17 patient care organizations ink principles for telehealth regulations

The American Heart Association and American Cancer Society and 15 other patient organizations on Sept. 24 released a set of principles for legislators to consider for telehealth implementations.

The principles are meant to guide regulations for telehealth during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency. Here are the group's six recommendations:  

1. Cover telehealth services under all health plans, including Medicare, Medicaid and other federal and state regulated commercial health plans.

2. Improve access to telehealth technologies for people with disabilities, with limited English proficiency and those living in rural and low-income communities.

3. Let patients decide whether they want to access care in person or via telehealth.

4. Remove geographic telehealth restrictions for both patients and providers when evaluating treatment options.

5. Ensure health plans clearly define what telehealth services are covered and that providers use technology that complies with patient privacy, disability access and civil rights law.

6. Collect and compile more data on telehealth usage to better determine how telehealth technologies should be designed and implemented across all patient populations.

Here are the 17 organizations that endorsed the principles:

  • ALS Association
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Heart Association
  • American Lung Association
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Cancer Support Community
  • Chronic Disease Coalition
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Hemophilia Federation of America
  • JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
  • Lutheran Services in America
  • National Health Council
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • National Organization of Rare Disorders
  • National Psoriasis Foundation
  • Susan G. Komen

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