Senators Shaheen, Capito, Reps. McKinley, and Thompson introduce the bipartisan Digital Prescription Therapy Access Act

March 10, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and U.S. Representatives David McKinley (WV-01) and Mike Thompson (CA-05) introduced bipartisan legislation to increase access to Digital Therapeutic Prescribing (PDT).

The legislation, known as Access to Digital Prescription Therapy Act of 2022, would expand Medicare coverage to include PDTs, which are software-based disease treatments designed to directly treat disease, whose safety and effectiveness have been tested in randomized clinical trials, reviewed by the Food and United States Drug Administration (FDA) and prescribed by health care providers. PDTs are designed and tested much like traditional prescription drugs, but rather than swallowing a pill or getting an injection, patients receive cognitive therapy through software.

“We must harness the power of innovation in medicine to improve access and treatment options for patients. That’s why I’m helping introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation to expand access to cognitive therapies proven to treat a range of illnesses, including substance use disorders and health conditions. mental”, said Senator Shaheen. “Our bill ensures these digital prescription therapies are covered by Medicare so that more patients, including the elderly, have access to the cutting-edge care they deserve.”

“Prescription Digital Therapeutics is a great example of how innovative technology can address some of the healthcare challenges that providers and patients continue to face,” said Senator Capito. “The Digital Prescription Therapy Access Act would enable more patients living with a wide variety of diseases and conditions – from substance and opioid use disorders and mental and behavioral health to diabetes and Parkinson’s disease – to more effectively access the care and support they need. and deserve.

“West Virginia has the highest overdose death rate in the country and we know all too well the losses families affected by this crisis have endured. It is essential that we do more to address mental health and addictions and seek new approaches that can improve people’s lives,” said Congressman McKinley. “This legislation will ensure that innovative and effective treatments, like Prescription Digital Therapeutics, are more widely available to help combat this scourge.”

“Living in the modern era requires medicine to adapt to meet the needs and challenges of access to quality care. Digital prescription therapies, software-based health treatments, have significant benefits for patients and provide a new tool to help improve people’s lives,” said Congressman Thompson. “PDTs have been shown to benefit people with mental health conditions like depression and addiction, providing an alternative to traditional medicine. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill alongside Senators Shaheen and Capito and Congressman McKinley to ensure seniors on Medicare have access to these innovative treatments.

For the full text of the invoice, click on here.

Throughout the pandemic, Shaheen has been a leader in strengthening and expanding access to telehealth in New Hampshire and across the country. Shaheen helps lead bipartisan legislation, the Rural Telehealth Access Protection Act, which would make various current Medicare telehealth flexibilities permanent, including flexibilities to provide audio-only forms of telehealth services. This would ensure that Medicare patients can continue to have access to the services and consultations they need and that patients in rural areas without broadband access will still be able to use audio-only and phone visits with their doctors. In April 2020, Shaheen, Manchin and Moran led a bipartisan group of senators to urge the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase telehealth by phone or audio uniquely. reimbursements equivalent to other audiovisual telehealth reimbursements. The following month, CMS answered Shaheen’s call and updated guidelines to align Medicare reimbursement for telephone health services with Medicare reimbursement for video telehealth. Shaheen also helped introduce the bipartisan Create Opportunity Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Law, which would expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare, make COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent, improve health outcomes, and make it easier for patients to safely connect with their doctors. Last April, Shaheen also introduced legislation providing for Medicare reimbursement for audio and video telehealth services provided by home health agencies during the COVID-19 public health crisis and future public health emergencies.

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