Senator Blackburn Receives “Champion of Health Care Innovation” Award by the Healthcare Leadership Council


Senator Blackburn Attends Grand Opening of New Health Care Facility in Jamestown, Tenn.


Senator Blackburn Speaks at TN HIMSS Health Policy Roundtable With Industry Leaders


Senator Blackburn Meets With Perry and Decatur County Officials to Discuss Her Rural Health Agenda

Tennessee stands as a leader in health care innovation, fueled by a robust and expanding health care industry. This leadership is driven by major health systems, renowned research institutions, and a thriving health technology sector. Tennesseans need market-based reforms that put patients — not federal bureaucrats — in the driver’s seat to expand access to affordable care, lower prices on pharmaceuticals, and increase transparency for patients. The issues facing our health care sector will not be solved in Washington, DC, but in Tennessee.

Blackburn Stresses The Importance Of Telehealth For Tennesseans

Prioritizing Rural Health Care

70 of Tennessee’s 95 counties are considered rural. Senator Blackburn, co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, is committed to finding bipartisan solutions to improve access to rural health care. She introduced her bipartisan Rural Health Agenda aimed at addressing health care challenges in rural America to maintain quality care close to home. The Rural Health Agenda includes three separate bipartisan bills: 

  1. The Rural Health Innovation Act;

  2. The Rural America Health Corps Act, and;

  3. The Save Rural Hospitals Act

Senator Blackburn’s Rural Health Agenda would allow health care facilities to expand their hours of operation and hire additional medical providers. It would also incentivize more health professionals to work in rural health facilities in exchange for forgiving medical school loans. Lastly, it would ensure that rural hospitals receive fair payment for the services they provide.

Additionally, as co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, Senator Blackburn has introduced bipartisan legislation with her fellow rural health champions. These efforts include a resolution to recognize November 16, 2023, as National Rural Health Day in honor of the many dedicated rural health care providers and our nation’s patients who depend on their services, and the Rural Health Clinic Burden Reduction Act, which streamlines regulatory requirements and reduces administrative burdens on rural health clinics, enhancing their ability to provide essential health care services in underserved areas.

Fighting For Tennesseans' Health Care

Advancements In Health Care

Senator Blackburn has been a champion of expanding telehealth and helped lead the way for telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following her discussions with both the White House and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma about a key regulation that previously restricted the use of telemedicine, the administration announced important changes. As a result of Senator Blackburn’s advocacy, access to telehealth services has been transformative for rural and medically complex patients, breaking down barriers and providing critical access to care in some of the most remote areas. Senator Blackburn partnered with a bipartisan group of senators to introduce the Telehealth Modernization Act to ensure these telehealth flexibilities are a permanent fixture in our health care system.  

While AI presents certain dangers, it can also be an important tool for innovation, including in the health care industry. Our health care innovators are making great achievements by developing predictive diagnosis, disease analysis, and new applications to address patient needs. Senator Blackburn sent a letter urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop a formalized payment pathway for algorithm-based health care services, which are FDA-cleared medical devices that rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to produce clinical information to aid in patient diagnosis or treatment.

Blackburn Discusses How Tennessee Health Care Companies Are Using AI To Increase Quality of Care

Furthermore, Senator Blackburn has supported seniors’ access to high-quality care by announcing the formation of a Medicare payment reform working group to investigate and propose long-term reforms to the physician fee schedule and make necessary updates to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. Through this effort, Senator Blackburn is committed to creating a health care system that truly supports both providers and patients and meets the needs of all beneficiaries now and in the future.

Senator Blackburn continues to prioritize innovation and access to quality health care in Tennessee.

Senator Blackburn Speaks to the American Telemedicine Association

Lowering the Cost of Drugs and Preserving Senior Choice

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Blackburn has positioned herself as one of the leaders on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) reform. For too long, PBMs have taken advantage of misaligned incentives in the pharmaceutical supply chain at the expense of taxpayers and seniors. Senator Blackburn has introduced three bills to lower prescription drug costs at the pharmacy counter and protect the ability of seniors to use their local pharmacies.

  1. The Patients Before Middlemen (PBM) Act would de-link the compensation of PBMs from drug price and utilization to better align incentives that would help lower prescription drug costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.

  2. The Neighborhood Options for Patients Buying Medicines (NO PBMs) Act would improve options and access to prescription drugs for seniors and bring PBMs in alignment with Medicare plans, allowing seniors to shop at their local pharmacy.

  3. The Pharmacy Access Oversight and Reporting Act would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish a report on enforcement and oversight actions taken to ensure compliance of Medicare’s pharmacy access requirements.

Senator Blackburn has also introduced the bipartisan Seniors’ Access to Critical Medicines Act which makes it easier for seniors with cancer and other serious illnesses to get access to medication. This commonsense bill ensures Medicare beneficiaries’ timely access to life-saving medicines, such as cancer drugs, by granting doctors the authority to mail medication to rural patients who cannot travel or allow caregivers to pick-up loved ones’ medication — making clear that doing so does not violate federal law.

"These Prescription Drugs Are Life or Death Issues," Says Blackburn

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Senator Blackburn has fought to support the State of Tennessee so that patients can continue to access much-needed treatment and care for substance use disorder.

Senator Blackburn has introduced the Securing Advances and a Variety of Evidence-Based (SAVE) Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) Options ActThe bipartisan legislation allows Tennessee to provide treatment to patients suffering from substance use disorder in IMDs. 

She has also introduced bills to facilitate access to life-saving medication for opioid use disorder, including the Extending Access to Addiction Treatment Act, which would permanently expand coverage for medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder under Medicaid. Additionally, the Telehealth Response for E-prescribing Addiction Therapy Services (TREATS) Act would preserve the ability for access to telehealth services and treatment for opioid use disorder.

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