The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed the revised 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34), which intends to overhaul drug development and accelerate new cures and treatments.

The bill, which was passed by the U.S. House on Dec. 1, now heads to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign the legislation. The revised bill reconciles House and Senate versions and also includes a number of important provisions for hospitals and health systems in South Dakota including:

  • Revising the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act to move the grandfather date for off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) under development from Nov. 2, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2016 or 60 days after enactment, whichever is later
  • Adjusting the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program to account for socioeconomic status
  • Extending the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program for five years
  • Providing one full year of relief from the Long-term Care Hospital 25% Rule
  • Prohibiting the Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) from enforcing the “direct supervision” regulations in calendar year 2016 for outpatient therapeutic services provided in critical access hospitals and certain small, rural hospitals
  • Providing $1 billion in funding from 2017-2018 to help states address the opioid abuse crisis
  • Strengthening mental health services provisions previously passed by the House