The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit ideas and information on how to encourage development and use of new medical technologies. Comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. (Eastern time) on April 16, 2009, and may be submitted electronically.

The agency is asking for comments on a number of issues, including:

  • Are there specific CMS coverage or payment policies that should be considered to help ensure timely, affordable access to effective new technologies for beneficiaries?
  • Are there specific refinements within CMS's control, or that would require rulemaking to the
    criteria or methods used to determine eligibility for Medicare inpatient add-on payments,
    outpatient new medical technology, Ambulatory Payment Classification payments or pass-
    through payments that may be modified to potentially improve access to new medical
    technologies and provide greater value for the program and its beneficiaries?
  • Is there research on medical technology, tools or funding that is not currently being conducted
    that could be conducted and/or funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality? 
  • What role should HHS play in making information regarding the cost and quality of new
    medical technologies available and encourage its use by health care providers and patients
    to make informed health care decisions?
  • To what extent should HHS participate in and fund comparative effectiveness research?
    What should HHS's role be and how should the results be used?
  • How can federal medical technology research funds be better coordinated with state and
    private sector research to maximize value to society?
  • How do the terms and conditions of National Institutes of Health research awards affect the
    development of innovation, and what specific changes would encourage innovation?
  • How can the Food and Drug Administration's practices and procedures be enhanced to
    further encourage innovation while ensuring safety and effectiveness?

The RFI is the result of a series of conferences HHS hosted around the country in the latter half of 2008 to discuss how various agencies facilitate the development of innovative medical technologies. For more information, please click here, here and here.