HIMSS News

House Passes Compromise 21st Century Cures Act

On Wednesday, November 30th, the US House of Representatives passed a House-Senate compromise version of the 21st Century Cures Act.  The legislation combines policies from the original House 21st Century Cures Act passed last summer and a number of individual health IT and innovation bills passed by the Senate HELP Committee this year. HIMSS staff worked closely with key House and Senate Committees over the past two years, providing technical assistance, education and feedback on specific policies.

The core of the legislation is focused on “expediting discovery, delivery and development of new cures and treatments” and “maintaining America’s global status as the leader in biomedical innovation.”  This extensive legislative package, which provides for additional funding for NIH, FDA and the states, and addresses issues ranging from precision medicine to opioid abuse, includes a significant focus on health IT as the electronic foundation of medical research and care delivery.   

While health IT is referenced in over 30 sections throughout the bill, key health IT-related provisions address issues including regulation of health IT, interoperability, information blocking, patient access to their health information and patient data matching. For additional details, please review our HIMSS-developed summary here.

The Senate is expected to take up the House-passed 21st Century Cures Act next week after which it would head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.