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Mobile Health Policy

MA Telehealth Bill Set For Passage; Others Aren’t So Fortunate

November 16, 2017 - A proposed bill to boost telehealth coverage in Medicare Advantage plans is set for passage, while other bills that would loosen Medicare’s restrictions on telemedicine and telehealth – including expanding telestroke services – are likely doomed. The Increasing Telehealth Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 3727) is included in this year’s Medicare extenders package, which...


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VETS Act, Supporting Telehealth for Veterans, Now in Senate’s Hands

by Eric Wicklund

Telehealth advocates are cheering the House’s unanimous approval this week of the VETS Act, saying it would give the nation’s veterans unfettered access to telehealth no matter where they live. “The passage of our bill in the...

CCHP’s State Telehealth Report Shows Gradual Advances in Coverage

by Eric Wicklund

Nearly every state provides Medicaid reimbursement for video-based telehealth, according to the latest report from the Center for Connected Health Policy. In addition, 15 states cover store-and-forward or asynchronous services, and 21 states...

Support Grows for Bill Expanding Telehealth Access for Veterans

by Eric Wicklund

A bill that would allow Veterans Affairs physicians to us treat veterans via telehealth no matter where they live has passed muster with the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. The Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act of 2017...

Kansas Payers Push Back Against Telehealth Payment Parity

by Eric Wicklund

Payers in Kansas are fighting proposals for payment parity in telehealth, saying a virtual visit shouldn’t be reimbursed at the same rate as in in-person visit. “Telemedicine services are not equivalent to in-person services and,...

HIMSS Makes Its Pitch for Telehealth Legislation, Rural Broadband

by Eric Wicklund

One of the nation’s largest healthcare IT organizations is throwing its weight behind a telehealth bill stuck in Congress and investments in broadband infrastructure that would push telemedicine and mHealth into rural America. The Healthcare...

New Rule Would Give VA Doctors National Telehealth Privileges

by Eric Wicklund

The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving forward with a plan to enable VA doctors to treat veterans through telehealth no matter where the doctor or patient are located, essentially overriding state laws. Officials said the 28-page proposed...

Study: States’ Private Payer Laws Are Harming Telehealth Growth

by Eric Wicklund

Two-thirds of the states in the US may have laws to promote telehealth and telemedicine coverage by private payers, but many of those laws are weakly written, giving payers too much discretion to set their own ground rules and turning providers...

More Organizations Urge CMS to Boost Medicare Telehealth Coverage

by Eric Wicklund

Healthcare organizations and advocacy groups are ganging up on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in a bid to compel more telehealth and telemedicine coverage. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), American...

Telehealth Bills Targeting Stroke Care, MA Plans Show Progress

by Eric Wicklund

Two bills designed to improve telehealth and telemedicine access sailed through Congressional subcommittee reviews on Wednesday. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health approved H.R. 1148, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine...

Congress Mulls Proposal to Boost Telehealth Coverage in MA Plans

by Eric Wicklund

The latest telehealth bill surfacing in Washington DC targets Medicare Advantage plans. H.R. 3727, introduced on Sept. 11 by US Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif..) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), would enable...

AMGA Lobbies CMS to Give Telehealth More Medicare Opportunities

by Eric Wicklund

The American Medical Group Association is lobbying for more Medicare acceptance of telehealth, by recommending five new CPT codes and a demonstration of the value of virtual coaching platform for those with diabetes. In a letter issued on Sept....

Medicare Spending on Telehealth Increases, But Barriers Remain

by Eric Wicklund

Healthcare providers may be using more telehealth and telemedicine than ever before, but Medicare Is still a significant barrier to growth. An analysis of the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services’ 2016 payments for telehealth and...

Telehealth Licensure Compact For Nurses To Go Live in January

by Eric Wicklund

Nurses will be able to apply for a license to practice telehealth in multiple states in five months. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has set Jan. 19, 2018 as the go-live date for the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC)....

American Telemedicine Association Announces CEO’s Departure

by Eric Wicklund

Jonathan Linkous is stepping down after 24 years as the leader of the nation’s largest telehealth and telemedicine advocacy group. The American Telemedicine Association announced Linkous’ departure as CEO in a brief press release...

Telemedicine Laws Gain Momentum With Passage in 2 More States

by Eric Wicklund

Two more states now have telemedicine laws on the books, adding to the ranks of states clearly defining what can and can’t be called telehealth and telemedicine. Minnesota’s new regulations became law on August 1. S.F. 1353, unanimously...

Congress is Coming at CMS From All Angles With Telehealth Bills

by Eric Wicklund

With the CONNECT for Health Act showing no signs of positive momentum on Capitol Hill, telehealth-friendly legislators are trying a new tactic: Introduce several telemedicine bills aimed at different facets of Medicare, with the hope that at...

New Bill Seeks to Expand Medicare Reimbursement for Telemedicine

by Eric Wicklund

A bill to expand Medicare coverage for telehealth services that has been kicked around on Capitol Hill since 2013 is once again in Congress’ hands. U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) has re-introduced the Telehealth Enhancement Act (H.R....

House Committee Poised to Consider Medicare Telehealth Bill

by Eric Wicklund

A bill seeking Medicare reimbursement for telestroke services could be headed to a Congressional vote this September. The FAST Act of 2017 (H.R. 1148) is included in the roster of Medicare-related bills to be reviewed this week by the House Energy...

Feds to Probe Improper Telehealth Reimbursements Under Medicare

by Eric Wicklund

Federal officials are investigating whether physicians are receiving improper reimbursements for telehealth under Medicare Part B guidelines. The Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will be checking...

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