April 7, 2022 – Arlington, VA – This week, the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA) convened industry leaders from the U.S. Policy Task Group, including several DTA Board members for an education and advocacy conference in Washington, DC to meet with lawmakers, federal experts, and key congressional committee staff to discuss policy and legislative opportunities to provide better access and coverage for digital therapeutics (DTx) and discuss next steps for the “Access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act”.
As the leading international organization on digital therapeutic thought leadership and education, DTA is a strong advocate for expanded access to DTx products to improve clinical and health economic outcomes. As a part of this work, DTA is engaging directly with federal officials to ensure that patients, caregivers, and clinicians are able to access and benefit from DTx therapies.
The two-day event brought leaders in the digital therapeutics industry together from across the U.S. to educate policy makers about how digital therapeutics are revolutionizing healthcare, and to learn about how the industry can best move forward with CMS reimbursement.
During the event, guest speakers engaged participants in a discussion on the current political environment and other relevant topics, including the legislative and regulatory process, digital health and healthcare innovation policy, and opportunities to reduce disparities with more equitable access to care.
DTA and representatives from member organizations engaged in meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to urge passage of legislation to enable expanded access to digital therapeutics through the “Access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act” along with other related issues. This bipartisan legislation would establish benefit categories for a subset of digital therapeutics, and if passed, would provide a much needed access pathway for the over 160 million people covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and other publicly funded programs.
This legislation comes at a critical moment for patients and the U.S. healthcare system, when the need for better access to care for chronic conditions – and especially mental health care – is growing across all ages. In addition, many are not able to access needed care, either due to geographic limitations, cultural and language boundaries, growing disparities in access and coverage, health condition severity, or demand far exceeding the supply of qualified clinicians.
The lack of regulatory action to clarify a CMS benefit category and the patchwork of commercial coverage options have meant too few– and especially those with public coverage– have been able to benefit from DTx therapies. This legislation would close that gap and would build on other recent positive developments, including the American Medical Association CPT Editorial Panel’s decision to establish a new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for remote monitoring of cognitive behavioral therapy and CMS’ action to establish the first Level II Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code for prescription digital behavioral therapy.
“Digital Therapeutics have a lot of momentum right now, especially with the Access to a Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act,” says Andy Molnar, DTA Chief Executive Officer. “The need for a benefit category and proper coding will allow for patients and providers to own their care.”
Pictured from left to right: Susan Stoner Zook – Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Mason Street Consulting, Beth Keyt – VP, Government Affairs at Pear Therapeutics, Everett Crosland – Chief Commercial Officer at Cognito Therapeutics, Andy Molnar – Chief Executive Officer at Digital Therapeutics Alliance, Sara Elalamy – U.S Government Affairs Director at Digital Therapeutics Alliance, Benjamin Alouf – Chief Medical Officer at Limbix, Anand Iyer – Chief Strategy Officer at WellDoc, Bob Cuyler – Chief Clinical Officer at Freespira, Jacqueline Studer – Chief Legal Officer at Akili interactive, Owen McCarthy – President and Co- Founder at MedRhythms, Will Robinson – Head of Policy and Strategy at Big Health
As we expand efforts to establish clearer pathways for DTx products to improve patient outcomes, DTA will be engaging members in additional advocacy efforts. Connect with us if you would like to be involved in these efforts.
Special thanks go to DTA Resource Partner, Susan Stoner Zook, Mason Street Consulting was instrumental in planning and executing this conference.