Industry Groups To Congress: 4 Ways To Prioritize Telehealth

Eric Wicklund | Government Health IT | October 2, 2014

A cadre of healthcare industry associations has called on Congress to prioritize telehealth and remote monitoring.  Saying it should be a cornerstone of the 21st century healthcare system the groups, which includes Government Health IT parent company HIMSS, sent a letter to U.S. Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Diana DeGette (D-Col.), HIMSS joined six organizations, five vendors and a health system, in making four recommendations as part of the 21st Century Cares Initiative.

They are:

  1. Authorize the use of telehealth in all accountable care and bundled payment programs;
  2. Use remote monitoring to assist patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, as well as those with diabetes who are patients of federally qualified health centers, and include the flexibility to expand monitoring to those with other chronic conditions;
  3. Authorize the use of telehealth payments for population health management at all critical access hospitals and FQHCs; and
  4. Enable Medicare patients to use video visits and remote monitoring.

"Despite an outdated and restrictive legal and regulatory environment, these transformative technologies have been demonstrated to result in increased quality of care, reduced hospitalization, avoidance of complications and improved satisfaction, particularly for the chronically ill, and reduced costs, among others," the letter stated.  In addition to HIMSS, the letter was signed by the American Telemedicine Association, the Continua Health Alliance, ACT/The App Association, the Alliance for Home Dialysis, the RCHN Community Health Foundation, the Telecommunications Industry Association, Christus Health, Qualcomm, Intel, Panasonic, Philips and Baxter International...