June 14, 2017
Highlights From This Year’s Washington Summit
Alexandria, Va. – Earlier this month, more than 85 HIDA members came to Washington, D.C. to educate lawmakers on issues affecting the healthcare supply chain. Participation in this year’s HIDA Washington Summit reached a new record, with attendees taking part in over 120 meetings with members of Congress and key staffers. During their meetings on Capitol Hill:
Participants asked Congress to support public-private initiatives on pandemic preparedness.
While meeting with lawmakers, HIDA members highlighted their past collaboration with federal agencies on pandemic preparedness in order to illustrate the value of private-public partnership. They called for greater collaboration between the Strategic National Stockpile and other federal agencies and commercial partners to improve the government’s understanding of market volume and industry capabilities during public health crises.
HIDA members called on lawmakers to implement a uniform national standard for licensing wholesale medical distributors. Members added that this code should not require a separate prescription device license if the wholesaler has a pharmaceutical wholesaler license pursuant to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).
Participants asked legislators to join them in calling for competitive bidding improvements.
HIDA members asked congressional leaders to add their names to a letter calling on the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to use their regulatory authority to make the competitive bidding program more efficient and sustainable. They also raised concerns about the program’s inclusion of enteral nutrition items, contending they are not well-suited due to patient demographics.
Participants thanked Congress for the delay in implementing the medical device tax and asked that the tax be permanently repealed. During their meetings with lawmakers and their staff, HIDA members outlined how the medical device tax moratorium allowed them to invest in innovation and create jobs. Members also asked that future discussions about a border adjustment tax acknowledge the complexity of the healthcare supply chain, noting that many essential medical products are made outside the US.
During the Summit Education Briefing, HIDA members heard a political forecast from both sides of the aisle. Reps. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ami Bera (D-CA) offered a look into the future of health reform. Both congressmen outlined concerns over proposed Medicaid reform, noting states’ growing challenges with rising program costs.
HIDA members also heard from provider leaders. Nancy Foster, American Hospital Association, and James Michel, American Health Care Association, highlighted the challenges federal payer regulations present for acute and long-term care providers. As providers look to reduce their costs, distributors have an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships by sharing data and providing regulatory compliance support.
Speaking from the payer side, Jonathan Blum, CareFirst, told HIDA members about how provider consolidation has led to rising cost pressures for insurers. He also spoke to members about payer efforts to control costs by working with primary care physicians, and shared observations about how physicians’ referral practices influence cost.
Jeff Girardi, 703-838-6110
The Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) is the premier trade association representing medical products distribution. HIDA members primarily serve the nation’s hospital, long term care, and physician/alternate care markets. For more information, visit www.HIDA.org or www.streamlininghealthcare.org.