Washington, D.C. – The Health IT Now Coalition applauds the House for passing the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 344-77. The bill will promote the use of data and innovative technology to improve health and lower costs. Joel White, Executive Director of the Health IT Now Coalition, issued the following statement on the bill’s passage:
“We congratulate the House for passing the 21st Century Cures legislation. The bill will foster a new age of interoperable health IT systems that will allow more and better data to be used to improve health care for patients. For too long, providers, patients, and taxpayers have suffered under systems and businesses that intentionally block information in a program designed for information exchange. Today’s bill is a good step in liberating data by ending information blocking.
“Despite tens of billions of dollars in federal and private investments over the past few years, interoperable health systems remain more a dream than a reality. This legislation dramatically changes the status quo by reforming the broken government-directed standards development process and requiring the use of private sector standards, putting patients in the driver’s seat by leveraging patient directed data apps, and making it illegal to block information. These changes could save more than $75 billion annually by finally realizing the promise of interoperable health systems.
“The legislation recognizes that low-risk health IT should not be regulated by the FDA. Such clarity would be a major advance in unleashing creative innovators to develop new products and ideas. These innovators should know the regulatory risk they face and whether they need to build that into their business plans. Practically, what this could mean for patients is more products and cheaper costs. We look forward to working the Senate to ensure this regulatory clarity and certainty is full achieved.
“We commend the bill’s bipartisan support; we applaud Chairman Fred Upton, Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts, Congressman Michael Burgess, Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Subcommittee Ranking Member Gene Green, and Congresswoman Diana DeGette for their determination in advancing this legislation.
“While there is still work to be done, we look forward to working with the Senate to ensure the further progression towards the 21st century health system patients have been waiting on for far too long.”