TELEMEDICINE GETS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN THE US

Even while broader US healthcare reform efforts stall amidst a lack of bipartisan cooperation, the prospect of cost savings has Democrats and Republicans working together to reduce restrictions on telemedicine use.

The Evidence-Based Telehealth Expansion Act of 2017 was introduced recently in an effort to reduce healthcare costs while maintaining or improving quality of care. The bill, if approved, would remove a number of restrictions to telemedicine and help expand its use among Medicare providers and patients. These include giving the HHS secretary authority to waive Medicare restrictions on the telemedicine it covers, the lifting of restrictions on geographic limitations, and lifting limitations on the types of Medicare-enrolled healthcare providers that can offer telemedicine services.

Medicare reimbursement has been identified as one major obstacle to broader implementation of telemedicine. Greater access to and reimbursement for telemedicine among Medicare beneficiaries could signal a coming shift to greater expansion to Medicaid and commercially insured patients.

 

Thanks to KLICK WIRE for this information