Sending Office: Honorable Eric Swalwell
Sent By:
Lizzy.Fox@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

SUPPORT IMPROVING ACCESS TO GENETIC AND GENOMIC TESTING

Deadline: Friday, March 16

Dear Colleague:

We ask that you join us in asking House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro to support report language that would urge the Department of Health and Human Services to
conduct a study on how to improve access to genetic and genomic testing and patient outcomes through precision medicine.

Innovation in genomics has presented new opportunities to diagnose and treat genetic disorders like cancer and most rare diseases, as well as predict one’s predisposition to a disease.  Genetic and genomic tests have the potential to further the emerging
field of precision medicine and to cut health care costs by facilitating better diagnoses and the consideration of preventive measures. 

However, certain barriers, including the lack of insurance coverage and inability to see relevant health professionals, impede access to genetic and genomic testing.  While technologies could bring a healthier America, achievements in this field will be
limited in the future unless patients have affordable access to such testing.  With the enactment of the
21st Century Cures Act, which streamlines the drug and medical device approval process of the Food and Drug Administration and advances the Precision Medicine Initiative and Cancer Moonshot, further dialogue and analysis is needed to ensure innovative
technologies can be effectively utilized.

The report language would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Medicine to develop recommendations on how the federal government may reduce barriers to the utilization of genetic and genomic
testing.  We believe this is an important to step to help advance the future of medicine.

If your boss would like to join the letter,
please use this link to add their name
. If you have any questions, please contact Lizzy Fox in Representative Swalwell’s office at
Lizzy.Fox@mail.house.gov. The deadline to sign is Friday, March 16.

Sincerely,

Eric Swalwell

Member of Congress

 

Letter text

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

As you prepare the fiscal year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, we write to ask you to include the attached report language for a National Academy of Medicine study on genetic and genomic testing.

Innovation in genomics has presented new opportunities to diagnose and treat genetic disorders like cancer and most rare diseases, as well as predict one’s predisposition to a disease.  Genetic and genomic tests have the potential to further the emerging
field of precision medicine and to cut health care costs by facilitating better diagnoses and the consideration of preventive measures. 

However, certain barriers, including the lack of insurance coverage and inability to see relevant health professionals, impede access to genetic and genomic testing.  While technologies could bring a healthier America, achievements in this field will be
limited in the future unless patients have affordable access to such testing.  With the enactment of the
21st Century Cures Act, which streamlines the drug and medical device approval process of the Food and Drug Administration and advances the Precision Medicine Initiative and Cancer Moonshot, further dialogue and analysis is needed to ensure innovative
technologies can be effectively utilized.  The report language asks for the Department of Health and Human Services to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Medicine to develop recommendations on how the federal government may reduce barriers
to the utilization of genetic and genomic testing.

We believe that these recommendations will help support the transformation of our health care system to better focus on the uniqueness of each and every patient in the future.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

 

Report language

Report on genetic and genomic testing. – The Committee applauds the work done by agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to encourage the advancement of precision medicine.  The Committee recognizes the initiative the agencies
have taken to bring together stakeholders to discuss genetic and genomic testing research, cost, barriers, and data.  The Committee directs the Department of Health and Human Services to further this work by entering into an agreement with the National Academy
of Medicine to provide a report to the Committee how genetic and genomic testing may improve preventative care and precision medicine; how genetic and genomic testing may reduce health disparities; how the Federal Government may help to reduce barriers to
genetic and genomic testing, including– encouraging the expansion of health insurance coverage of genetic and genomic testing, including diagnostic, predictive, and presymptomatic testing, and whole genome sequencing; supporting the collection of evidence
for the clinical utility and appropriate use of genetic and genomic tests; and improving access to genetic counselors, pathologists, and other relevant professions, including strengthening related workforce education and training efforts; the extent to which
coverage provisions in the Medicare and Medicaid programs under titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq., 1396 et seq.) may restrain the use of genetic and genomic testing that may improve clinical outcomes for beneficiaries;
how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may make coverage determinations that better suit a precision medicine approach to treatment; how genetic and genomic testing may improve health outcomes for all populations in the United States, including–
individuals with a rare disease, such as — a metabolic disease, a hereditary cancer syndrome, and a neurologic disease with known treatments; and special populations, including– infants and children, critically ill (non-infectious and non-trauma) patients,
transplant patients, individuals with cardiac disease, and individuals with, or who have a family history of, a birth defect or developmental disability.  A report is due no later than 3 years after the enactment of this Act.  The final report shall also be
shared with the House Committees and Ways and Means and Energy and Environment and the Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, HealthCare

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