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Tiberi Opening Statement at Health Subcommittee Hearing on Spurring Health Care Innovation

September 14, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) today delivered the following opening statement at a Subcommittee hearing entitled “Exploring the Use of Technology and Innovation to Create Efficiencies, Higher Quality, and Better Access for Beneficiaries in Health Care.”

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“The Subcommittee will come to order. Welcome to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing on Exploring the Use of Technology and Innovation to Create Efficiencies, Higher Quality, and Better Access for Beneficiaries in Health Care. Over the last decade, Congress has passed several pieces of legislation that would expand the use of health information technology on a wide scale, helping to spur a wave of innovation and technological advancement.  

“While these advancements have in part been utilized under meaningful use in the Electronic Health Record Incentives Program, there are a myriad of companies out there inventing and developing groundbreaking products that we do not yet see in federal health care programs like Medicare. The commercial sector of health care is utilizing many of these new innovations on a yearly basis to improve systems, medical facilities, beneficiary care, and collaborative care efforts. To date Medicare has fallen significantly behind.

“We are here today to kick off discussions about the innovative and technological aspects of health care, and explore how we can use already available and burgeoning technologies to increase efficiency, reduce waste, improve outcomes, and create greater access to care for beneficiaries in the Medicare space.

“What I hope we talk about today is not about increasing or decreasing Medicare spending, but about using the dollars already in the program more efficiently–focusing on goals like giving patients more time with their clinicians and more control over their health information. 

“I have heard from providers back in Ohio about clinician shortages that are jeopardizing access for Medicare beneficiaries who need care. That scenario is both unacceptable and untenable. There are better ways to deliver care if we can lift barriers and incentivize greater efficiencies amongst all providers. Partnering with those who share these goals, including those who are developing innovative products to create these efficiencies, will be a positive step towards bolstering Medicare’s solvency. 

“It is important to recognize what steps have already been taken to bring these technologies into the Medicare space. We can learn lessons from the implementation of the HITECH Act. Additionally, we can build upon the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Rather than create more bureaucratic layers, Congress should continue to remove some of the regulatory burdens and barriers constricting advanced partnerships between technology and health care.  

“During today’s hearing we will discuss the role of innovation in the health care industry; look at how providers are leveraging the power of technology to cut costs and improve care for all patients; and explore how Congress can apply these lessons in order to further break down barriers, rather than create them, to improve the Medicare program for beneficiaries and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent with these goals in mind.”