Lawmakers Introduce Draft Bill That Would Be First To Regulate Diagnostic Tests
For years the Food and Drug Administration has been raising questions about the accuracy of tests for diagnosing serious illnesses. In other news from Capitol Hill, senators tackle the needs of rural doctors. And Tennessee's senators look ahead to the potential lack of insurance exchange options for their state's residents in 2018.
On The New FDA Chief’s Agenda: A Bipartisan Bill To Regulate Diagnostic Lab Tests
One of the first big issues Scott Gottlieb will have to weigh in on if confirmed as Food and Drug commissioner is what to do about the booming field of diagnostic tests. Gottlieb, a physician and libertarian scholar, has been lukewarm on whether to regulate in vitro clinical tests, a category that includes finished products such as test kits and platforms as well as laboratory developed tests (LDTs), which are lab protocols used for diagnostics. (Kaplan, 4/12)
Bill Looks To Address Dearth Of Underserved Areas With Foreign Doctors
A bipartisan group of senators wants to address the need for doctors in rural and poor areas by increasing the number of foreign physicians allowed to practice in the U.S.This week, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) re-introduced legislation that would expand the number of physicians who could participate in the Conrad Waiver 30 program. (Johnson, 4/11)
Can Tennessee’s U.S. Senators Help Healthcare Consumers?
A new bill filed by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker could give some relief to Tennesseans who are facing a bleak individual health insurance market in 2018. Called “The Health Care Options Act of 2017,” the bill aims to do two things. First, it aims to waive the federal penalty for individuals who don’t get qualified coverage because no carrier offers it on the exchange in their county. Second, it aims to allow individuals to apply any federal subsidy for which they qualify to non-qualified and off-exchange health plans. It is not a coincidence that this bill is sponsored by the senators from Tennessee. The dynamics of the individual health insurance market in Tennessee are extremely challenging right now and the state is at risk of not having any options on the exchange at all in 2018. (Tolbert, 4/12)