The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) has sent a letter to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in response to the “21st Century Cures 2.0” discussion draft legislation, shared last month.
“Medical imaging technologies play an essential role in the health care infrastructure and the care pathways of screening, evaluating, staging, managing, and effectively treating patients with cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders, and numerous other medical conditions,” said Patrick Hope, executive director of MITA. “We took this opportunity to share with the committee the priorities of the medical imaging community and look forward to continued work with Congress to improve patient access and promote overall public health.”
In its letter to committee leaders, MITA noted its support for accelerated regulatory approval of modern and innovative technologies through the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technologies (MCIT) pathway at CMS. MCIT would help to address the gap between regulatory authorization and coding, coverage and reimbursement that serves as a significant barrier to the adoption and utilization of innovative devices. The group supports the inclusion of the Ensuring Patient Access to Critical Breakthrough Products Act to codify this program and encourage further innovation and faster adaptation of innovative medical technologies.
The organization also advocated for ensuring patient access to advanced digital health technologies, including artificial intelligence. It noted that supporting these advancements will require an alignment of policy incentives that appropriately reward early adoption and ongoing innovation.
Finally, MITA acknowledged that the current research funding structure can be challenging to navigate. The proposed independent agency focused on healthcare innovation, known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), could help improve coordination across existing federal entities involved in healthcare-related research and regulation. The group suggested ARPA-H should focus its activities on developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic medical imaging and image-guided technologies that can potentially impact the treatment of numerous diseases and conditions.
The MITA letter is available here.