2 Representatives introduce bipartisan 'Evidence-Based Telehealth Expansion Act'

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

Reps. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., and Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, introduced a bill that would help Medicare providers expand telehealth services.

Medicare currently restricts telehealth coverage to beneficiaries located in rural sites, but lobbying organizations, like the Alliance for Connected Care, have called for an expansion of the program. The Evidence-Based Telehealth Expansion Act of 2017 would do just that.

The bill would allow the HHS secretary to review Medicare services and determine which are appropriate for telehealth. It would also authorize the HHS secretary to waive existing restrictions on those services if they reduce cost while maintaining or improving quality.

"Increasing access to telehealth isn't a partisan issue; rather, it's a service that has proven to be very beneficial to many rural Americans — and it should be expanded. Instead of placing restrictions on telehealth coverage through Medicare, we need to do the opposite and allow for more people the opportunity to utilize this emerging technology," Mr. Johnson said.

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