Congress creates a bipartisan caucus for healthcare innovation

By Laura Lovett
04:17 pm

The cost of healthcare in the United States is a burden for many living in the country but some congressional representatives are looking to change that with more innovation in the space. 

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of congressional representatives announced a new Healthcare Innovation Caucus, which is set to focus on encouraging innovative policy ideas and improving the quality of care while lowering the cost for consumers, according to a statement. The founding members include US representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Markwayne Mullin (R-Ok), and Dr. Ami Bera, (D-CA). 

“We all agreed on this: With the highest cost of care per person in the world, we as a country need to think critically about how we can control costs while improving quality for Americans,” Kelly said in an email to MobiHealthNews. “With the health care industry rapidly transforming from a volume-driven system to one that rewards value and outcomes, we believe it is vital that policymakers maintain this acceleration by encouraging a marketplace of multiple payment models and by using lessons learned to improve care for consumers.”

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Congressional caucuses are made up of members of the House of Representatives and function as a forum to address or call attention to a certain issue. There are dozens of caucuses — ranging from the more well-known ones like the Black Caucus to lesser-known groups like the Cranberry Caucus. 

Members of the Healthcare Innovation Caucus will look into new types of payment models and the technologies that would support these models, according to a statement. The statement goes on to say the initiative is supported by healthcare stakeholders. 

“For too long, our health care system rewarded the volume of services, regardless of the outcome,” Kind said in a statement. “I am proud to launch the bipartisan Healthcare Innovation Caucus and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to explore models of care that are coordinated, integrated, patient-centered, and produce great results at a much better price.”

Kelly said that the US has the highest cost of care per person in the world and that it is important to find new avenues for paying and coordinate healthcare. He also noted that the caucus will give members of both parties the opportunity to come together to find new ways to pay for healthcare. 

“Innovation is the driving force behind the evolution of today’s health care industry,” Mullin said in a statement. "The industry improves almost daily with the introduction of electronic healthcare records, groundbreaking cures approved by the FDA, and medical devices that create possibilities we never imagined. However, old and outdated payment models stand in the way of innovation and quality care. We need to make sure that the federal government doesn’t stand in the way as medical innovation brings health care into the 21st century. I’m proud to be a part of the Innovation Caucus, which will serve as a bridge for the novel developments of the medical field as they navigate the pre-digital age laws of Congress.”


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