Republican Florida Congressman Gus Bilirakis, from Palm Harbor, has long been active in community issues and now as one of the Chairmen of the Caucus to Cure Blood Cancers and Other Blood Disorders, has pushed legislation for cell transplant issues.
As part of a Federal omnibus bills passed, the Patient Access to Cellular Transplant (PACT) Act which U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wisc., proposed with Bilirakis’ support was signed into law, said Florida Daily.
“Medicare reimbursement rates simply weren’t enough to cover the costs of cell acquisition, a lengthy hospital stay, and managing the intricacies of the transplant process from start to finish. The PACT Act updates Medicare policy to reimburse hospitals for the cost of acquiring bone marrow and stem cells, the same way solid organ acquisition costs are paid. This means that patients who may have otherwise died without these life-saving treatments will now have access to the care they need,” the Congressman’s office noted.
“Medicare policy simply hadn’t kept pace with technological advances; and tragically, this disparity threatened the lives of older Americans with blood cancers – often stripping them of hope for a cure,” he said.