Saturday, May 6, 2017

Senate bill expands the use of telehealth services, remote patient monitoring for Medicare Beneficiaries

6 senators of U.S. have launched legislation seeking to remove hurdles to the use of telehealth services and remote patient monitoring for Medicare beneficiaries.

“Telehealth is the future of healthcare. It expands access to care, lowers charges and assists more people stay healthy,” stated Schatz. “Our bipartisan bill will assist change the way sufferers get the care they need, improving the healthcare system for both patients and healthcare providers.”

The CONNECT for Health Act builds on the provisions of another recently launched Senate bill—the CHRONIC Care Act—which targets to improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries living with chronic ailments by, among other provisions, expanding access to telehealth services.
For its part, the CONNECT for Health Act calls for:
  • Expansion of telehealth services in accountable care organizations (ACOs) and Medicare Advantage, as well as for home dialysis and telestroke services for purposes of evaluating acute stroke
  • Broadening the utilization of remote patient monitoring for certain high-risk, high-cost sufferers
  • Bolstering telehealth services and remote patient monitoring services in rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, Native American sites, and permitting global and bundled payments
  • Developing direct authority for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to lift existing restrictions on telehealth when certain quality and cost-effectiveness criteria are met
  • Expanding the utilization of telemental health by providing the HHS secretary the authority to lift restrictions for few mental health services
The legislation has been endorsed by more than 50 agencies, involving ACT|The App Association, American Telemedicine Association (ATA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
“The CONNECT for Health Act gives a carefully crafted approach to star assisting countless American Medicare recipients realize the benefits of connected health technology,” claimed Morgan Reed, executive director of The App Association. “By lifting arduous limitations on the use of telehealth and motivating Medicare physicians to use creative remote monitoring technologies, responsible and secure connected health solutions might be introduced more broadly throughout the continuum of care to make better the patient health outcomes.”
“Medicare beneficiaries deserve access to telehealth services already available within nearly every other health program involving Medicaid, Veterans Health, private insurance policies and most recently TRICARE,” stated Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the ATA. “This bill might be their best hope for this Congress.”
Likewise, HIMSS appreciated the bill and pledged their support for its reforms.
“We consider that the CONNECT for Health Act will modernize healthcare delivery for Medicare beneficiaries by removing obstacles to the use of telehealth and other healthcare technologies like remote patient monitoring, resulting in higher access to high-quality care, improved continuity of care and better value for sufferers and the Medicare program,” stated HIMSS in a written statement.
Telehealth promises to bring a sea-change to health care delivery and access.

Senate bill expands the use of telehealth services, remote patient monitoring for Medicare Beneficiaries
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