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Policy News

Could Trump’s Opioid Emergency Boost Telemedicine, mHealth Use?

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President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement this week to declare a national emergency on opioid abuse could thrust telemedicine and mHealth into the spotlight. If and when it happens, the declaration would “enable the...

VA Wants its Doctors to Treat Veterans Anywhere With Telehealth

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Federal officials have unveiled a plan to give VA doctors the authority to treat veterans via telemedicine no matter where those veterans are located. In a ceremony attended by President Donald Trump this past week, Department of Veterans...

CBO Analysis Highlights ROI Challenge Faced by Telehealth Bills

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A Congressional Budget Office analysis of a bill that would expand telestroke services may have hit upon a common roadblock in the advancement of telehealth and telemedicine legislation: The government won’t always see a quick...

Telemedicine Laws Gain Momentum With Passage in 2 More States

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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,...

Legislators Urge FCC to Open Up TV Airwaves for Telemedicine

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Congress and telemedicine advocates are jumping on the bandwagon to open up so-called TV white space for telehealth and other uses. A bipartisan group of 43 members of Congress is urging the Federal Communications Commission to designate...

Congress is Coming at CMS From All Angles With Telehealth Bills

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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...

CMS Urged to Include mHealth in Diabetes Prevention Program

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Digital diabetes coaching providers are joining forces in an effort to convince the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to include mHealth in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program. Some virtual coaching is included in the MDPP,...

New Bill Seeks to Expand Medicare Reimbursement for Telemedicine

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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...

Telehealth Licensure Compact for Nurses Gets the Green Light

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Nurses in 26 states will soon be able to practice telehealth in multiple states under one license. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation last week making his state the 26th to join the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC),...

NJ Telemedicine Law Delayed By Concerns About Veterinarian Use

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New Jersey’s new telemedicine regulations are being held up as state officials try to determine whether they pertain to veterinarians. Gov. Chris Christie met this week with healthcare and veterinary officials to discuss the...

Kaiser Permanente Agrees to Expand Telemental Health Services

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California’s Kaiser Foundation Health Plan will be expanding its telehealth platform for behavioral health services to meet long-standing complaints over a lack of access and follow-up care. The announcement by Oakland-based Kaiser...

House Committee Poised to Consider Medicare Telehealth Bill

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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...

Feds to Probe Improper Telehealth Reimbursements Under Medicare

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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...

Lawmakers Want Medicare Changed to Expand Telehealth Services

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Legislators are ramping up their efforts to expand Medicare coverage for telehealth and telemedicine. The latest bill to take the spotlight is the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017 (HR 2550), re-introduced in May by a familiar group...

Microsoft’s New Broadband Strategy Includes a Nod to Telehealth

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Microsoft has announced plans to help improve rural America’s broadband capabilities, an ambitious project that could kick-start telemedicine projects to underserved communities. Unveiled Tuesday, “A Rural Broadband Strategy:...

Telehealth Supporters Lobby DC for Better Broadband Connectivity

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A new bill on Capitol Hill seeks to help urban healthcare providers expand telemedicine programs to rural areas by giving them access to federal funds for broadband connectivity. The bill is part of a full-court press by rural healthcare...

Texas Telemedicine Law Prompts Feds to Close Medical Board Probe

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Federal officials have closed their investigation of the Texas Medical Board over charges the board sought to unfairly restrict telemedicine providers. The Federal Trade Commission voted 2-0 to end its probe shortly after Gov. Greg Abbot...

PA Legislature Introduces Telemedicine Reimbursement Bill

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Pennsylvania has opened the door to becoming the next state to allow full telemedicine reimbursement parity for care services. Senator Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) introduced Senate Bill 780 to define key components of telemedicine, set...

mHealth Companies Fined for Medicare Fraud on Wearable Monitors

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Federal officials say the developers of an mHealth wearable forced doctors to bill Medicare for remote patient monitoring services that were more expensive than necessary. The U.S. Department of Justice has levied a $13.45 million fine...

New Jersey’s Telemedicine Regulations are Ready to Become Law

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Telemedicine legislation headed to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s desk would, among other things, enable physicians to use telehealth to establish a doctor-patient relationship, ensure the same standards of care as an in-person...

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