Text: H.R.4805 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/09/2004)

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[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4805 Introduced in House (IH)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 4805

  To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a 
 demonstration program under which the Secretary offsets the costs of 
   electronic prescribing systems of Medicare health care providers.



                              July 9, 2004

 Mr. Murphy (for himself, Mrs. Johnson of Connecticut, Mr. Kennedy of 
   Rhode Island, Mr. Greenwood, Mr. Weldon of Florida, Mr. Weldon of 
   Pennsylvania, Ms. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida, and Mr. Gingrey) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
   Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and 
 Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in 
   each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the 
                jurisdiction of the committee concerned


                                 A BILL

  To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a 
 demonstration program under which the Secretary offsets the costs of 
   electronic prescribing systems of Medicare health care providers.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Ensuring Medication Safety for 
Seniors Act''.


    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) Prescription medications are central to the health care 
        of Americans, accessed by 65 percent of the U.S. public in a 
        given year.
            (2) Medication related errors, or adverse drug events, are 
        one of the most common types of medical errors and one of the 
        greatest threats to patient safety.
            (3) Studies and data have documented the prevalence of 
        inappropriate prescribing of medications remains a substantial 
        problem, with an estimated 7,000 deaths in the United States 
        occurring each year as a result of medication errors.
            (4) Medication errors not only are harmful to patients, but 
        are financially costly to healthcare organizations and 
            (5) Resources that could be spent on direct health care 
        services are diverted to counteract adverse drug events.
            (6) New tools and systems are necessary to address medical 
        error problems.
            (7) Technology can be deployed which can vastly improve the 
        medication management process and decrease preventable patient 
            (8) Electronic prescribing systems hold the potential to 
        substantially improve health care quality by reducing 
        preventable adverse drug events.
            (9) Investment costs remain an obstacle for healthcare 
        systems to create electronic prescribing systems.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to encourage and create 
incentives for healthcare systems to develop an electronic prescribing 
system to improve safety and quality of care for all patients.


    (a) Establishment of Demonstration Program.--The Secretary of 
Health and Human Services shall establish a demonstration program (in 
this section referred to as the ``demonstration program'') under which 
assistance described in subsection (b) is made available, upon request 
and on a voluntary basis, to medicare health care providers for the 
purpose of assisting those providers to offset the costs of electronic 
prescribing systems for those providers.
    (b) Assistance.--The assistance referred to in subsection (a) 
consists of the provision, directly or through grants under subsection 
(c), of the following:
            (1) Computer software and hardware, including handheld 
        computer technologies and the installation of such software, 
        hardware, and technologies.
            (2) Upgrades and other improvements to existing computer 
        software and hardware to enable electronic prescribing systems.
            (3) Communications capabilities for clinical data access. 
        storage, and exchange, including the installation of such 
            (4) Education and training to eligible staff of medicare 
        health care providers on computer information system 
        technologies made available under this section.
    (c) Awarding of Grants.--
            (1) Authority.--The Secretary may make grants to medicare 
        providers of services for the purchase, lease, and installation 
        of the items and technologies described in subsection (b).
            (2) Application.--No grant may be made under this section 
        except pursuant to a grant application that is submitted and 
        approved in a time, manner, and form specified by the Secretary 
        containing such information as the Secretary may require.
            (3) Limitation on grants.--Only 1 grant may be awarded 
        under this section with respect to any medicare health care 
        provider or group or practice of providers or suppliers, 
        including providers furnishing services to medicare 
        beneficiaries in long-term care facilities, skilled nursing 
        facilities, and hospitals.
            (4) Terms and conditions.--
                    (A) In general.--Grants under this section shall be 
                made under such terms and conditions as the Secretary 
                specifies consistent with this section.
                    (B) Provision of information.--As a condition for 
                the awarding of a grant under this section, an 
                applicant shall provide to the Secretary such 
                information as the Secretary may require in order to--
                            (i) evaluate the project for which the 
                        grant is made; and
                            (ii) ensure that funding provided under the 
                        grant is expended only for the purposes for 
                        which it is made.
                    (C) Audit.--The Secretary shall conduct appropriate 
                audits of grants under this section.
    (d) Demonstration Project Sites.--
            (1) Number of sites.--The demonstration project established 
        under this section shall be conducted in not more than 5 sites 
        selected by the Secretary.
            (2) Selection criteria.--In selecting such sites, the 
        Secretary shall give priority to sites in the following order:
                    (A) First to sites in counties, or equivalent 
                areas, in which the largest numbers of medicare 
                beneficiaries reside.
                    (B) Second to sites in rural areas.
    (e) Duration.--The authority of the Secretary to provide assistance 
under this section shall terminate on September 30, 2014.
    (f) Waiver Authority.--The Secretary may waive such requirements of 
titles XI and XVIII of the Social Security Act as may be necessary for 
the purposes of carrying out the demonstration project.
    (g) Evaluation and Report.--
            (1) Evaluation.--The Secretary shall conduct evaluations of 
        the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the demonstration 
            (2) Reports.--The Secretary shall submit to Congress 
        interim reports on the demonstration project, and not later 
        than 6 months after the completion of the project, a final 
        report on the demonstration project. Each report shall include 
        the following:
                    (A) An analysis of the patient outcomes and costs 
                of furnishing care to the medicare beneficiaries 
                participating in the project.
                    (B) Such recommendations regarding the extension, 
                expansion, or termination of the project as the 
                Secretary determines appropriate.
    (h) Definition.--In this section:
            (1) Medicare health care provider.--The term ``medicare 
        health care providers'' means any of the following that 
        furnishes items or services for which payment is made under 
        title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et 
                    (A) A provider of services, as that term is defined 
                in section 1861(u) of the Social Security Act (42 
                U.S.C. 1395x(u)).
                    (B) A supplier, as that term is defined in section 
                1861(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
            (2) Medicare beneficiary.--The term ``medicare 
        beneficiary'' means an individual entitled to benefits under 
        part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act, or enrolled 
        under part B of such title, or both.
            (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Health and Human Services.
    (i) Authorization of Appropriations.--
            (1) Amount of authorization.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated to the Secretary, from amounts not otherwise 
        appropriated in the Treasury, to carry out this section 
        $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2005, and such sums as may be 
        necessary for each of fiscal years 2006 and 2007.
            (2) Availability.--Amounts appropriated pursuant to the 
        authorization under paragraph (1) shall remain available 
        without fiscal year limitation through September 30, 2014.
    (j) Implementation.--The Secretary may not implement the 
demonstration project under this section before the date on which the 
Secretary develops, adopts, recognizes, or modifies initial uniform 
standards relating to the requirements for electronic prescription drug 
programs under section 1860D-4(e)(4)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 
U.S.C. 1395w-104(e)(4)(A)).