RELEASE: Gottheimer, Hudson Introduce Bipartisan Legislation for New National Real-Time Medical & Health Supply Inventory Tracking

Strengthening Nation’s Health Preparedness, Combating Shortages, Modernizing Healthcare Supply Chain

May 23, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, May 23, 2023, U.S. Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Richard Hudson (NC-09) announced the introduction of the bipartisan Medical and Health Stockpile Accountability Act to strengthen the Strategic National Stockpile and ensure the United States is better prepared for future public health emergencies. This legislation will combat equipment shortages and provide near real-time tracking of medical and health supply inventories in New Jersey and nationwide.

Gottheimer and Hudson are leading this bipartisan legislation with Reps. Troy Balderson (OH-12) and Lori Trahan (MA-3) as original cosponsors.

The bipartisan Medical and Health Stockpile Accountability Act will:

  1. Establish a New National Automated Supply Chain Tracking System — within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide near real-time insights into the amount of critical medical and health supplies available in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and into the medical and health inventories of local and private entities like hospitals, manufacturers, and distributors, and time estimates for when inventories may be replenished.
  2. Create Clear Guidelines for Data Use & Sharing — for the new national supply-chain tracking application, including consulting with key partners to develop data collection and reporting standards, creating visibility into inventory by standardizing data, and ensuring clear and efficient mechanisms for health care entities to report data in an emergency.
  3. Eliminate Inventory Reporting Errors — by automating data feeds from health care entities to the new supply-chain tracking system.
  4. Test the System Annually to Stay Prepared — by analyzing the effectiveness of the supply-chain tracking system and reporting any deficiencies.
  5. Help State and Local Health Care Providers — by establishing a new HHS program to health care entities like community hospitals develop automated vendor management systems.
  6. Safeguard Private Data — by instituting robust protections for confidential and proprietary information and ensuring that federal data collection is used for monitoring and dynamic allocation, not for reallocating inventory from hospitals or other organizations, advantaging any institution over another, or undermining the competitive marketplace.

“It was completely shocking to discover at the beginning of the pandemic that we had no way of knowing the quantity, location, or production of critical supplies like masks and ventilators in New Jersey and across the country. I sat on the phone all night long with distributors in Europe and Asia trying to get shipments of masks and ventilators. I begged my colleagues in other states to see if their hospitals had anything they could spare — an extra ventilator or a few thousand masks and gowns,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Years later, we’re still not prepared. We don’t have a handle on the exact quantities of critical medical supplies and drugs that are on U.S. soil at any given time. The bipartisan Medical and Health Stockpile Accountability Act will help America be prepared to handle a pandemic, God forbid we face another.”

“The pandemic emphasized the importance of ensuring our nation’s health care providers have the PPE, medical supplies, and equipment they need before a crisis strikes,” said Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-09). “As the House Republican leader on pandemic preparedness legislation, I authored this overdue bipartisan bill to strengthen our Strategic National Stockpile and ensure medical providers have the resources they need to help their patients in hospitals across North Carolina and our country.”

“Real-time accounting of emergency medical equipment and supplies was a major vulnerability exposed in the early days of the COVID-19 public health emergency,” said Congressman Troy Balderson (OH-12). “Taking immediate action on these lessons learned is crucial to our national preparedness moving forward. I’m proud to once again join my colleagues to introduce legislation that helps ensure life saving items are available where they’re most needed, should another national emergency occur.”

“There’s no excuse to be caught flat-footed by another pandemic. That’s why I’m proud to help reintroduce the Medical and Health Stockpile Accountability Act to track our nation’s supplies and PPE,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-3). “This is common sense, bipartisan legislation to avoid future PPE crises and make sure our states, local community organizations, and hospitals are set up for success.”

The full bill text of the Medical and Health Stockpile Accountability Act can be found here.

“Premier thanks Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Troy Balderson (R-OH) and Lori Trahan (D-MA) for their bipartisan leadership to establish for the first time, real-time insights on the quantity and location of critical medical supplies and pharmaceuticals on U.S. soil. This legislation is essential to addressing a major blind spot in our nation’s preparedness and will help pinpoint the intersection of supply and demand, more effectively secure needed products, better identify areas of vulnerability, and enable timely access to the vital supplies providers need to care for patients,” said Michael J. Alkire, the President and CEO of Premier Inc., a leading healthcare improvement company supporting 4,400 U.S. hospitals and health systems and more than 250,000 other health providers and organizations.

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