(PRWEB) May 02, 2014
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has submitted a series of cost-efficient proposals to Congress to improve the quality and access to healthcare by Medicare beneficiaries and outlined specific actions appropriate for the remainder of the 113th Congress. The proposals were submitted to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee as a written statement for a hearing entitled “Telehealth to Digital Medicine: How 21st Century Technology Can Benefit Patients.”
“Parity for telehealth and interstate access are two important concepts to extend to all federal healthcare programs,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of ATA. “We applaud the Subcommittee’s effort to address removing artificial barriers and incentivizing telehealth used in value-based payment methods.”
ATA announced support for the cost saving provisions of H.R. 3306, the Telehealth Enhancement Act, and has asked the Committee to obtain a Congressional Budget Office estimate for these efficient and incremental improvements for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Specifically, ATA has suggested the Committee seek to:
1. Add incentives to further reduce Medicare hospital readmissions via remote monitoring
2. Create new Medicaid option package for high-risk pregnancy and birth networks
3. Cover telehealth services under Medicare payment bundles for post-acute care
4. Facilitate Medicare home-based kidney dialysis
In addition, ATA asked that the Committee find ways to allow Medicare Accountable Care Organizations and providers offering bundled payments for acute care episodes to use telehealth as one way to provide services to covered beneficiaries. This would treat these programs similar to Medicare Advantage plans to allow patients greater access while lifting costly and unwarranted government restrictions on the use of telehealth.
ATA also announced support for H.R. 3077, the TELEmedicine for MEDicare Act (TELE-MED Act), which permits certain Medicare providers licensed in a State to provide telemedicine services to Medicare beneficiaries in a different State. ATA supports such state-based reciprocal arrangements and recommend that the Committee include it in the Medicare physician payment reforms or other legislative vehicles.
About the American Telemedicine Association
The American Telemedicine Association is the leading international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies. ATA and its diverse membership, works to fully integrate telemedicine into transformed healthcare systems to improve quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Established in 1993, ATA is headquartered in Washington, DC. For more information visit: http://www.americantelemed.org.