New Legislation Supports US Telehealth Growth

May 17, 2017 at 12:00am ET By G. John Cole

Six US senators have recently joined forces to introduce a new piece of legislation which will support the growth of telehealth and remote patient monitoring, according to a recent report from Health Data Management. Here’s a closer look at the bill, along with how stakeholders it will help people by expanding access to telehealth care.

CONNECTing for Health

Dubbed the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (“CONNECT”) for Health Act of 2017, the bill calls for the expansion of telehealth in “accountable care organizations and Medicare Advantage, as well as for home dialysis and in the evaluation of acute stroke; broadening the use of telehealth and remote monitoring for high-risk, high-cost patients; boosting telehealth and remote patient monitoring services in critical areas, including rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers, and Native American sites; giving the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services direct authority to lift telehealth restrictions in certain situations, including for mental health services.

Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) explained, “Telehealth is the future of healthcare. It expands access to care, lowers costs and helps more people stay healthy. Our bipartisan bill will help change the way patients get the care they need, improving the healthcare system for both patients and healthcare providers.”

Removing the Barriers

The bill has been endorsed by many organizations, according to Health Data Management, including ACT|The App Association, American Telemedicine Association (ATA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Said HIMSS in a statement applauding the senators for their leadership in creating the legislation: “We believe the CONNECT for Health Act will modernize healthcare delivery for Medicare beneficiaries by removing barriers to the use of telehealth and other healthcare technologies such as remote patient monitoring, resulting in greater access to high-quality care, improved continuity of care and better value for patients and the Medicare program.”

Find programs in healthcare management.

John is a digital nomad and freelance writer for higher education and marketing publications. A native Englishman, he is always on the move but can most commonly be spotted in Norway, the UK and the Balkans.

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