Capitol Hill Roundup

By Steve Brachmann
September 17, 2018

Capitol BuildingThis week in Capitol Hill hearings, it will be a relatively light week all around, and particularly so for those who focus on intellectual property, technology and innovation. Indeed, there are few hearings on tap for the week that might be of interest. Nevertheless, financial services innovation, health care cost reductions will be discussed in the Senate on Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 18th

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions – Reducing Health Care Costs: Examining How Transparency Can Lower Spending and Empower Patients

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday. No hearing notice. In early August, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a final rule that increases price transparency for patients by requiring hospitals to post standard charges for hospital services on the Internet in a machine-readable format. The rule also maintains a requirement for health care providers to incorporate certified electronic health record technology including application programming interfaces (APIs) that can enable patients to collect medical records from multiple providers through a single portal. The hearing’s witness panel includes representatives from The Leapfrog Group of Washington, DC; Healthcare Bluebook of Nashville, TN; Washington Health Alliance of Seattle, WA; and St. George Surgical Center of St. George, UT. The hearing will take place in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – Fintech: Examining Digitization, Data, and Technology

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday. No hearing notice. Financial technologies such as cryptocurrency and mobile banking via smartphones are designed to improve the delivery of financial services through innovative means. Fintech systems have been developed to automate various financial services such as trading, insurance and risk management, although patentability in the financial technology sector has been hampered in recent years by the introduction of covered business method (CBM) review proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) as well as the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International. The hearing’s witness panel will include representatives from Allon Advocacy on behalf of Consumer Data Financial Rights, Fidelity Wealth Technologies, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and Cornell University. The hearing will take place in 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

 

The Author

Steve Brachmann

Steve Brachmann is a freelance journalist located in Buffalo, New York. He has worked professionally as a freelancer for more than a decade. He writes about technology and innovation. His work has been published by The Buffalo News, The Hamburg Sun, USAToday.com, Chron.com, Motley Fool and OpenLettersMonthly.com. Steve also provides website copy and documents for various business clients and is available for research projects and freelance work.

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