North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, cosponsored the Accelerating Innovation in Medicine (AIM) Act which she says will “help North Country seniors by allowing for easier access to new and innovative medical devices.”
The AIM Act creates a new category for FDA-approved or cleared medical devices. When an application is filed or a medical device is exempted from FDA approval or clearance, manufacturers may indicate that they do not wish to seek Medicare coverage for their new technology for a period of at least three years, Stefanik said.
This means that upon FDA approval or clearance, the device will be immediately available as a treatment option for physicians and for Medicare patients who choose to self-pay—with no red tape, paperwork, administrative costs, or risk of penalty, according to Stefanik.
“Currently, the newest and most innovative medical technologies are often subject to limited coverage or inadequate reimbursement under Medicare, especially when these products and procedures warrant greater reimbursement than Medicare will offer,” Stefanik said. “If a Medicare beneficiary is interested in self-paying for a new device or procedure that is not covered by Medicare, there can be significant administrative obstacles.”
Stefanik’s district includes St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Fulton, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Warren and Washington counties, as well as portions of Herkimer and Saratoga counties.
“The AIM act will help North Country seniors by allowing for easier access to new and innovative medical devices,” said Stefanik. “Furthermore, by increasing access to new medical technologies, we can spur innovation and economic growth in our vibrant medical device industry.”