State Representatives Ginny Klevorn (DFL – Plymouth) and Greg Boe (GOP – Chaska) each recently visited Medtronic facilities in their respective districts to better understand how Minnesota’s health technology and innovation cluster has benefitted their constituents.
Representative Boe toured Medtronic’s Care Management Services facility, a telehealth site focused on disease management and patient outreach. Their remote monitoring programs focus on at-risk patients with complex, chronic, or co-morbid conditions to help reduce the cost of care and improve patient outcomes. They are able to track developing trends and help patients manage and coordinate care — to potentially intervene at early signs of patient risk.
Representative Klevorn visited Medtronic’s Plymouth manufacturing facility. She toured the manufacturing floor and saw first-hand the production of the life-saving medical devices made there. She also engaged in a dialogue with members of the site team on issues and challenges facing Medtronic, such as the need for additional talent, as well as some ways the public and private sector can work together to address them.
We appreciate Representatives Klevorn and Boe being so engaged in the Medical Alley Community and look forward to working with them in the future!
This past week, MAA President & CEO Shaye Mandle and Director of Government Relations Bobby Patrick traveled to Washington, D.C. for in-person meetings with members of Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation to advocate for Medical Alley Association’s 2019 Federal Legislative Agenda and other issues of importance to the Medical Alley community.
While there, Shaye and Bobby met with Representatives Angie Craig, Jim Hagedorn, Ilhan Omar, Dean Phillips, and Pete Stauber, as well as Senator Tina Smith. They impressed on the delegation the importance of Medical Alley to Minnesota’s economy and the need for federal policy that enables health innovation and care companies located in Minnesota to continue developing technology and other breakthroughs that improve the lives of patients in the United States and throughout the world.
We greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with, and the support of, these members of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation. We look forward to working with each of them throughout the next two years to continue building Medical Alley as the global epicenter of health innovation and care.
Just over two weeks ago, a key source of sterilization for medical devices was abruptly shut down in Illinois by state authorities. This site was used by device makers of all sizes and for a variety of different devices. The sudden nature of this action immediately raised potential issues for the supply of medical devices for patients around the country.
Shortly after this occurred, Medical Alley Association communicated with congressional offices about how they could be helpful in accelerating the process for finding alternative safe and compliant sterilization sources, sending a letter to the entire Minnesota Congressional Delegation regarding this issue. Early last week, Shaye and Bobby traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with our delegation to prioritize this issue on behalf of our members.
Late last week, the FDA issued a letter regarding this situation. They acknowledged the issues this closure could cause and announced they would be taking action on requests for alternative sterilization sites within 30 days, instead of the typical 180 days. Additionally, the FDA provided an email address to handle questions and shortage concerns as a result of this site closure. That email address is: Deviceshortages@fda.hhs.gov.
We continue to actively monitor the situation in Illinois and will continue to work with our congressional delegation and federal agencies to find the best solution possible to continue the supply of medical devices for patients. We will keep you updated as the situation progresses.
You can feel it in the air, and I am not talking about the cold weather moving in… I’m talking committee deadlines. Last week was full of evening hearings and our first lengthy floor debate. If you thought you were sleep deprived, then buckle up, because we are in for a long 10 days! As first deadlines approach next week, we will be very committee-focused. Bills will be heard, amended, laid over, or passed on to other stops. It is everyone’s goal to have their bill heard in one of the bodies before March 15th to keep their bill alive.
Good luck everyone. See you in week 10!