Health IT Now endorses telemedicine bill for veterans

A coalition of health IT advocates  recommended a bill that would expand veterans' access to telehealth services across the U.S.

 

The Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2015 would eliminate the requirement that providers must be licensed within the same state as their patients, thereby allowing physicians affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide telemedicine services across state lines.

 

Telehealth programs contributed to a 34 percent reduction in readmissions and a 42 percent drop in bed days for VA patients in the fiscal year 2014, according to VA officials.

 

Health IT Now executive director Joel C. White announced the coalition's endorsement in a letter sent to the bill's cosponsors, Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

 

"We applaud your efforts to remove these restrictions by allowing physicians to treat veterans in their home, regardless of location," the letter said. "In a modern world of increased travel and technology utilization, healthcare should not be restricted by state borders."

Health IT Now is an advocacy group composed of healthcare providers, consumers, employers and payers, aligned to promote health IT services as a means to improve care quality and lower healthcare costs.  

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