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Contact:
Mark E. Brager
202-434-7244
mbrager@advamed.org
December 20, 2017

House Bills Strengthen Medicare Beneficiary Access to Innovative Technologies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) issued the following statement from President and CEO Scott Whitaker after introduction of a pair of legislative proposals in the U.S. House (H.R. 4679 and H.R. 4683) to improve Medicare beneficiary access to innovative medical technologies:

“CMS’s New Technology Add-on Payment (NTAP) program was first enacted into law in 2000 to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries would have timely access to new and innovative technologies.

“NTAP payments are designed to be temporary and help bridge the gap between the introduction of the new technology and more adequate reimbursement that accurately reflects the cost of medical innovation. 

“Unfortunately, the program has not worked as intended. Since 2003 only 29 out of 75 applications have been approved for NTAP payments, and in some cases, coverage of certain NTAP products has been restricted at the local level. Furthermore, data show that the add-on payments at the current level have not removed the disincentive for hospitals to adopt new technology, as the program’s actual spending is only about one-third of what has been anticipated by CMS.

“The legislation introduced would make improvements to the NTAP program and help ensure that patients have greater access to innovative technologies that represent clinical improvements over existing technologies or therapies. These improvements would reduce the financial disincentives for hospitals that choose to use innovative new technology.

“These reforms will stimulate development of important new devices and diagnostics and assure more timely patient access to new treatment options.

“AdvaMed commends Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) on this important step forward for patient access to innovative medical technology. We look forward to continuing to engage with Congress and the Administration to promote policies that will provide for rapid coverage of FDA-approved breakthrough technologies.”

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AdvaMed member companies produce the medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments. AdvaMed members range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For more information, visit www.advamed.org.