The Foundation has been fortunate to collaborate with leading advocacy organizations who have the expertise and relationships to help move the needle on reimbursement for novel medical device therapies like focused ultrasound.
Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA)
In April 2018, the Foundation and the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) formed a partnership with the goal of raising awareness of focused ultrasound technology among policymakers, payers, and medical specialty societies. The partnership has laid important groundwork to reduce barriers to commercialization and increase patient access to focused ultrasound therapies.
Under this partnership, MITA established a Focused Ultrasound Section that includes representatives from seven focused ultrasound companies and the Foundation. To date, the Section has conducted numerous activities to raise the profile of focused ultrasound among key stakeholders and advocate for critical legislative and regulatory changes, including Capitol Hill meetings, blog posts, op-eds, public comments on draft federal policies, and an active public relations and social media campaign.
The Foundation and MITA have partnered to host two “fly-in” events on Capitol Hill. In February 2019 and March 2020, passionate groups of focused ultrasound patients and physicians joined representatives from the Foundation, MITA, and industry in Washington, DC, to educate policymakers on the innovative technology. The goal of these events was twofold: (1) to clearly define a problem plaguing newly approved medical devices – that is, the lack of a clear and efficient path from FDA approval to reimbursement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for these treatments – and (2) to introduce a plan forward. Our group was thrilled to see our advocacy pay off with the recent release of a new rule from CMS that would establish a Medicare coverage pathway for innovative medical devices. If finalized, the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technologies Pathway (MCIT) would pair FDA breakthrough and CMS coverage and grant immediate, four-year Medicare coverage for new, innovative devices.
Advanced Medical Technology Association
In the summer of 2019, the Foundation established a partnership with the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), which includes 11 focused ultrasound companies. The goal of the partnership is to address key issues that create roadblocks to commercialization and thus limit patient access to focused ultrasound therapies.
AdvaMed is a trade association that leads the effort to achieve healthier lives and healthier economies around the world through the advancement of medical technology. It includes more than 400 members in more than 80 countries and acts as the common voice for companies producing medical devices, diagnostic products, and health information systems.
On March 11, 2020, the Foundation and AdvaMed joined forces to host a summit on reimbursement strategies for focused ultrasound treatments. Stakeholders convened in Washington, DC, to discuss the state of US reimbursement for those focused ultrasound applications that have been approved by the FDA.
“The summit and our work with MITA and AdvaMed have allowed us to harness the power of our advocacy partnerships,” says Foundation Chief Scientific Officer, Jessica Foley, PhD. “The Foundation encourages focused ultrasound manufacturers to join advocacy organizations such as AdvaMed and MITA and fully engage in the opportunities that these organizations provide. One example of this would be participation in one or more of AdvaMed’s 12 Payment Working Groups.”
For more information or to join our advocacy efforts, contact Dr. Foley.