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Telehealth Policy

Senate Committee Embraces Telemedicine in Opioid Crisis Response Act

April 5, 2018 - The Senate HELP (Health Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee is adding its weight to efforts to make telemedicine a prominent strategy in the nation’s battle against opioid abuse. The 23-member committee this week unveiled a comprehensive bill designed to attack the crisis from several angles. The 116-page bill, called the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, includes provisions...


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CT Employers, Payers Oppose Fixed Rates for Telehealth Services

by Kyle Murphy, PhD

A recent hearing to discuss a bill to allow Connecticut physicians to provide telepsychiatry services saw employers and health plans in the state opposing a measure to pay for these telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services....

Telehealth, Telemedicine Reimbursement Score Big in New Budget Deal

by Eric Wicklund

Telehealth and telemedicine reimbursement scored huge successes in the budget deal signed into law by President Donald Trump, with one senator saying the law does more for Medicare coverage of telehealth than any past legislation. The two-year...

How Are States Using Telemedicine to Tackle the Opioid Abuse Crisis?

by Eric Wicklund

With the nation in the grip of an opioid abuse crisis, doctors and pharmacists see telemedicine and telehealth as an opportunity to improve outcomes by improving the distribution and management of controlled substances. But the U.S. Drug Enforcement...

Senate Passes VETS Act, Enhancing Telehealth Access for Veterans

by Eric Wicklund

Veterans will soon be able to access healthcare no matter where they live through a telehealth connection. The Senate has unanimously passed The Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act of 2017 (S.925), following the House’s...

Should Telehealth, Telemedicine Doctors Have Their Own Specialty?

by Eric Wicklund

Telehealth and telemedicine are becoming so commonplace in health systems that they should have their own specialty. That’s the premise of a Nov. 27 opinion piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association by New York Presbyterian...

OIG Expands Telehealth, Telemedicine Audits to Medicaid Claims

by Eric Wicklund

Healthcare providers will be checking to make sure their telehealth and telemedicine programs comply with state Medicaid regulations following news that the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the Inspector General will be...

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...

CMS, AMA Look for Common Ground on Remote Patient Monitoring

by Eric Wicklund

Fans of remote patient monitoring found a lot to like in new payment rules released last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, continuing what many hope is a trend toward CMS support for mHealth and telehealth technology....

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...

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...

Texas Mulls Telemedicine Coverage for Workers’ Compensation Cases

by Eric Wicklund

Texas state officials are considering a new rule that would allow residents in workers’ compensation to use telemedicine – and allow healthcare providers to be reimbursed through Medicare. The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation...

Telehealth Bills Get Senate Approval, Good News From CBO

by Eric Wicklund

A bill to boost telehealth coverage in Medicare Advantage plans would reduce healthcare expenditures by $80 million over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO’s cost estimate of H.R. 3727 is welcome news...

Telehealth, Telemedicine Guidelines Gain Momentum in Florida

by Eric Wicklund

One of the last states to formally establish a telehealth policy has been busy this month. The Florida Telehealth Advisory Council, created by the state’s Legislature in March 2016, has put together a draft report that, among other things,...

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....

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...

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