There’s nothing more heartbreaking than to watch someone we love suffer with a terminal illness. As family members and loved ones, the one thing we cannot provide is the one thing they need most: a cure. While progress is made every day in the healthcare sector, there remains much work to be done when it comes to the human condition. As estate planning lawyers, we may not can provide cures for illnesses and disease, what we can offer is strong planning for families that can help ensure the best care for their loved ones. Fortunately, a new nonpartisan effort is working to bring healthcare innovation front and center with the goal of delivering to Americans innovating and necessary solutions for the next generation of cures and treatments. Known as the 21st Century Cures Act, this impressive legislative effort is all about medical advances and ensuring those advances don’t take years to reach those who need them most.
On May 21, 2015, the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill to help modernize and personalize health care, encourage greater innovation, support research, and streamline the system began making its way through the legislative process. It’s now on its way to the President’s desk, with most believing it will be signed into law quickly.
Make no mistake: it’s happening at lightning speed. Whether it’s mapping the human genome or creating personalized medicines that are all about the patient’s needs, disease treatment has never been more promising.
The federal drug and device approval apparatus is by all definitions, antiquated. Now, with the passage of these new laws, our country has dedicated scientists and bold leaders at agencies like the NIH and the FDA who are ready to move forward, equipped with these new tools.
If we want to save more lives and keep this country the leader in medical innovation, we have to make sure there’s not a major gap between the science of cures and the way those therapies are regulated and brought to the patients. Further, we have to be sure those who need them most have financial access. This means a strong Medicaid and Medicare effort for our elderly loved ones.
With changes come options. Medicaid is working to put into place strong digital options, such as video chatting with doctors, especially for elderly patients who are more homebound than others, whether it’s due to an illness or perhaps because they live in a rural area. Patients, patient advocates, researchers, and innovators in the health care system are working together every day to close the gaps between the advances and access to them.
Another important consideration is the ongoing safety issues in a digital world. With many hacks into the various clouds, including those of medical facilities, this is certainly a priority. But the passage of appropriate laws is a big step to reaching that degree of safety.
To learn more about better protecting your loved ones and how to secure Medicaid and other important coverage for them, contact our offices today. And if you’re already digitally-inclined, you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter @zimmerlawfirm.