Source : Medtech Insight
While diagnostic test kit and clinical laboratory firms lobbied hard from January through March of this year for better Medicare reimbursements and more flexible regulations, lobbying records also show they spent a lot of time and dollars helping Congress shape discussion of diagnostics in laws aimed at responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Firms including Abbott Laboratories Inc., Siemens Healthineers AG, Becton Dickinson & Co. and Roche Diagnostics Corp. reported in Senate lobbying records that they respectively spent $582,000, $562,000, $420,000 and $200,000 lobbying their senators and representatives. Company lobbyists discussed provisions in the CARES Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act and two other COVID-19 response measures, in addition to other key topics of interest to the diagnostics industry, with their senators and representatives..
Meanwhile, the IVD firms named above (with the addition of Laboratory Corporation of America and Quest Diagnostics Inc.) and smaller companies including Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Shimadzu Corp., Hologic Inc., and Cepheid continued to press hard for better Food and Drug Administration laboratory developed test (LDT) regulations proposed under the VALID Act and improvement of existing FDA regulations for diagnostics. ("ACLA Rejects FDA As A Clinical Validity Judge While AdvaMedDx Seeks Tweaks To VALID Act" "Medtech Insight" )
Also of interest to some IVD firms is the Advancing Access to Precision Medicine Act introduced by Rep. Eric Swallwell, D-CA. The precision medicine bill, H.R.4393, would call for a study of Medicaid coverage of genetic testing of both adults and children to detect inherited diseases to allow for more precise treatments of those diseases. ("Precision Medicine Bill Sponsored By Democrat Eric Swalwell Gains Support In US House" "Medtech Insight" )
Here is a chart showing what diagnostic and laboratory firms spent on lobbying Congress this winter:
The lobbying records also reveal the industry’s support of more Medicare new tech add-on payments, improved reimbursement under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems (IPPS) rule, and continuing interest in implementation of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), under which CMS gathers payment data to set laboratory rates. ("Clinical Lab Group Gets GoAhead On Medicare Payment Suit" "Medtech Insight" )
Below is a series of charts indicating the range of topics that lobbyists for the diagnostics industry discussed with legislators this past winter, the first quarter of 2020.
Diagnostic companies also spent dollars and time bending their legislators’ ears on foreign investment issues, including China trade tariffs, the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA), domestic versus international taxes, and “Buy America” proposals.
And under the general category of computers and technology, the topic of data privacy got at least six mentions in the lobbying reports and cybersecurity won three.
Three relatively new areas of interest for industry got some attention from lobbyists as well. These included appropriations for the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, which received four mentions; while ethylene oxide sterilization of devices and surprise billing legislation garnered two mentions each.
By Sue Darcey