State and federal COVID-19 advocacy actions

COVID-19 advocacy in Oregon: Oregon Bio seeks ‘Essential Business’ status for members and seeks clarification for access to aid by startups with equity investment

Oregon Bio’s policy experts are hard at work to access both state and federal resource opportunities:

  • OR Bio recently signed on two joint letters in activation at the federal level. Stateside, Oregon Bio connected dozens of organizations to clarify and ensure the bioscience, research and medtech sectors remain classified as “Essential Businesses.”  The letter is here.
  • Oregon Bio also joined with hundreds of organizations around the U.S. in a response addressed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Administrator of the Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza, requesting clarification that “small businesses with equity investors will not be excluded from the 7(a) loan program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In particular, we are gravely concerned that application of the current Small Business Administration’s ‘Affiliation Rules’ to these companies will create confusion and delays in administering the program,  and could effectively exclude many startups that are trying to survive this economic crisis.” See the request here.
  • Following Oregon’s 2020 short legislative session, Oregon Bio worked with 49 organizations around the state to ask the Governor to delay implementation of the new Corporate Activity Tax. Read the letter.

 

COVID-19 advocacy at the federal level: AdvaMed shares its policy strategies and its ‘Medtech: On the front lines against COVID-19’ statement

Oregon Bio affiliates with the global Advanced Medical Technology Association, AdvaMed. In late March, AdvaMed exercised several actions to assure the medtech and biotech industries maintain essential status including calling for centralization of procurement and allocation decision-making for medical ventilators to address the coronavirus pandemic and help ensure appropriate access to health care providers and patients. See statement here.

Additionally, AdvaMed shared its substantial federal activation efforts, including:

  • Working directly with FEMA to seek guidance on increased ventilator production, procurement, and allocation (click herefor the full letter).
  • Working with industry and new partners to ensure the supply chain integrity ventilator manufacturing around the world.
  • Working with state and local officials to ensure essential medtech manufacturing and the related supply chain continues to operate under shelter-in-place orders.
  • Working closely with leadership on both sides of Capitol Hill, as well as with the administration, on emergency supplemental packages, including the recently passed CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security), which included a number of important measures:
    • In order to preempt supply chain and device shortages, CARES requires the strategic national stockpile to include certain medical devices necessary for diagnosing and treating COVID-19. It adds $16 billion in federal funding for the Strategic National Stockpile for medical supplies, personal protective equipment and medicine.
    • CARES provides permanent liability protection for manufacturers of personal respiratory protective equipment, such as masks and respirators, in the event of a public health emergency.
    • CARES extends the 50/50 transition payment amount for durable medical equipment (DME) provided in rural areas through the end of the public emergency period, and creates 75/25 transition payment amount for DME items provided in non-competitive bid areas.
    • CARES delays private payer data reporting for laboratory payment purposes for one year (January – March 2022) and freezes payment rates for 2021 at the 2020 levels.
    • CARES offers net operating loss tax relief; net operating losses from tax years 2018, 2019, or 2020 may be carried back five years. It also offers funding to reimburse providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are directly attributable to the coronavirus.
    • CARES will expand an existing Medicare accelerated payment program for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period.
  • Working with FDA as they engage importers from abroad to grow the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), granting maximum flexibility to those seeking to bring PPE into the U.S. for immediate distribution and use.
  • Working closely with the administration to ensure that when the Defense Production Act is invoked it is done so in the most effective, efficient way possible to ensure medtech companies are enabled and not hindered in their efforts to produce what providers and patients need.

 

AdvaMed also recently published its COVID-19 Principles, which are guiding the way to advocate for the medtech industry at the federal level. See AdvaMed COVID -19 Principles here.

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