HELP Committee Approves First Round of Medical Innovation Bills

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee advanced seven medical innovation bills today. The bills are the first passed by the committee as part of a broader effort to develop companion legislation to the House’s 21st Century Cures bill.

S. 2511, Improving Health Information Technology, the only bill that was voted on by a roll call vote, was approved 22-0. The bill would allow non-physician members of provider teams to log information on behalf of physicians. The bill would also encourage a “network of data-sharing networks” and create a digital provider directory.

The following six bills were all approved by voice vote:

  • S. 2030, the Advancing Targeted Therapies for Rare Diseases Act.
  • S. 1622, the FDA Device Accountability Act.
  • S. 2014, the Next Generation Researchers Act.
  • S. 800, Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at the NIH Act.
  • S. 849, the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act.
  • S. 2503, the Preventing Superbugs and Protecting Patients Act.

Throughout the hearing there was little debate on the bills themselves, though senators did discuss the way forward on advancing more medical innovation legislation and funding for the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health.