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Policy News

Missouri Bill Aims to Remove Most Barriers to Telehealth Adoption

January 12, 2018 - Missouri lawmakers are contemplating a bill that would loosen the reins on telehealth, potentially making the Show Me State one of the most lenient in the country. HB 1617, sponsored by State Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), would, among other things, eliminate the requirement that a telepresenter be present for telehealth visits, open the platform to social media apps like Skype and FaceTime,...


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Making Telehealth a Valuable Part of Preventive Care Programs

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An under-the-radar bill introduced in Congress last year could, if passed, pave the way for Medicare coverage of telehealth in preventive health programs. The Preventive Health Savings Act (S. 2164 and H B.. 2953) proposes to expand the window...

Senate passes VETS Act, Enhancing Telehealth Access for Veterans

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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...

CMS Clarifies Texting Rules Amid Rumors of mHealth Message Ban

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has re-affirmed its position on physician texting following news reports that the agency was moving to ban the mHealth messaging platform. In a Dec. 28 Survey & Certification Letter to state...

2017: A Look Back At The Year In State Telemedicine Legislation

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Some 63 pieces of legislation focusing on telehealth or telemedicine were approved by 34 state Legislatures this year, according to the Center for Connected Health Policy. The various bills cover a wide variety of digital health issues, from...

Telemedicine Advocates Cry Foul Over FCC’s Net Neutrality Plan

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Telehealth and telemedicine experts are warning that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to scrap net neutrality rules could seriously damage telehealth expansion in rural parts of the country and create a two-tiered...

Texas Medical Board Adopts New Telehealth, Telemedicine Rules

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The Texas Medical Board has adopted a broad set of telehealth and telemedicine rules and regulations, bringing the once-resistant board in line with legislation passed this year to improve digital health adoption in the Lone Star State. The new...

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

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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 –...

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

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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

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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

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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

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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,...

Joint Commission Steps Back From Proposed Telemedicine Standards

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The Joint Commission is scrapping proposed telehealth amendments to its accreditation standards that would have forced health systems to obtain patient consent and predict a patient’s financial responsibility prior to services rendered....

Telehealth in The Nation’s Capital: DC Board Mulls Regulations

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Healthcare regulators in the District of Columbia are moving closer to telemedicine legislation that would enable healthcare providers to establish a doctor-patient relationship as long as they first get the patient’s permission to use...

HIMSS Makes Its Pitch for Telehealth Legislation, Rural Broadband

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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

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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...

mHealth Innovation Takes Center Stage in FDA’s Digital Health Pilot

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Smartphones, wearables, mHealth apps and even digital therapeutics will all get equal play in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new digital health software precertification pilot program. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb this week...

Telehealth Bills Get Senate Approval, Good News From CBO

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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

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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,...

Texas Board’s New Telemedicine Rules Could Still Cause Problems

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Following up on legislative action taken earlier this year to align the state with the rest of the nation, the Texas Medical Board has proposed amending its telemedicine and telehealth rules that would loosen the reins on doctors wanting to treat...

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