The Amputee Coalition applauds Representatives Diana DeGette and Fred Upton’s tireless work and leadership in the introduction of the Cures 2.0 bill. This key bill builds upon the original twenty-first-century cures act. Cures 2.0 bill is designed to promote scientific and policy advancements in health, science and medicine. The following are key provisions of the bill that can impact the limb loss and limb difference community.
Section 101: Understanding the Implication of Long COVID
- The pandemic has fundamentally altered the way in which we interact with others in a multitude of settings and manners. Ensuring that we understand the implication of COVID-19 is essential on a pathway towards normalcy. This section of Cures 2.0 will direct the Government Accountability Office to conduct a national study of self-identified patients of Long Covid to assess health care coverage, long-term care coverage, and disabilities coverage. This section also fosters a learning collaboration to ensure that dialogue is fostered between key stakeholders like providers (nurses, doctors), scientific researchers, patient advocates (like Amputee Coalition), data services providers, and developers of diagnostics and therapies.
Section 201: Education Programs and Training for Caregivers
- This section of Cures 2.0 will fund educational programs and training for caregivers to learn skills that will support a care team and complement a clinical visit. Amputee Coalition recognizes the invaluable work that caregivers provide.
Section 202 Increasing Health Literacy to Promote Better Outcomes for Patients
- This section promotes health literacy by requiring Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services to seek input from federally subsidized health care programs stakeholders. Amputee Coalition recognizes and understands the need to ensure that patients are able to have the knowledge required to self-advocate. We commend this section’s inclusion of a commitment to promoting and increasing patient health literacy.
Section 306. Establishment of Additional Intercenter Institutes at the Food and Drug Administration
- Cures 2.0 creates two additional Food and Drug Centers of Excellence. Centers of Excellence are academic institutions that advance science through innovation, research, training, and dialogue between key stakeholders. Amputee Coalition is monitoring the two centers of excellence to determine how it will impact the limb loss and limb difference community.
Section 401: GAO Study and Report
- Cures 2.0 will require a Government Account Office report on recommendations to create enhancements in Medicare coverage and reimbursement for innovative health technologies. Ensuring members of the limb loss and limb difference community are able to receive coverage for the care needed to fully participate in community and daily living is a priority for the Amputee Coalition. We commend the inclusion of a reporting requirement to ensure that coverage is available for all who need it.
Section 402: Strategies to Increase Access to Telehealth under Medicaid and Children’s Health
- This section increases access to telehealth under Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program. It will also review the impact of telehealth on patient health and encourage collaboration. Amputee Coalition praises the inclusion of telehealth in Cures 2.0. We recognize the important role telehealth has played during the pandemic to ensure that the limb loss and limb difference community has received access to medical care. With inclusion in the bill, we hope to see the continuation of access to appropriate and equitable telehealth options for our community.
Section 403: Extending Medicare Telehealth Flexibilities
- Amputee Coalition applauds the collaboration between Representatives DeGette, Upton, Rochester and Burgess to ensure inclusion of the Telehealth Modernization Act in Cures 2.0. The Telehealth Modernization Act will permanently remove Medicare’s geographic and originating site restriction. The removal of these restrictions will enhance access to telehealth services. This section also will permanently expand the types of health care providers that can offer telehealth services and the types of services that can be reimbursed under Medicare.
Section 405: Secretary of Health and Human Services Report on Coverage for Innovative Technologies
- This section requires the Secretary of HHS to submit a report detailing the viability of creating alternative coverage pathways for innovative technologies. The Amputee Coalition looks forward to reading the report outcome for coverage and understanding the impact for the limb loss and limb difference community.
Section 501 Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health
- This section authorizes 6.5 billion dollars to create and fund the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Amputee Coalition commends the funding of this vital new agency that will develop and improve treatments for diseases that can cause limb loss.
As Cures 2.0 moves through the legislative process, Amputee Coalition will be monitoring and updating the limb loss and limb difference community in a variety of ways.