For Immediate Release:
Contact: Kelly Broadway, 202-808-8853
Still Time for Congress to Enact Meaningful Health Legislation
Washington, D.C. – The Health Innovation Alliance (HIA) is urging Congress to act on several key issues to improve healthcare access and delivery before the year ends. In a letter sent to congressional leaders this morning, HIA is asking lawmakers to:
- Permanently extend telehealth flexibilities
- Digitize and streamline prior authorization processes
- Create a commission to protect health privacy
- Modernize the public health system and improve accountability for public health agencies
“The country has learned many painful lessons over the past two years. Congress would commit legislative malpractice by not acting on important reforms to modernize our health system before they adjourn for the year,” said Joel White, Executive Director of the Health Innovation Alliance. “As we move into the dangerous flu season, our public health system still lacks critical tools to respond to it, rising COVID and RSV cases. During this time, we must improve access to information and remote care for both patients and providers.”
HIA is specifically asking lawmakers to permanently allow patients to continue using health savings accounts to pay for telehealth services (including joining a letter with more than 350 other organizations) and for telehealth services covered under Medicare to remain available. If Congress cannot agree on making telehealth flexibilities permanent, HIA asks for them to be continued through at least the end of 2024.
As a long-time proponent of expanding the use of electronic prior authorization, HIA is calling on Congress to pass legislation implementing a standards-based, real-time approach, ensuring patients can get care faster while relieving providers from burdensome, paper-based tasks.
Additionally, lawmakers should take steps to create a Privacy Commission to provide recommendations on modernizing the use of health data and privacy laws to ensure patient privacy and trust while balancing doctors’ needs to have information at their fingertips to provide care.
HIA is also calling for Congress to pass legislation increasing oversight of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including HIA’s edits to the PREVENT Pandemics Act, ensuring that the CDC is not using funds to duplicate work or creating policies and regulations requiring unnecessary or burdensome reporting on state and local public health entities. Rather, the CDC should focus on ensuring data is available when it is needed by front-line health workers, patients, and public health entities.
“The future of healthcare is tied to the availability of data and the advancement of technology. Lawmakers must ensure that legislation and regulations keep pace or patients will pay a steep price,” said White.
Click down below to read HIA’s letter.