The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today released for comment draft legislation aimed at making electronic health records more interoperable. The bipartisan legislation is part of a package of bills the committee plans to mark up beginning Feb. 9 to serve as a companion to 21st Century Cures legislation passed by the House last year. Among other bills, the Feb. 9 session is slated to consider legislation on Food and Drug Administration regulation of duodenoscopes. Additional mark ups on other bills in the package are scheduled for March 9 and April 6. The committee also plans to consider bipartisan legislation to improve the nation’s mental health system, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said today at a full committee hearing on “Improving the Federal Response to Challenges in Mental Health Care in America.” He and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) are working with Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Roy Blunt (R-MO) and John Cornyn (R-TX) to move comprehensive legislation through the appropriate committees and to the Senate floor this year, Alexander said. Cassidy and Murphy last year introduced S. 1945, the Mental Health Reform Act.

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