House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Neurosurgery’s Legislative Priorities
On Oct. 4, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced three legislative priorities of the AANS and CNS — Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reauthorization, telestroke and electronic health record (EHR) relief.
- The Helping Ensure Access for Little Ones, Toddlers, and Hopeful Youth by Keeping Insurance Delivery Stable (HEALTHY KIDS) Act (H.R. 3921) would reauthorize the CHIP. Introduced by Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Texas), this legislation provides five years of federal appropriations for CHIP, for FY 2018 through FY 2022. The bill passed by a vote of 28-23, along party lines. The funding levels and matching rates mirror the same policies and provisions including the bipartisan Senate bill, S. 1827, the Keep Kids' Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act. The Senate Finance Committee passed S. 1827 out of committee by voice vote.
- The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act (H.R. 1148), introduced by Rep. Griffith Morgan (R-Va.), would expand the ability of patients presenting at hospitals or at mobile stroke units to receive a Medicare-reimbursed neurological consult via telemedicine. The bill passed by voice vote.
- H.R. 3120 aims to reduce the volume of future electronic health record-related significant hardship requests. Introduced by Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Texas), this bill amends the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to remove a requirement that requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to continue to make meaningful use standards more stringent over time. The bill passed by voice vote.
The AANS/CNS Washington Office played an active and critical role in advancing these bills.