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Senate HELP Committee Hearing on Gene Editing Technology
Senate HELP Committee Hearing on Gene Editing Technology

On Nov. 14, the Senate health committee held a hearing on the gene editing method CRISPR to learn more about the technology from expert witnesses, which included Dr. Matthew Porteus, associate professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University; Katrine Bosley, CEO and president of Editas Medicine; and Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

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Cooper Sponsors Bill to Repeal Law Blamed for Restricting DEA Opioid Enforcement
Cooper Sponsors Bill to Repeal Law Blamed for Restricting DEA Opioid Enforcement

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), joined by U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins (WV-03), U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02) and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13), today introduced bipartisan legislation repealing the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016.

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THA Launches Data Sharing Initiative for TennCare Patients
THA Launches Data Sharing Initiative for TennCare Patients

New data sharing software is expected to improve communication, decrease emergency visits for TennCare patients

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AMA Urges Congress to Take Swift Action to Retain DACA Program Protections

The American Medical Association sent a letter to Congress on Sept. 5 outlining why DACA is an American healthcare issue and urging legislators to take prompt action to ensure individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status are able to remain in the United States.

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President Signs FDA User Fee Legislation
President Signs FDA User Fee Legislation

On Aug. 18, President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation authored by Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) intended to speed safe drugs and medical devices into patients' medicine cabinets and doctors' offices, while maintaining safety and effectiveness standards.

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Alexander Leads Bipartisan Support for Accelerated FDA Reviews
Alexander Leads Bipartisan Support for Accelerated FDA Reviews

By a vote of 94-1, the U.S. Senate has sent President Trump a bill addressing FDA user fee agreements meant to speed up the Food & Drug Administration's review of new drugs and devices.

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Chairman Alexander on Announcing Bipartisan Health Care Hearings: Unless Congress Acts, Millions May Not Have Insurance to Buy in 2018
Chairman Alexander on Announcing Bipartisan Health Care Hearings: Unless Congress Acts, Millions May Not Have Insurance to Buy in 2018

"There are a number of issues with the American health care system, but if your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market."

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Attention Now Turns to the Senate for Healthcare Reform

On May 15, the American Medical Association (AMA) urged Senate leaders to keep in mind patients at risk of losing their insurance coverage. "Significant changes to the ACA or Medicaid program potentially threaten the ability for millions of Americans to obtain and retain coverage. It is these citizens, constituents, and patients who should be at the center of this debate," wrote AMA CEO James L. Madara, MD.

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Tennessee Patient Stability Coalition Applauds Proposed Rx Benefits Legislation

The Tennessee Patient Stability Coalition, a coalition of 17 leading patient and provider groups is voicing support for a bill that would require commercial health plans honor the terms of their prescription coverage plans for the duration of the contract year. The group said the legislation, known as the "Reliable Coverage Act" (SB 991/HB 960), would protect consumers by preventing prescription coverage reductions outside of the open enrollment period.

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21st Century Cures
21st Century Cures

Calling it a 'Christmas miracle,' U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander discusses the importance of the 21st Century Cures Act.

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Legislative Priorities of Key Health Associations
Legislative Priorities of Key Health Associations

Despite the uncertainty that comes with a changing administration at the federal level, work moves forward at the state level for the Tennessee Hospital Association, Tennessee Medical Association and Tennessee Nurses Association. Below is a snapshot of priorities and plans for 2017. Additional information is available on each of the statewide organizations' websites.

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Physicians, APRNs Having Varying Views on Scope of Practice Issue

The Healing Arts Scope of Practice Task Force, which was convened by Public Chapter 1046 to discuss access to care including delivery by the appropriate healthcare professional, often found Tennessee's advanced practice nurses and physicians on opposite sides of the issue.

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Keys to Unlocking Better Patient Outcomes
Keys to Unlocking Better Patient Outcomes

Former Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey and Speaker of the House Beth Harwell commissioned a Scope of Practice Task Force to change the conversation and the players in the ongoing debate about the need for and value of physician supervision of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in the state. The 12,612 APRNs in Tennessee include 9,717 Nurse Practitioners (77.0 percent of the total), 2,564 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (20.3 percent), 193 Certified Nurse Midwives (1.5 percent), and 138 Clinical Nurse Specialists (1.1 percent).

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We Need More Collaboration in Healthcare, Not Less
We Need More Collaboration in Healthcare, Not Less

Tennessee Public Chapter 1046 created an equally balanced task force of advanced practice nurses and practicing physicians to "make recommendations to the general assembly for the improvement of Tennessee residents' health by providing access to quality and cost effective care." The group first met in June 2016 and, after several meetings and other deliberations, will issue a few recommendations to the General Assembly for legislators to consider in 2017.

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Sen. Alexander Statement on Senate Passage of ECHO
Sen. Alexander Statement on Senate Passage of ECHO

Legislation cosponsored by Alexander designed to help improve collaboration among rural doctors and specialists in other areas so doctors can better serve their patients.

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