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December 21, 1984

Legislation expands federal role in medical technology assessment

JAMA. 1984;252(23):3235-3236. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350230001001

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Congress has passed—and President Reagan has signed—legislation that expands the role of the federal government in medical technology assessment.

The new law adds such technology assessment to the portfolio of the National Center for Health Services Research within the US Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, the legislation calls for federal assistance to the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC), through the Institute of Medicine, to enhance private sector activities in technology assessment.

It is noteworthy, observers suggest, that the US House of Representatives and US Senate passed somewhat different bills and the conference committee (meeting to try to resolve the differences between the two bills)—rather than embracing one set of provisions over another—recommended that all of the key provisions proposed by both houses of Congress be adopted. The agreement in this recommendation— with the swift enactment of the legislation at the close of this 98th Congress—suggests, these