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Weekly Policy Update: Meeting with Congresswoman Degette

This week Colorado BioScience Association along with AdvaMed, our Board Chair Scott Larson at Terumo BCT, Zimmer Biomet and ResMed met with Congresswoman DeGette. The meeting offered a great opportunity to talk about the importance of our industry and the exciting innovations taking place, as well as barriers presenting current challenges.

As a senior member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Congresswoman DeGette is very active in the healthcare space. She has been a consistent advocate for the industry, leading critical legislation such as 21st Century Cures.

The group addressed several of our priorities with the Congresswoman, including:

• The current state of the medical technology industry and the importance of medical innovation. We shared Colorado’s impressive numbers with her. Our medical technology industry has created more than 9,000 jobs, and contributes more than $6.4 billion to the state’s economy. We host more than 159,000 direct and indirect employees. The 720 bioscience companies located in Colorado include agriculture, biotechnology, diagnostic, digital health, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies.We support policy solutions that include incentives to provide high value care and encourage the development and adoption of new and better treatments.

• We advocated for a full repeal of the Medical device tax in standalone legislation. In February of 2018, Congress enacted a two-year suspension of the medical device excise tax as part of the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government. The suspension period was made retroactive to January 1, 2018, and is set to expire on December 31, 2019. The 2.3% medical device excise tax was originally established as part of the Affordable Care Act and a permanent repeal of the tax continues to be a top priority for CBSA and Colorado's medtech innovators. While we were glad to see this temporary relief, CBSA and our partners continue to advocate for a full repeal of the tax as it will provide long term stability and certainty for our sector, ultimately supporting our companies, the industry, jobs and new innovations for patients.

We thank our elected officials who are advocating for the full repeal, supporting and joining on as a cosponsor to full repeal legislation, H.R. 184 – Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017 and S.108 -Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act. It is important that Congress finds a way to fully repeal the device tax.

To learn more about repealing medical device excise tax, view AdvaMed’s infographic.

 • Medicare Coverage Reform.

 Medicare coverage is unnecessarily challenging and can be a barrier to patient access, because evidence requirements used to determine coverage are unclear. The FDA has a predictable process for determining clearance, and by providing an accelerated route through the breakthrough pathway patients can access important new diagnostics and treatments. However, there are significant hurdles in navigating coverage with CMS., taking as long as three years.

The group discussed this challenge with the Congresswoman, advocating for support of the recently introduced legislation, to provide a pathway for breakthrough products at CMS. To learn more about this legislation click here.

 

 



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