawsuit in Google v. Oracle. In that case, Google copied a large portion of Oracle’s Java software. Ignoring Oracle’s copyright claim over Java, Google allegedly stole thousands of lines of code from the program. The search engine company knowingly replicated precise versions of Oracle’s software, but only after initial licensing negotiations between the companies broke down.
Soon, the highest court in the land will decide whether Google’s actions did indeed constitute theft — as the lower courts ruled — or merely an expression of fair use. The case carries substantial repercussions; if the Supreme Court rules for Google, it will justify the company’s presumptive misuse of power. But more than that, it will incentive Google to act in a similar abusive fashion with future business partners.
Our national defense and military readiness depend on keeping our elected officials and those under their purview accountable to the American people. Much is at stake… and much is changing. With the USSF, we’ll have a new, sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces expected to maintain military operations in outer space. Let’s hope that Members of Congress are above making petty grievances part of the legislative process.
To borrow the famous line from James Tiberius Kirk, we are truly going boldly “where no man has gone before.” We need political leadership to get us all there safely.
Dear Chairman Pai,
We, the undersigned organizations promoting free markets and conservative policy, applaud your efforts at making more mid-band spectrum available to keep the United States competitive with, and leading, China on 5G. The administration’s action and the recent FCC May open-meeting agenda demonstrate your keen understanding of this issue. The proper government/private-sector balance will allow competition, innovation, and continued economic prosperity.
No philosophy in human history has created more opportunity for more people than free enterprise. Therefore, we know that the federal government must not impede innovation but rather work quickly to roll out spectrum and technologies that will drive the U.S. ahead of China in 5G. The administration’s America First economic agenda has prioritized regulatory reform, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and competition with China – bringing more mid-band spectrum to market complements and expands the President’s policy agenda. More mid-band spectrum means more innovation, which means more growth and opportunity.
Our concern is simple – certain agencies may do the ‘bureaucratic slow-walk’ vis-à-vis pending license proceedings and may pursue other regulatory mischief to impede new uses of spectrum. Any bureaucratic or competitive interference that slows the introduction of more spectrum to the market will stifle innovation and hurt the economy.
We implore you – as you continue to drive America’s global leadership in 5G forward – to make as many decisions as you can as quickly as possible, according to the authority and statutes governing your office.
We support your leadership in facilitating America’s superiority in 5G Technology, including pushing more mid-band spectrum into the marketplace; updating infrastructure policy; and modernizing outdated regulations. 5G networking is the fifth generation of wireless technology. An efficient deployment of 5G will lead to greater faster data speeds of data, a more responsive networks, and the ability to connect more devices simultaneously.
We cannot allow China to race ahead in 5G. Reports indicate that the U.S. and China are now tied. Again, this progress is thanks to your leadership and the FCC’s 5G fast Plan, in this critical digital race. We urge you to move forward and approve new applications to keep pace with China’s superior speed of deployment.
American companies pushing for the release of mid-band spectrum are strengthening our economy by increasing U.S. competitiveness and enabling the American entrepreneurial spirit to be unleashed on the world economic stage.
We urge you to continue to make progress and not be slowed by other agencies or agendas on this matter.
SEE LETTER & COALITION MEMBERS HERE: 5G Coalition Letter to The Honorable Ajit Pai