Monday, March 13, 2017

Telehealth Outlook Under the Trump Administration | The National Law Review


 The Trump Administration is likely to drive telehealth advancement in a positive direction. use of telehealth technology.For example, President Trump’s plan to reform the Veteran’s Affairs Department includes improved patient care through the use of telehealth technology. There are also some indications that the newly confirmed Secretary of the Department of Health and Human There are also some indications that the newly confirmed Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Tom Price, is “telehealth friendly.


Despite the current focus in Congress on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, telehealth legislation continues to gain traction and bipartisan support on the Hill. In February, a bipartisan group of 37 Senators sent a letter to Tom Price encouraging HHS to support telehealth and remote patient monitoring. Congress also has embraced telehealth advancement with a consistent stream of proposed legislation seeking to enhance the provision of telehealth services. Most recently, Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-03) and Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA-09) reintroduced the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (“FAST”) Act that would expand access to stroke telemedicine (also called “telestroke”) treatment in Medicare. Congress also recently introduced HR 766 which would establish a pilot program to expand telehealth options under the Medicare program for individuals living in public housing. Additionally, Congress is poised to consider at least two bipartisan pieces of legislation focused on telehealth. The first is known as the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (“CHRONIC”) Care Act of 2016, which seeks to modernize Medicare payment policies focused on improving the management and treatment of chronic diseases using telehealth technologies. The second is known as the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (“CONNECT”) for Health Act, which seeks to mandate Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services (beyond the current, limited reimbursement framework). Finally, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Chairperson of the Senate Finance Committee, recently released his “innovation agenda for the 115th Congress” which encourages the promotion of the “internet of things,” greater broadband investment, and increased device-to-device communication and cross-border data flows.

Telehealth will continue to increase in use despite proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act. Whether it will become a major player in health care will depend on studies to show if it cuts costs,improves care, or increases utilization as a redundant triage mechanism.  Telehealth does not . substitute for a visit to a physician, except for remote locations, where medical care would otherwise be lacking.








Telehealth Outlook Under the Trump Administration | The National Law Review

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