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21st Century Medical Innovations

Physicians, along with patients, are at the forefront of a fundamental transformation in healthcare resulting from the intersection of genetic and genomic breakthroughs, the rapid growth of digital capabilities, and the resultant new tools for patients and physicians. Leveraging these new capabilities will require new pathways for research where patients and physicians have a greater role as part of a learning health care environment, strategic modernization of regulatory oversight, coverage and payment flexibilities, and, critical to all the foregoing, development of a workable, interoperable data sharing infrastructure.

In late 2014, Chairman Upton (R-MI) and Representative DeGette (D-CO) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched the 21st Century Cures initiative to help ensure government policies support and promote physicians’ ability to practice medicine in the innovative health care environment of the 21st Century through new technologies and cures. The Committee sought input from the AMA, and in response, the AMA has outlined needed reforms in five areas that directly impact physicians’ ability to deliver high quality care to patients in this new environment:

  1. Electronic health records (EHRs) and 21st Century technology
  2. Telemedicine
  3. Personalized medicine and laboratory developed testing services and procedures
  4. Antibiotic development
  5. Protecting patient data

The AMA strongly supports the 21st Century Cures initiative and continues to work with the Committee to craft this needed legislation.

On January 29, 2015, the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) released a report, Innovations for Healthier Americans, outlining their views on the challenges to offering new safe treatments, devices and cures to patients quickly and effectively. The report largely focuses on accelerating and enhancing the efficiency of our nation’s healthcare ecosystem–discovery, development, and delivery. The AMA welcomes the opportunity to provide comment and work with the HELP Committee to advance legislation that supports 21st Century medical innovation.

Recent Correspondence

AMA comments to House E&C regarding LDTs, March 31, 2016

AMA comments to House Energy and Commerce on revised draft "21st Century Cures Act," May 8, 2015

AMA comments to House Energy & Commerce on initial draft "21st Century Cures Act," February 23, 2015

AMA statement to Energy and Commerce re: 21st Century Cures: A Modernized Framework for Innovative Diagnostic Tests, January 5, 2015

AMA letter to Energy and Commerce in response to its request for feedback on the 21st Century Cures initiative, September 26, 2014

AMA Statement for the Record re: 21st Century Cures: Examining the Regulation of Laboratory-Developed Tests, September 8, 2014