Some positive next steps are afoot in Washington after the RAND study’s release. The partner efforts of ABC, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and others to promote the sus-tainability of the blood supply and build on the initial work of the RAND study in exploring alternatives in policy and reimbursement is setting wheels in motion here in the Capital. We recently learned the Depart-ment of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning multi-agency efforts to conduct stress testing in the areas of blood center donor testing, economic feasibility, and surge capacity. Agencies involved in these efforts include the HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), HHS Office of the Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), within the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Pre-paredness and Response. Work will begin in these agencies as soon as next month. We have also learned that an internal briefing with the newly appointed acting HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Don Wright, MD, MPH, is scheduled in the coming weeks to discuss the current state of the blood supply and actions needed to ensure its viability.
This work builds upon other current and planned activities related to sustainability, including:
- HHS has secured $250,000 to collect and analyze information related to pricing and volume of blood sales and usage through a partnership with BloodHub, integrated supply chain application for the blood industry.
- ABC continues to work with HHS, Congress, and other interested parties to secure support and funding for growing the Data Warehouse.
- The Foundation for America’s Blood Centers (FABC) has allocated a significant amount of funds to research related to the sustainability of the blood supply this fiscal year.
We believe a combination of the above efforts will lead to a more robust set of data and policy options to continue our advocacy work in the legislative and regulatory arenas. ABC commends the agencies for their recognition of this important issue and will continue to promote the sustainability of the blood supply through every possible avenue.
Christine Zambricki, DNAP, CRNA, FAAN; Chief Executive Officer