HHS Chief Scores With Congress On DME Bid Program, Telehealth Pay, But Says LDTs Complex
At back-to-back congressional hearings on Feb. 14 and 15, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar seemed to satisfy lawmakers' questions on how he would use his budget to fix problems in the durable medical equipment bidding program and provide telehealth reimbursements under Medicare, but conceded that lab-developed test regulations are a complicated issue.
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On this week's podcast, we discuss US Congress' last-minute budget deal that included several Medicare provisions relevant to the medtech sector. And we talk about US FDA's recent two-day workshop on its Pre-Cert Pilot Program for digital health.
Medtech and funding provisions in a two-year budget deal that the US Senate and House approved early Friday morning and which were signed by the President would extend Medicate telehealth programs, remove a rental cap for speech-generating devices and strengthen competitive bidding rules to assure access to diabetic test strips, among others.
Alex Azar was confirmed as the next secretary of Health and Human Services with strong industry support. Azar comes to the role with some homework to do on key FDA medtech policies, but has expressed support for risk-based regulation of lab-developed tests and cost-saving bundled-payment models.